Close your eyes and imagine sitting under a swirling fan, cold drink in hand, and enjoying the breeze pass through an amazing screened-in porch on a perfect summer day. That’s what you can expect from these screened-porch ideas.
A screened porch is a perfect marriage between outdoor living space and indoor living comfort. Where else can you relax under a sturdy roof while enjoying fresh air and protection from insects? A screened porch provides additional living space that you can enjoy much of the year. Sometimes called a three-season porch, you can enjoy these outdoor living spaces on all but the coldest days.
Screened in porch ideas can merge the best features of your favorite indoor rooms. Turn this outdoor area into a second living room or dining room, or create separate zones for different activities. A screen porch playroom is a perfect addition for families with small children. Your porch design should include every element needed to personalize your outdoor gathering place.
Because most screened-in porch areas are so well-protected from the elements, you can use indoor furniture for luxurious comfort. Add a fireplace for a cozy autumn ambiance and a ceiling fan for hot summer days. Enjoy these images of our favorite screened porch design ideas and learn the differences between an Arizona room, sun porch, lanai, and veranda.
1. Arizona Room Screened-In Porch Ideas
Arizona rooms get their name from how popular they are in the Grand Canyon State. This type of outdoor room usually features large screened windows that can open completely. The Arizona porch design provides a cool sleeping porch before air conditioning existed. Now, during the hotter months, the windows can close and the room cools by A/C.
Unlike some traditional screen porches, an Arizona room will appear integrated with the rest of the home. They’re usually accessible from the living room or kitchen, often through French doors. The Arizona enclosed porch enables residents to enjoy the beauty of nature without fear of encountering venomous scorpions or rattlesnakes.
As the Arizona room design looks like an integrated living space, it’s common to see indoor décor features. For example, they frequently have a vaulted ceiling, a skylight or two, a TV, and a fireplace. However, because they’re a multi-purpose room, you can feel comfortable integrating outdoor space features. Hang a porch swing from the rafters and place old-fashioned front porch rocking chairs next to your plush sofa.
Arizona room flooring can match the rest of the house or consist of different materials. If you have tile throughout your home, it’s logical to use the same in the Arizona room. Laminate flooring or hardwood decking can also work, or use an indoor/outdoor carpet. Brick, stone, slate, and other masonry materials also make an attractive Arizona room floor.
2. Lanai Screened-In Porch Ideas
Lanai is a Hawaiian word for porch, patio, or balcony—essentially, an outdoor area to rest and relax. They first appeared in Hawaiian architecture in the mid-1800s, and remain popular there and in other warm climates. When most people think of a lanai, they think of a porch with a roof. As such, it’s easy to turn an open lanai into a screen room by installing screen panels and supports.
An under-truss lanai is a screen porch plan built into the home’s original blueprint, instead of adding on later. Because its screened porch panels secure to the roof, this type of lanai is more durable during severe weather. Even though lanais are a warm-climate structure, they often feature a fireplace. Your lanai can take any form of additional living space, from a living room to a dining area, or even a sleeping porch.
Other screened porch decorating ideas work for lanais, too. Wicker furniture, green plants, succulents, and even artwork all look beautiful in a lanai’s natural light. Roll out a brightly colored outdoor rug and pile plenty of colorful cushions on your wicker furniture for extra comfort.
3. Veranda Screened-In Porch Ideas
Just the word “veranda” brings to mind summertime in the south. It conjures memories of wooden rocking chairs under a covered porch, slowly rocking while enjoying the scents of fresh roses and honeysuckle blooms. The modern screen porch veranda follows the classic design of extending across the entire back—or sometimes fully around—the home. On a wrap-around porch, usually only the rear portion is screened in.
Like most other screened porch ideas, the veranda’s roof and ceiling are what makes it different from a roofless deck. However, you may find composite decking or another common deck material on a veranda floor. In most cases, a veranda is not just a small porch. Wide, roomy, outdoor living space designates the veranda from other types of screened porches.
Certain decorating ideas are key to creating the perfect southern veranda atmosphere. More than one ceiling fan is a must, and comfortable wicker sofas and chairs give a nod to traditional style. Ideally, lush landscaping surrounds your porch area with ferns and other potted plants accenting the porch.
A classic hinged screen door provides the perfect entryway between your veranda screen porch and garden. Cover your existing porch ceiling with beadboard for a traditional, old southern charm. Or, install stained wood shiplap on the porch ceiling for a rustic farmhouse or cabin vibe.
4. Sun Porch Screened-In Porch Ideas
Traditionally, a sun porch and a screened porch are two different things. A sun porch usually has exterior walls made from solid glass windows, while screen panels enclose a screened porch. Both types of back porch ideas expand your living area outdoors, but one is better for cold climates and the other for warmer areas.
Now, a hybrid screened-in sunroom is a popular porch idea. It features screened windows that you can open when the weather is pleasant or close when it’s not. Interchangeable screen and glass window panels offer the same flexibility.
Proper heating and air conditioning keep a traditional sun porch usable year-round. This is true for hybrid screen/sun porches as well. However, being able to open windows and circulate fresh air cuts down on the amount of energy used for heating and cooling this zone.
Although pricey, some homeowners feel that a four-track window system provides the best marriage of screen and glass. You can slide these windows up or down, depending on how much fresh air you want. Learn more about installing four-track stacking windows in this short video:
5. Other Screened-In Porch Ideas
When a rarely-used patio or deck transforms into a screened porch, it will quickly elevate the popularity of that space quickly. By definition, a deck or patio lacks a roof (but not always) and screening to protect from the weather and insects. However, a screen porch or sunroom includes these elements, making it a more practical outdoor living area.
Every home style can benefit from even a small screened porch, as its design is easily tweaked to fit individual design styles. An elevated screened deck allows unobstructed views from a beach or lakeside cottage—it also protects you from mosquitoes. A modern home benefits from a sunroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows that bring nature inside. A stained wood screened porch is perfect in a log cabin or other rustic home.
If you have a swimming pool, building a screened cover turns your entire pool deck into a protected outdoor living zone. Popular in Florida and other warm climates, these screened pool enclosures protect your pool from tree debris, animals, and pests. They also protect you and your guests from biting and stinging insects. Because they don’t have a solid roof, you can still enjoy the sun on your skin.
Screened-In Porch FAQs
Is there anything I can do to puppy-proof a screened porch?
Screened porches are wonderful outdoor spaces for every family member—including the ones with four paws. Nevertheless, ordinary screen material doesn’t hold up well to a dog’s energetic jumping and playing. Try one or more of these things to puppy proof your screen porch:
- Choose a sturdy screen material designed to hold up to anything dogs or cats can dish out. Look online specifically for “pet screen” or “pet-proof screen” material.
- Add screen grills over the lower half of each screen panel.
- Install a pet screen door that allows your dogs to go in and out on their own. This can help keep them from pawing at the screens.
Watch this video to learn how to make a simple screen dog door:
Are screened porches difficult to maintain?
Not at all! Screen porch maintenance is similar to cleaning any other room in your home. Sweep the porch and dust all the surfaces once or twice a week. Mop the floor every week or two and vacuum furniture cushions as needed.