Brighten Up Your Fall Evenings: Porch Lighting Tips

Screen porch globe lightsLighting plays a critical role in any design scheme, and this is certainly not limited to the interior of your home. Outdoor porch lights can impact the way that you entertain, as well as set the mood for a relaxing evening on your screen porch. There are a number of factors you should consider before selecting your outdoor porch lights, and we want to outline a few of them for you below:

  • Placement: You can add lighting to just about any space on your screened porch (wall mount, the ceiling fan, the ceiling, and even the floor). Think about the setting that you want to create first. If you want your screened porch to be your relaxing oasis, it’s best not to go overboard with lighting. A simple string of Christmas or globe lights provides a relaxing, soft light that can be enough for playing cards or other games on your porch.
  • Style: These days, there is such a wide variety of styles for screened porch lighting, and the lighting that you choose can be a great opportunity to add some character and personality to your home. However, it’s important to consider the architecture style of your home and select lighting fixtures that compliment this look.
  • Size: A common challenge that many homeowners have in regards to outdoor lighting is selecting fixtures that are the appropriate size for their space. As a rule of thumb, an exterior wall mount light should be balanced with the size of your doors. If you add a lantern to only one side of the door, the piece should be approximately one third the height of the door. If you add two lights on either side of the door, the pieces can be slightly smaller, approximately one quarter the height of the door. Chandeliers above dining tables should have a diameter of 1/2 to 2/3 the width of your table, while chandeliers in the center of your porch should have a diameter (in inches) equal to the length plus the width of your porch (in feet). (example: 12′ by 12′ = 24′ requires a 24″ diameter chandelier)

With all that said, a simple option is to use basic task lighting, like lamps, to create a calming mood, read or play games on your porch. While we aren’t necessarily specialists in outdoor lighting at Weather Queen Shades, our outdoor screen porch shades help to keep your porch protected. Please contact us to learn more.

Screened Green: Plants That Will Flourish on Your Screen Porch

This time of year when the weather is perfect for spending outdoors, people are constantly on the hunt for porch decorating ideas. One of the most simple and affordable solutions that will enhance the appearance of your screened porch is to add some greenery.

Here are some plants that thrive when placed on a screened porch, and please note that you don’t need a green thumb to master container gardening:

  • Mediterranean Natives: One of the biggest challenges to overcome when selecting plants for your screen porch garden is the high amount of shade your plants need to tolerate. With this in mind, plants like Cyclamen are ideal as they don’t need much sun and they produce gorgeous red or violet blooms from December through April.
  • Tropical Succulents: These plants are drought resistant and don’t require much water, so if you have a tendency to underwater everything you plant, succulents are a great choice for you as they are very low maintenance.
  • Tuberous Begonias: Hanging flowers on your screened porch is a great option if you don’t have extra floor space, and tuberous begonias do particularly well in hanging pots. These plants will give you the added pop of color that you are looking for with their bright yellow and pink blooms.

For more porch decorating ideas, please contact us at Weather Queen Shades. Our shades will help protect all of your beautiful porch decorations!

Patch-Work Repairs: Mending a Tear on Your Screened Porch

Screen Porch Shades raisedHave you ever had to deal with a tear in your screened porch? Not only is it unsightly, but it can allow insects and other pests to enter your outdoor entertaining space. If you notice a tear in your screen, it’s best to address it as quickly as possible. Here are some helpful steps for repairing a tear in your porch screen:

  • Determine what material your screen is made out of. Typically, screens are made out of either metal or fiberglass. While metal screens feel like metal, fiberglass feels much smoother and tends to be more flexible.
  • Measure the size of the tear in the existing screen and purchase a larger piece of replacement screen that matches the color of the existing screen.
  • Cut a rectangle or square piece of new screen at least 1 to 2 inches larger than the tear on all sides. You will need greater overlap for a larger patch.
  • Unravel and pull strands of wire or fiberglass off of all sides of the patch; pulling horizontal strands off the top and bottom and vertical strands off the sides. Bend the extending strands at a right angle, facing the screen to be patched.
  • Place the patch over the hole and then bend the extending strands flat on the reverse side of the porch screen to secure the patch into place. If the patch is made of fiberglass and doesn’t stay put on its own, apply a small amount of clear household glue to the strand edges after the patch is in place.

If you find that you are regularly dealing with tears in your porch screens (due to Mother Nature or pets scratching to come inside), you may want to consider installing screen porch shades. Not only will they help to protect the contents of your porch, they can also help to minimize tears due to harsh weather and everyday wear and tear.

To learn more about screen porch shades, please contact us at Weather Queen Shades.

Bring the Games Out to Your Porch This Summer for Real Fun in the Sun

When entertaining at your home during the summer months, everyone seems to be drawn to the porch. And sometimes nothing goes better with a porch side cocktail or tall glass of sweet tea than some good old fashioned competition, especially for the kids.

