Small Porch Makeover

Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more)We moved into our little corner of Brooklyn a little over three years ago. And silly enough, it has taken me all three years to truly appreciate our back porch. Our porch was sort of the saving grace for this move initially. We didn’t have the big open kitchen, nor did we have tons of closets, but we had a porch—a shared backyard too. But there was just something about the exclusivity of our porch that really got me. 

I had initially planned to have it all ready many summers ago, but life got in the way. This spring, instead of setting an actual date, I worked on it gradually, giving myself space to design and think. And you know what? It was much more enjoyable than I could have imagined! Every free moment I had I put into our porch. I purchased plants and rugs gradually, and it wasn’t as much of a “project,” as it was simply a hobby of mine for some time. Last week, I finally completed the porch! It’s kid-friendly, comfortable, and it’s ours to enjoy—that feels so incredibly good to say.

Here are iPhone images of it before.

Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more)

 See, not terrible, but not amazing. Right?

Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more)

Of course, I decided to add lots of plants and flowers. We even have a strawberry plant and some basil growing about. The kids get to help pick things for dinner and snacks. I’ve noticed that the hardness of a space tends to disappear when you add colorful flowers and an array of easy plants. That was my goal, and I think I accomplished it. It also helped bring in the space, to make it a little more cozy. 

Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more)

The other end of the porch I saved for more adult watching and relaxing. I found a comfortable school chair on the street that is great for withstanding inclement weather. And then to help lift up the patterns in the rugs and flowers, I received this vintage Eames chair from Patina NYC, which is extremely comfortable. 

I also took some time to slowly collect old coffee cans to use as planters. A while ago, a friend of mine gave me one, and I’ve been hooked ever since. By simply drilling a hole in the bottom and two holes in the back, they become fantastic hanging planters. I really want to add more, but I know that will take time since I thrift them all locally. The plants are hanging on a little fence we purchased at Home Depot and an old window gate as well. The gate is heavy and weird and beautiful to me, so it worked well in the space. I also hung some lights around the fence and gate for nighttime use. 

Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more) Cute makeover for a small outdoor space! (click through for more)

I’m not going to go so far as to say the porch wasn’t functional before, it definitely was. But it wasn’t me, and it didn’t inspire us to enjoy it. Now, our baby Oak climbs under the window and taps at the wall and points outside first thing in the morning. River keeps inviting all of her little friends to come play in her “garwen,” and my husband and I are completely enjoying it for our simple date nights when the kids go down. I know our summer in New York City is fleeting, and I am excited to finally have this space completed to enjoy it even more. 

Thanks for letting me show you our space! – LaTonya 

Credits// Author: LaTonya Staubs. Photography: Peter and LaTonya Staubs. 

  • A very creative and innovative use of the space! The colors are brilliant and alive! It just goes to show that no matter how small the space, amazing things can be done. Kudos!

  • You’re garden looks like an amazing place to spend family time. I love how you repurposed the coffee cans! The best thing about it is that it’s “you” 🙂

  • What a fun and vibrant space! I love all the colors and textures. Perfect for a small space like that!

  • My friend’s blog from The Thrifty Mermaid would love this! She recently did a porch makeover

  • Wow, this space looks amazing! I LOVE IT! I’ve been in my apartment for 2 years now and my balcony still only has my 2 clothes lines on it and a few boxes. Now I have money to spend occasionally maybe I should get my butt into gear! This has been saved on Bloglovin’ for inspo, definitely.

  • Everything looks so cute! Amazing decor 🙂

  • Oh wow, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a little outdoor space as cute as this. It’s adorable.

  • I love that coffee can planter idea! So cute and such a great use of space!

  • i Love the combination of the white walls and the bright rugs! What a gorgeous space.

  • I would love to know where the clear tulip side table came from! So cute!

  • Such a beautiful space. The white walls make it look as if it could be in Greece or some other magical Mediterranean place! I am curious though- how do you protect the rug from these summer rainstorms?

