When we paired the winner of our Porch Makeover contest with award-winning designer, Amy D. Morris, we knew we would love the outcome. We also learned a few tricks along the way.

The bare-bones decor made wasted space of the screened-in porch. Homeowner, Megan Wood, knew exactly what she wanted out of the space: a larger dining area and a separate seating and lounging space, so she could comfortably entertain guests. “I wanted it to feel like just another room in my home,” said Megan.

Together, Amy and Megan picked out furniture with an indoor feel for the covered space–no cast aluminum here. Amy guided Megan toward a refreshingly soft color scheme with lots of white and gray with little pops of color. “It was more about letting the outdoors shine and having the furniture sit back quietly but proudly,” Amy said. The light finish of the table and chairs match the exterior brick, which serves as the backdrop of the dining area. The all-weather rug defines the seating area and coordinates with some of the elements inside Megan’s home, said Amy. “It makes the space flow and feel connected to the inside of the home.”

With the two separate spaces defined, Amy added in a few little extras: potted plants to connect the space to the outdoors, indoor/outdoor curtains to add softness to the space and entertaining accessories for those impromptu get-togethers. “You want an outdoor room to have a sense of peacefulness,” said Amy. “And using minimal accessories with great textures is one way to achieve this.”

Amy created an intimate conversation area with a sitting group of four Capri woven chairs with the Durham Cocktail Table in the middle to anchor the space. “I love this seating area with the chairs and oversized coffee table,” Megan said. “It feels like a living room. I love to sit out here and put my feet up.” A pair of Lotus Garden Seats adds a pop of color and are great for extra seating, added Megan. “Amy gave us lots of seating options. We can now seat up to 12 people out here, which is so nice.”

Megan is more than pleased with the finished space, but she admitted having doubts upon seeing the moving van with so much furniture. “I just didn’t see a way that it would all fit! Now it actually feels like a bigger space.” It works so well thanks to Amy’s “less is more” approach to design: “Using bigger scale items and not junking it up is what makes a space like this relaxing and inviting for guests,” she said. Our final lesson of the day? Megan said it best: “It really is possible to get everything you want in a room.