9 Ideas for Creating an Inviting Front Porch

There’s nothing quite like a cozy and inviting front porch to crank up your home’s curb appeal and entice visitors to want to stay for a while. But if your front porch is currently bare-bones and lacking in charm and color, it can be tricky to know where to start. Check out these ideas and get ready to take your front porch from “Go away!” to “Come on over, neighbor!”

Light up the night

A well-lit porch functions as both an important safety precaution (to prevent tripping and stumbling in the dark, as well as deterring possible break-ins) and also as a decorative welcome to your home. Exterior lighting, like an antique hanging lantern or a pair of bronzed industrial sconces on either side of your front door, can set the tone for your decor inside while keeping the area brightly lit. If your front porch has steps leading up to it, consider adding lights on each step for optimal illumination. You’ll thank yourself every time you arrive home after dark.

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Come on in

A freshly painted door is hands down one of the best and easiest ways to make your front porch feel warm and inviting. Your front door likely takes a beating thanks to its daily use and exposure to the elements—and a faded, peeling front door doesn’t exactly say pride of ownership. But a fresh coat of paint on the door will give your entire house a facelift. Try a bright color, which plays well off of a neutral exterior while energizing your front porch. If you coordinate the door color into the upholstery and accessories on the porch, you’ll be amazed at how easily it all comes together.

Wipe your feet

While a doormat serves the specific purpose of keeping dirt and debris from being tracked into your home, it also brings the front porch together and introduces texture. Since it sits at the threshold of your home’s cozy interior and the outside world, it’s a first impression worth the effort. A monogrammed doormat gives a classy first introduction—but no matter what your style, the important thing is that it makes your home feel more personal.

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Front porch sittin’

You can’t go wrong with the quintessential front porch swing. There’s no better spot for reading the paper on a Sunday morning or enjoying a glass of wine on a summer evening. Who knows, it might even provide the perfect opportunity to start talking to your neighbors! Finish things off with a cozy throw and a couple of pillows made up in durable outdoor fabric for a seating spot that’s sure to become everyone’s favorite.

If swings aren’t your thing, consider a cushy couch or a pair of Adirondack chairs. A charming bistro set will work well on particularly small or narrow front porches.

Share your digits

Much like lighting, house numbers are both a design choice and a safety issue. In the event that you need to call emergency services, you’ll want them to be able to find your home as quickly as possible.  Oversized numbers in a contrasting color will be easily readable from the street, ensuring that everyone can find your home quickly. And don’t think your house numbers can only be hung on a porch post: hanging them directly on the front door or adding a yard post to your front lawn are also good options for making sure your house numbers are visible.

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Green and blooms

Potted plants, topiaries, or flowers instantly infuse your front porch with a wash of eye-catching color and texture. The best choice of plants are ones that thrive in the shade and are large enough to make an impact from the view of the street—like ferns and hostas. Choose planters that complement your home’s style and the scale of your porch. Large pots have the added bonus of creating clever hiding spots for deliveries while you’re away from home. Hanging a festive wreath on the front door is another way to give your porch a shot of greenery.

Decorate for the seasons

While seasonal decorating isn’t for everyone, it’s an easy way to keep your front porch decor feeling fresh and festive. Add piles of pumpkins and gourds in the fall or hang an evergreen wreath for the winter. This is a smart way to create seasonal looks that last not just through the holiday, but the season itself. As a bonus, this will cut back on you needing to redecorate every few weeks.

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Outdoor living room

A roomy front porch is just begging to be used as an outdoor living room. Apply the same rules for decorating as you would use inside, but use materials and finishes that can take exposure to the elements. Adding a patterned rug will provide extra warmth to your porch in the winter. Hanging curtains will help define the space, keep the porch shaded from the hot afternoon sun, and provide an extra bit of privacy from neighbors.

Don’t forget to accessorize

You don’t want your front porch to look crowded, but adding a few thoughtfully chosen decor items can definitely make your front porch look more interesting. Antique shops and thrift stores are great places to look for interesting porch decor items, like a wooden shutter, wagon wheel, or vintage cooler. The choices for personalizing your front porch are endless!

2 Responses

  1. Bob Lowe

    Thanks for the post. I really like the look of this front porch. The lantern hanging in the tree is a great idea to help light up the walkway at night. I agree,lanterns really help to add a great look to your front porch.

  2. Lillian Schaeffer

    These are some great tips, and I love your idea to use a wagon wheel as porch decor. My husband and I just moved into our first house, and I’ve been looking for some inspiration for decorative elements I can add to make it feel like home. I’ll definitely look into getting a wagon wheel for a rustic piece of decor for the porch. Thanks for the great post!

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