  • Oh how pretty! Such gorgeous colours – makes for such a happy space 🙂

    x x

  • I absolutely adore the coffee tin idea! My husband and I are about to move and I may find an old ladder or something and have coffee-tin-plants sitting on it 🙂

  • Hi Latonya, we also live in Brooklyn and have a similar outdoor space. I can’t see your whole space to see where the entrance is or what the 4th wall looks like. Ours gets no breeze because it’s technically in an air shaft connecting two brownstones. It also gets extremely indirect light, so choosing plants other than hostas and ivy is difficult. Some specific questions I have for you immediately after seeing your before and after pictures:

    How did you clean the walls? did you use bleach? Ours are grimy and a simple wire brush doesn’t do the trick. They are still dingy.

    How do you keep mosquitos away? Ours eat us alive even with citronella candles. Insect spray and other chemicals feel overwhelming in a space with no breeze.

  • Such a beautiful way to make a smaller space feel like home, simply stunning!

  • I love this space! I am just in the middle of redesigning my tiny London garden and this is definitely great inspiration! Love the rug and coffee tins, thanks for sharing!

  • It’s a lovely space indeed, bright and colorful, especially in a place like NY. But is a rug sitting outdoors practical? I mean, doesn’t it get soaked if it rains? Cement would dry in a second. I just think bare floors are easier to keep clean, but maybe rugs are softer on kids feet. 🙂 I would add climbers to those walls as well, they make the space greener. You’re very lucky to have such a beautiful space to yourselves.

  • The rugs are gorgeous, I love the colours! And that little chair is just too adorable!
    Rach x

  • this looks really nice, i need the inspiration to decorate my yard ? thanks


  • This is so beautiful! I should put more plants in my balcony!
    And, I love how you use the cans as pots. So cute!

  • Oh it looks so cozy. I have a backyard too. But it is very functional. Your decor is an inspiration to me 🙂

  • Wow!! this turned out stunning!! I LOVE that rug but my favorite part is the coffee can planters. They are awesome!!

  • Nice Job!!!! really lovely. Sometimes you get to do the best thing last!

  • So beautiful! I love that rug and the idea of having strawberries picked right off the plant for a snack is making my mouth water!

  • absolutely in love with this porch. The walls remind me of houses in Indian villages. The rugs too. Love the ladder and the gate, nice touch.


  • Bright, bold pops of color against the white walls and fencing suits this porch so well! I love the acrylic table paired with the bright chairs. I agree that taking your time to complete a redesign task like this is the best way to go about it. Job well done!

  • Beautiful! The rug really makes it awesome, colorful and personal. Good job.

  • I love how bright and inviting it is! Of course it’s a pity that you weren’t able to enjoy it sooner but I think it turned out really nicely!


  • This is so lovely! Porches with color are the best! Such a great use of space, girly!

  • I love the style! Looks so cute with that rug, the chairs, and the plants. Goals for sure.

  • So pretty! I love the colorful rug, the vibrant plants & flowers, and the mini chair.

    Happy Friday 🙂

  • Oh my goodness this is SO lovely! I wish I could spend my days out there!

  • So sweet! Shows what you can do with a small space and a big imagintion.

  • This is the coolest space! I don’t have a porch :(, but a friend has one in her new NYC apartment. I’ll have to send this her way.

  • This porch design is absolutely stunning! It’s so cosy and colorful and just perfect! Great post xx

  • This is such a beautiful little porch! The colorful rug is especially nice. How do you prevent it from getting ruined with weather and rain, though?

  • This came out so good! I absolutely love the old coffee cans as planters, what a cool idea! I am in the middle of trying to decorate my backyard space, and this is great inspiration. Thank you!

  • I love this porch! It’s such a beautiful escape from the city!

  • Oh wow, those outdoor rugs are simply stunning! I love the eclectic vibe of this porch. And those coffee can planters are so cute and a green.

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