Is your porch ready for porch season in Pittsburgh?

A few of our favorite things to help you spend more time in your outdoor living room 

by Kelsey Swintek
May 7, 2021

This story is by Kelsey Swintek. You can follow Kelsey on Instagram @KelseyPizza


Before you invite your friends over for a socially distanced hang, take a look at our tips to make sure your porch is the envy of the neighborhood.

(Rick Sebak includes porch parties on his list of 25 Things to Love About Pittsburgh.)


Light It Up

Brighten up your space so you don’t have to go inside after the sun goes down. Drape a canopy of colored Christmas lights under a covered porch, or zig-zag edison string lights for a warmer, more refined look.

While you’re at your local hardware store, pick up a few Citronella candles to keep the bugs away. (We found some great Made-in-Pittsburgh citronella candles on Etsy.)


Get Cozy

An old area rug will define your seating area and add some style underfoot. Shake out the stained, fraying rug rolled up in your basement. Don’t have one? A quick scroll on Craigslist will provide several cheap options or check out your neighborhood Buy Nothing group to see if your neighbors might have one they are trying to give away. Just remember, this is a porch rug, it’s likely going to get ugly! If you are looking for something new, check out these locally made rugs.

Instead of packing away your throw blankets until next winter, pick out a few and store them in a basket beside your porch door. When temperatures drop, or you just want to curl up, you’ll have one already handy. We found some great blankets from local vintage sellers on Etsy.


Go Green

Your porch can become your oasis with a few hanging ferns and potted plants. You could migrate a few of your houseplants outside for the summer, or stop by a local garden center. Shadyside Nursery will have a full house-plant restock by mid-May, according to their Instagram. City Grows in Lawrenceville (appointment only) recently debuted their new location in the Strip District Terminal. There, you can pick up your favorite selection of fresh herbs and plant them in mismatched pots from Workshop PGH.

If you are looking for more places to shop locally for plants, check out our guide to local nurseries and garden centers.


Crank the Tunes

No porch hang is complete without some music, so it’s best you start curating your Summer Porch Playlist on your preferred music streaming app.

One of our favorite monthly events, the In Bed By Ten Dance Party has been on pause due to the pandemic. But for $5 a week you can support In Bed By Ten and get a weekly playlist from DJ MB. You can check out a recent playlist here.


Pack the Cooler

Now your porch is bright, cozy and green, you’re almost ready! All you need is a cooler full of refreshing local beers. Dancing Gnome lists beers available for pickup. Be sure to try East End Brewing Company’s Hefe Weizen or a Fruit Rush Sour from Hitchhiker Brewing Co. 

Want to have local beer delivered to your door? Here is a list of Pittsburgh breweries that offer delivery.

Check the weather, hope for sunshine and invite your friends! Porch Season is in full swing.

No porch, no problem. We’ve got some suggestions for the perfect Pittsburgh picnic.


📸 Photo credit: Getty Images. 

Kelsey Swintek is a writer living in the East End. She publishes a weekly newsletter, where she writes about musings, shares her photography and renders occasional epiphanies. You can find her on a long walk with her dog, Fala, or with an IC Light at Kelly’s in East Liberty. Kelsey's Newsletter: Lucky Rigatoni Instagram: @KelseyPizza

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