How do outdoor furnishings dictate the design of your Columbus screened porch?

Archadeck of Columbus explores the importance of outdoor furnishings in a screened porch design as part one of a two part series on decorating and interior design of outdoor structures. The area you envision may be quite different than the reality of that space without the guidance of an outdoor living expert.

This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH
This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH is a great example of good space allocation in regards to furnishings and spatial harmony.

When you think of your ideal outdoor space, what do you envision? Certainly an empty space doesn’t come to mind. Outdoor furnishings make your outdoor room a living breathing space full of function and beauty just like the contents of our interior rooms are the things that truly make our house a home.

The most important thing when designing a screen porch  is determine exactly how you will use the room. With our interior rooms, we don’t have this flexibility. Our only option is to work with the space and layout that “comes with the house”. But your new screen porch can and should be designed completely to suit how you want to live.For example, are you planning on using your porch for dining, seating or both?

Powell Ohio Screened porch
This Powell, OH Screened porch uses the classic lines of wicker furnishings and dramatic interior reveals to make a bold design statement.

When we work with homeowners, once the homeowner determines the main use of their screened porch, we then discuss the furnishings that they wish to include. And we discuss this in detail. You’ll see why this is so important.

For example, deciding what shape and size you anticipate your outdoor dining table to be will determine the amount of space you need down to the square footage. Ample space for furniture pull-out room and creating enough space for good path and traffic flow is crucial to the enjoyment you will get out of using your space. Too much furniture, or furniture that is too big for your outdoor space will crowd the space and make it less livable and enjoyable. This is the reason that many times I walk the homeowners into their interior living rooms where we take measurements. This gives them an example of how much room they need for seating and eating.

Columbus screen porch with classic wicker furnishings
Notice how this Columbus, OH screened porch leaves plenty of room for pull out room to comfortably use the dining table, as well as traffic flow.

Utilizing experience and some math, we can determine the minimal square footage you will need to accomplish your outdoor living goals.

Here’s an example. As a general rule of thumb a standard outdoor dining table encompasses an area 6 feet long and 42 inches wide. Each chair will add an additional two feet to this. Ample pull out room for each chair will add another two feet per chair. This adds up to a space that takes up a 12′ x 12′ area. In addition to dining tables, most homeowners want a place for seating as well, which will take up additional space. Once you add side tables and accompaniment pieces, you are looking at more space than most homeowners had anticipated for their furnishings.

Screen porch with Chippendale panel details
This Screen porch with Chippendale panel details features an open airy design with plenty of room for entertaining.

One of our goals as an outdoor living structure expert is to provide you with an outdoor space that will fit your furniture as well as your lifestyle. The furnishings you choose aren’t the only factor that dictates the size of your screened porch. How it attaches to your home and proper placement is also a crucial factor of how large your area can be.

Having your furnishing ideas in mind before you meet with your contractor is very important. You don’t have to purchase prior to our consultation, but it’s great to have some specific ideas about how you want to use the room and what furniture you will add. For example, if you are thinking of adding a table that seats 4 but want 6 chairs, that will add a couple feet of needed space to accommodate the use of those chairs.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about choosing the right size outdoor space to suit your needs. We can customize a screen porch design that will become your new family room. Call for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at

See more examples of well-designed  screen porches that offer plenty of function and beauty by visiting our screen porch and outdoor living photo galleries located on our website.

Double the enjoyment by adding a patio to your deck or porch

Archadeck of Columbus delivers the forecast in what is hot in outdoor living trends for this Spring. Deck and patio combinations, as well as porch and patio combinations seem to be at the top of the list.

This photo shows how each of the structures,the custom deck, screened porch and patio by Archadeck of Columbus work together as one.

We are really excited about the outdoor living season this year. We recently took part in two fantastic home shows in the area and got tons of ideas on the outdoor living trends for this Spring. While at the show we had a great deal of interest in not only decks, but also adding a patio to your deck.  The trend we see is that Columbus area homeowners are requesting the addition of a patio to go with their new AND existing decks and porches. It stands to reason that even when it comes to outdoor living structures the hot new idea is to double the fun.

The great part about adding a hardscape, such as a patio, to your deck or porch is that it is the perfect add-on to give you those multiple outdoor living areas that you really want. A patio can be added with a new, or existing, deck or porch at anytime. Adding a patio to your deck is a great way to spice it up and put that spark back into your outdoor entertaining as well enhance the beauty in your backyard.

