Wooden porch at a cottage in the woods.

The perfect addition to our small cottage- a covered porch.


It’s June in Michigan, and let me tell you, it’s hard to beat the beauty of a Michigan summer. Last year, in the cold of winter, when I was dreaming of summer, I had the great idea to add a screened-in porch to our small cottage. My hubby was not entirely on board (let’s face it, I throw out a lot of ideas in the winter). But today, as I sit here, coffee in hand, on my cozy Porch, I am feeling pretty smug. It’s the PERFECT addition!! Do you want to see my cottage porch ideas?

Our Little Green Cottage in Pentwater, MI, is 650 square feet. It’s cozy, for sure. But 650 square feet does not allow for much room to stretch out, so we knew when we were renovating the cottage, we were going to have to utilize as much of the outdoor space as possible.

We had already built a deck on the side of the house, which is the perfect place for an outdoor dining area. We also have a small porch off the front with a vintage bench that added a ton of curb appeal, but it still felt like we had another opportunity to share the back of the property, which is wooded with a creek running through it.

Front Porch of a green cottage in Pentwater, MI

Cottage Porch Ideas:

In February, I did what I love to do when planning a new project: I started a Pinterest board dedicated to cottage porch ideas. A Pinterest board always helps to clarify my ideas. Did I want a modern feel to this Porch? Maybe something that leans towards a more rustic look?

Here are some ideas I knew I wanted my cottage porch to have:

Decent size:

I fell down a reddit rabbit hole when researching this. Reddit claims most cottage porches range in size from 12 x 12 to 16 x 20. Of course, this depends on what you need from your Porch. This back Porch for us will only need to provide a place to enjoy the beauty of nature and maybe read a good book. We’ve got dining covered. We were limited by a slope in the property so with that in mind we decided on 8 x 20.

In process shot of deck build at summer cottage.

A screened-in Porch.

This was a must, frankly, because the mosquitoes would carry us away otherwise! The creek behind the cottage is a safe harbor for the mosquito population of our small village. You can see some of my mosquito tips here. A screened-in Porch also allows for the three-season usability that I wanted (Fall in Michigan is also STUNNING). Plus, it feels more private, and it will likely add more value to our cottage should we decide to sell it at some point.

View from a rustic cottage screened in porch.

Bead Board Ceiling.

What says cottage more than beadboard? I really wanted to have a beadboard ceiling painted a beautiful soft blue like they do on front porches in the South. But once we got the ceiling up, I really liked how the white played against the trim on the house, so we left it white.

In process shot of a screened in porch at a summer cottage in Pentwater, MI

Wooden Screen Door.

Okay, this one was for pure aesthetics. I love the look (and sound) of an old-fashioned screen door! It was an easy decision, as we DIYed our Porch (with some help from friends) and decided on a wood frame, which was within our (or rather my husband’s and friends’) skill level.

Wooden Door leading to screened in cottage porch.

Furniture must-haves for my Cottage Porch.

My vision for this covered Porch was for it to function as an outdoor living room of sorts. I wanted to layer in different patterns and decorative elements to play off of the rustic charm of the Porch itself.

An Outdoor Sofa.

This was my husband’s one request. He wanted a comfortable place to stretch out and nap if the deck could fit a sofa. I was like…sure, easy! Hmmm..while not nearly as easy as I thought it would, budget being a primary factor. I managed to find a beautiful vintage wicker sofa on FB Marketplace. SCORE!

Vintage outdoor sofa.

Now, this sofa deserves its own blog post (and I will get to that soon), but I made a huge error when buying it—this is embarrassing to even type. I did not sit on it! And oh my gosh, this is the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat upon. So I ended up having to make some changes and make my own plush cushions, and now the sofa looks like this.

Vintage outdoor furniture on a screened in cottage porch.

Rocking Chair for Porch Sitting.

Nothing says you are “Up North” more than sitting in wooden rocking chairs with fresh air all around. I had been gifted this chair a few years ago for my birthday and had never found the perfect place for it. This small Porch seemed like a great way to put it to good use.

Wooden rocking chair with colorful cushions on a rustic cottage screened in porch.

Adding colorful rugs, throw pillows, and textiles.

I knew I would need a pop of color against all the wood tones. When I started decorating, I didn’t have a color scheme in mind. I went with a Navy Blue outdoor rug from Walmart (which is a great place for outdoor decor, by the way) and just went from there. I am going for a relaxed but cohesive look.

What’s left to do? Not much, just some little touches here and there. I am going to add some colorful blooms and maybe some outdoor lighting. I’ll update this post once I do. For now, I am simply enjoying the beautiful weather!

brightly colored outdoor sofa on a screened in cottage porch

You can shop some of my outdoor decor items here.

Until Next time,


You May Also Enjoy:

Summer Porch Bliss-Styling tips to refresh your outdoor spaces

Simple Outdoor Decor Inspiration

How I Designed and Easy DIY Outdoor Living Plant Wall

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  1. Missy says:

    Your new porch is fabulous! I’m so jealous! And your fb wicker sofa…major score! Well done! -Missy

  2. Cristina says:

    What a great addition to your charming cottage! The sofa situation made me laugh, but I like your solution. That rocking chair would be my favorite spot on your pretty porch. You guys gained so much space with this addition. Awesome built!

  3. Esme Slabbert says:

    Beautifully done.
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at SSPS 315. See you again next week https://esmesalon.com/tag/seniorsalonpitstop/

  4. Paula Short says:

    Oh my goodness. Your screened in porch is awesome! I love naps and that would be perfect!
    Visiting today from SSPS 315 #39,40,41&42

  5. Niky | The House on Silverado says:

    Oh wow, what a lovely little cottage. It looks like such a relaxing escape from busy lives!
    Thanks for sharing at Sundays on Silverado!

  6. Grandma's House DIY says:

    Thank you for sharing with us, I’m featuring you this week when the next To Grandma’s house we go link party starts!

  7. Julie Briones says:

    This is just perfect, Libbie. Love the furniture and all the details of your new cottage porch! Pinned, and happy to be featuring your porch at Tuesday Turn About this week!

  8. Lea Peters says:

    I love your porch! The colors you picked are stunning. A definite must remember. Lea

  9. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says:

    That looks amazing (as does the sofa)! Especially love the colors you used and how people are going to enjoy it for decades. I would love sitting out there.

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