Sneak Peek: The Design Plan for the Porch at the 2021 Real Simple Home

Shop the inspiration to deck out your own outdoor space.

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Photo: Rendering courtesy of Architectural Renderings LLC

To design each area of the 2021 Real Simple Home, we paired an editor "client" with each designer to help determine the goals and challenges within the space. For the wrap-around porch, interior designer Eduardo Rodriguez and Real Simple's photo director Muzam Agha are joining forces to create an outdoor oasis that feels like a vacation. While we'll have to wait until September 17 to see the reveal of the porch and the entire 2021 Real Simple Home, the creative duo is showing as a look at their design plan for the upcoming space. A stylish black-and-white color scheme with a burst of color on the front door makes for a curb appeal-boosting plan. Shop all the inspiration, below, then check back soon for the big reveal.

Meet the Dream Team:

Eduardo Rodriquez

Eduardo Rodriguez, Interior Designer
Herman Vega

Eduardo's decades-long design career has included stints in fashion, theater, and window displays. "Having worked in these various fields helps me look at my projects through different lenses," he says.

Muzam Agha, Photo Director

Muzam Agha, Photo Director
Trevor Jerome

An avid traveler with an affinity for warm-weather destinations, Muzam would love to replicate the easy indoor-outdoor flow of some of his favorite vacation rentals in Mexico.

The Goal: Muzam wants the porch and back deck to have plenty of seating for family and friends to gather but still be cozy enough for an outdoor dinner for two. He likes to incorporate a few unique touches as well.

The Challenge: The front porch affects your home's curb appeal and should also give a preview of what's to come upon entering. You want it to jibe with the overall appearance of the house—inside and out.

The Design Plan:

Mix it up

Eduardo's black- and-white design will give our early 1900s home's exterior a sleek and modern update. Meanwhile, rattan and concrete elements will add texture.

Go Green

Incorporate evergreen plants for a lush vibe year-round. The plants also provide a sense of privacy, which is particularly valuable on the corner lot.

Make It Last

Combine the look of wood with the low-maintenance durability of composite decking. We're using TimberTech in Weathered Teak ( for info) on both the covered front porch and exposed deck out back.

Shop the Inspiration:

Chic Seats

Wicker Article Chair in black with white cushion

Wicker is a timeless material for outdoor furniture, while the black finish makes it feel modern.

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Fluted Planter
Pottery Barn

Handmade using fiber cement, these planters will stand the test of time, while the classic fluted design means they'll never go out of style.

Hues at the Door

Simply Seafoam Paint Splotch

A black-and-white color scheme lets you have a little fun with the front door. Try an unexpected color, like Simply Seafoam from Valspar.

Set in Stone

West Elm Concrete Side Table
West Elm

Concrete lends an industrial look to the porch. The sculptural, textured base adds visual interest, and the top offers a stylish perch for drinks, snacks, and reading materials.

Light a Fire

Terrain Steel Fire Pit

Family and friends will gather around this durable steel fire pit on late-summer evenings and chilly fall days for yeas to come. Over time, the steel will develop a natural patina and is designed to rust in place.

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