Wouldn’t it be great to have your deck serve as your outdoor cooking or gathering location and have a beautiful patio adjacent to use for dining and conversation?  Or even a deck that leads into a covered hardscape patio with a fully functional outdoor kitchen? The entertaining opportunities that open up to you when you think about a dual structure such as a deck and patio combination are endless. Having multiple living areas within your outdoor design can offer more room and expand the functionality of your design.  We can design a project for you that will turn your backyard until the ultimate backyard oasis.

Synthetic Deck with Hot Tub and Paver Patio

Archadeck of Columbus also offers “phased building”. This means we can plan upgrades or additions to your current project to accommodate for later additions or enhancements. For instance, if you really want a deck for this season, but foresee the future facilitating a patio and deck combination, we can make all the necessary adjustments in advance so when your budget allows you to add the patio a little later the structural necessities needed to make the transition run smoothly are already put into place.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about our deck/patio and porch/patio combinations, and to learn more about our phased building program. We are now scheduling projects for the Spring season to have the backyard of your dreams in time for warmer weather, don’t delay. (740) 879 – 3730

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

How big should your Columbus screened porch be to accommodate your interior design plans?

Columbus screen porch architectural drawing design plan
Columbus screen porch architectural drawing design plan

When we buy a new home, we might notice that the living room seems very large or the dining room seems a little snug. But, we can envision having success with the interior decorating of those rooms. We either find a way to fit our furniture by adding or dropping a piece or two. Or, we buy new furniture to fit the bill. It’s nice that we have a lot more flexibility when it comes to building a custom outdoor structure such as a screen porch. How do we know how big that room should be? Is there a perfect size or an easy formula? Well, every structure we build is completely custom to fit our customer’s needs whether it be size, traffic flow, air flow, privacy, living style and a number of other factors. After we come up with a proposed design plan, we review it together and make modifications before we begin to make sure your new room is exactly what you want.

Some good questions to ask yourself in determining the right size for your new screened porch

Question: How big are your interior rooms?

One of the best ways to start is to go in your house and measure your living room and dining room. You may not be certain yet whether you want to have an eating space or a sitting area on your new porch. Many of our customers want both. If you want both, do you have a combination room in your house that includes both a seating area and an eating area? Know that these measurements serve as a guide only and we’ll help you assess other factors.

Columbus screen porch with interior designed for eating and seating
Columbus screen porch with interior designed for eating and seating

Question: If your new porch includes an eating area, do you intend to have informal meals or meals where you and your guests linger?

This might seem like a really odd question. But here again, go into your dining room. Measure the amount of space your table and chairs take up when the chairs are pushed in. Now pull the chairs out to where they would be if people were eating. Measure again. It’s a big difference isn’t it? With your guests sitting and eating, that easily adds about 2 feet around the perimeter of your table. Now, sit in one of the chairs. Imagine you’ve had a huge meal and need more room to sit back, cross your legs, and enjoy lingering conversation.  When your guests have their chairs pulled out relaxing after a meal, that can add an additional foot on every side. Now add about 2 feet between the wall and other furniture for a nice traffic flow. Here’s a scenario. If you have a 40″ round table with 3.5 – 7.5 feet for sitting next to the table, to be relatively snug, you need 100 square feet or a 10 x 10 right there.

Columbus large screen porch interior design with traffic flow area
Columbus large screen porch interior design with traffic flow area

Question: What are your plans for your seating area?

Your plans for your screened porch may include just a seating or eating area or a combined area like many of our customers choose. Here are some thoughts about what size the seating area should be. Once significant factor is whether you will have a coffee table because the table not only takes up space but also requires room for traffic flow area around it. It’s good to decide how much seating area you are looking for. For example, do you envision just a love seat against an exterior wall? Or do you envision two adjoining exterior walls with perhaps a love seat against one and a sofa against the other? Or, are you looking to also add some additional seating across from the sofa? Any good outdoor contractor will be able to work with you to define the size of the space you will need to accommodate your living goals for your new room.

Question: Without all this calculating and planning, what’s a common size?

Generally speaking a 12 x 16 all the way up to 16 x 16 are common sizes. You should ask your contractor for photos showing different room sizes to also help you with your decision.

Question: Should you buy furniture first?

Not necessarily. Unless you already have furniture you want to use, you do not need to buy furniture first.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Do you have questions about interior design for your screen porch? Email us at or use the comments below to ask your question. We will be happy to call you with an answer, email you, or even create a video response for you.