Go retro on the patio this summer

Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency

Summer has a way of making us nostalgic about picnics, Fourth of July parades and chasing fireflies in the backyard. Recapture some of the magic of nights spent cooling off outdoors before air conditioning was so prevalent by giving your patio or porch a retro feel. Your porch will transport you back in time and create just the kind of nostalgia suitable for summer nights sipping lemonade and eating watermelon.

Grandma's porch

There's a quintessential patio chair that almost everyone's grandmother had, and it's made resurgence in popularity again. What once was rusty and thrown in the back of the garage is now cool and on-trend. It's the metal patio chair that has a single piece metal tubing that's bent to create the feet and the arms of the chair. It's this single piece of tubing that gave the chair a great bouncy type of feel. At home on any porch, the patio throw-backs come in both round and shell-shaped backs.

Today, these trendy retro chairs can be found in a wide variety of colors and price ranges. There's even a two-toned variety with a single color seating and white tubing. You can find the chairs in singles, doubles, rocking varieties and gliders. Pair these up in the kitchen for a bistro set with an indoor-outdoor feeling. Or bring out the full-on retro porch with coordinating vintage-inspired coolers loaded with iced bottled drinks for a patio that will transport you instantly back in time (www.retrometalchairs.com).

More retro style

Going back even further, patio furniture could be found in a square style with cut outs on the seatbacks to give added ventilation in the summer. The cutouts are often in different patterns such as diamonds and squares. Like the round and shell-shaped retro chairs, these can also be found in chairs, glider chairs and glider sofas. Their large and roomy seats are both comfortable and stylish, and make a terrific addition to any summer porch or patio. Add a coordinating metal table and you'll have a full retro patio (search "Retro Squares" at www.grandinroad.com).

The vintage touch

If you want to create the real feel of your grandmother's porch, be sure to add some cushions in a trendy stripe or even more on-trend kitschy oilcloth. Oilcloth has all the bright colors and charming floral patterns of yesteryear and really ups the volume on a full retro look. With its wipe-clean ability, oilcloth is a terrific option for outdoor use. For a custom look, take out the sewing machine and create your own vintage-inspired cushions using a wide array of oilcloth patterns available online (www.oilclothbytheyard.com). Or, buy chair cushions ready-made with coordinating table cloths (www.freckledsage.com).

Be sure to serve up some cold drinks with some vintage-inspired drinkware. Take your guests back in time with an aluminum tumbler and pitcher set, available at www.amazon.com, to cool off your guests with some iced tea. To pull your whole retro look together, simply add in a braided rug. Braided rugs have that old-fashioned look that will unify your whole retro seating area. Find braided rugs for outdoor use online at retailers such as www.outdoorrugsonly.com and www.plowhearth.com.