2. Easy care surfaces. Open walls invite pollen, mold, and grime. Being able to clean everything quickly and easily is important if you want to spend more time enjoying your porch than caring for it. Many areas experience a month of heavy pollen in the spring that coats everything in a greenish yellow. This seems to be just when the weather is warming up and we all want to be outside, so it is great when you can take a hose and rinse away the film. Outdoor fabrics and cushions are made to dry out quickly and prevent mold.
3. For the floor, I prefer hard surfaces that can be mopped. Outdoor rugs in an array of bright colors and patterns, also washable, are a better choice than wall-to-wall outdoor carpet. We have all seen that porch with a sad, tattered carpet. One of my favorite features for a screened porch is a hinged flap allowing water and debris to be flushed out when cleaning. Most porches have enough slope that water will run to the outside walls away from the house.
4. A word of caution: It’s popular to furnish our outdoor rooms to feel like interior rooms, but be careful about putting indoor furnishings in an outdoor space. Glue joints and veneers don’t like changes in temperature and humidity.