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Install Shutters Outside

When the sun’s intense or the wind whips, louvers let you control the amount of light and air you allow in. Traditional, exterior wood shutters like these start at about $194 per pair;

RELATED: How to Install Interior Shutters, How to Install Exterior Shutters

Potted Plants

Photo by Helen Norman for P. Allen Smith

Potted plants ease the transition between a porch and its surroundings. Here, plants by the sofa and on tables lend verdant ambience, and a columnar evergreen adds height. For areas with indirect sunlight, we like the hosta Shadowland, about $20; White Flower Farm, and slender Hinoki false cypress, about $43; Monrovia.

Use Outdoor Rugs

Photo by Helen Norman for P. Allen Smith

An easy-clean outdoor carpet softens the floor and defines the seating area.

Similar to shown: Safavieh Hand-Woven Indoor/Outdoor Reversible Multicolor 6-by-6-foot Braided Rug, about $95; Overstock. Thanks to P. Allen Smith Garden Associates, Little Rock, AK.