To make your next gathering more enjoyable, we want to share some fun games to play in your porch:

  • “There once was a skunk…”: One person in your party begins a story by saying, “There once was a skunk who…,” finishing the sentence however they wish. The person then points to someone else in the group who continues the story with a new sentence starting with, “Fortunately…” That person points to the next who adds to the story starting with “Unfortunately…” The game continues as long as you can, rotating between sentences starting with “fortunately” and “unfortunately.” It’s a fun challenge to make each person start at the beginning!
  • Telephone: This game is fun for kids and adults alike to play, and it can be particularly interesting for adults when cocktails are involved. One person starts by whispering a brief message into the next person’s ear, and the message is passed person to person until the final recipient says the message aloud. If you’re playing with a large group, you can imagine there are some pretty hilarious errors made!
  • Two Truths and a Lie: Everyone sitting on the porch says 3 things about themselves with 2 of them being truths and 1 being a lie. The other players have to guess which one is the lie. This can be a great ice breaker!

Often, the best summer days for playing games on your screen porch are the rainy ones. And the best way to keep the rain from coming into the porch and ruining your game is to add screen porch shades. To learn more about protecting your screen porch and its furnishings, contact us at Weather Queen Shades.

Try One of Weather Queen’s Favorite Snacks on Your Screened Porch This Summer

July is the perfect time of year to enjoy a relaxing, sunny afternoon on your porch, so kick your feet up and dive into a healthy (or most likely indulgent) snack. We all have our favorite treats to enjoy on a lazy day, but why not step out of the box and try something different?

Here are a few of our favorite summer foods to enjoy on your screened porch:

  • Corn on the Cob with Chive Butter. Spice up your everyday corn on the cob recipe by blending some fresh chive with melted butter, and apply it to the corn.
  • Turkey mushroom burgers. Ground turkey is a healthy alternative to the traditional beef burger, and since turkey is much dryer than beef, the introduction of mushrooms to these burgers makes this recipe both moist and flavorful.
  • Confetti ice cream pops. This dessert is ideal for any party, and your guests, or your kids, will love finding the miniature candy bar that sits hidden in the middle of this pop!
  • Strawberry ice cream cupcakes. Can’t decide if you should have ice cream or a cupcake? Well, this dessert is the perfect solution for the best of both worlds.

My personal favorite is Cowboy Caviar with blue or yellow corn chips. YUM! Leave us your favorites in the comment section below.

We know that nothing goes better with relaxing on your porch than enjoying great food. However, depending on how the sun hits your porch, you may want to add some shade to keep your garden pasta or potato salad fresh. Contact Weather Queen Shades and let us help you keep the sun, rain and wind out of your screen porch.

Add Flair to Your Outdoor Living Space

porch_rocking_chairsYour home should be a reflection of your personality, and this is true for your outdoor living space as well. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to jazz up your porch’s decor. Here are some creative, economical ways to spruce up your porch:

  • Plant your herbs, veggies and flowers in a diverse group of containers that vary in color and height. Not only will this help to create a focal point on your porch, but the unique containers will also serve a purpose and sense of function to the space as well.
  • Dress up your railing. For example, if you prefer a more contemporary look, consider adding glass panels to your railing. Not only will this help to protect your outdoor space, but it also offers a punch of style as well. Get creative!
  • Add porch shades to help block the hot sun. Weather Queen Shades offers porch shades that are installed on the exterior of your porch screens that will not only help to improve the ambiance of your outdoor living space, but can also serve as a shield to some of Mother Nature’s harsh elements.
  • Utilize an indoor/outdoor rug. There are a number of stylish all-weather options on the market today, and this can help to blend your home’s interior and exterior entertaining spaces.

For more ways to add some flair to your outdoor living space, please contact us at Weather Queen Shades. In addition to being a stylish option for your outdoor space, our screen porch shades can help to protect your outdoor space from the sun, pollen, dirt, rain, snow, and anything else that could keep you from enjoying your screened-in porch.

Just Why Is Everyone Looking to Screen in Their Porch?

Exterior Shades stack out of the way for full air flowIf you flip through Architectural Digest, Southern Living, or any other design magazine that frequently celebrates the outdoor lifestyle, you will see that screening-in your porch is the stylish (and practical) trend. Here are a few reasons why adding a screened-in porch is so appealing to homeowners:

  • It allows you to expand your living/entertaining space without the expense of laying a foundation or adding insulation. Generally, adding a screened-in porch to your home is much more affordable and less time consuming to construct than an interior, 3- or 4-season room.
  • By adding screens to your porch, you don’t have to live in fear that the opossum living under your deck will be there waiting for you one evening or that you will eaten alive by mosquitoes. In the event that your porch is atop an elevated deck, consider screening beneath the floorboards as well to help prevent a mosquito invasion.
  • Adding screens to your porch can allow you to enjoy the space year-round. A screened-in porch is one of the best places to spend a rainy day; however, if your outdoor space is often affected by driving rain, screened-in porch shades are an ideal solution for you. They are installed on the exterior of your screens to help protect your furnishings and keep you comfortable as well. That’s where we come in!

To learn more about screened porch shades and how they can benefit your outdoor space, please contact us at Weather Queen Shades.