For a house that needs a refresh, implementing front porch ideas is a smart way to add curb appeal without spending like crazy. Still, designing a front porch is not a task to take lightly. If home is where the heart is, then the front porch is where the soul resides. Each front porch is not only unique to your house, but it’s unique to your style. “This is a place where you can express yourself and your creativity,” says Jennifer Hunter, owner of Jennifer Hunter Design in New York. “No matter the type, a porch provides the ideal opportunity to add seating and decor so you can play with the aesthetic and blend it in a way that connects your interior with the outdoors by using weather-friendly materials.” Before you dive into designing, consider the type of porch you have. Is it front entry or wrap around? Does it offer space for ample seating? Should you add greenery or a sculptural element, or even a new doormat?
What are the different types of front porches?
Some of the most popular styles of front porches include open porches and bungalow porches. Open porches, also known as farmer’s porches, have strong support from the ground and can run along the front or wrap around the sides of the house. This type of porch can be elevated or rest close to the ground. “They often have a broad opening to the attached green space and usually don’t have roofs,” says Linda Mauck Smith, co-owner and designer of BLDC Design in Shaker Heights, Ohio. “A bungalow porch acts as an extension to the front of a house and typically is built with columns and are finished with a roof or a pergola.” Both open and bungalow porches can also be screened, to make the area bug-free. A portico, a porch that covers a front entry, is usually on the smaller side. It’s also roofed to protect anyone entering or leaving the main entry. A gable roof porch, which has a triangular structure overhanging it, and a front entry porch, which is a small slab of concrete directly outside the front door, are two other popular front porch designs.
How do you style a front patio?
Style a front porch just as you would any other room in the house, but consider the materials used—much like you would when designing an outdoor patio. ”It’s best to style with wood, metals, and fabrics that are waterproof and fade-resistant,” Mauck Smith says.
If your front porch or patio has enough room, seating is essential. “A front porch is the perfect place for socializing,” Hunter says. “It is a space that is meant to be savored. Create a seating area with chairs and side tables.” A comfortable seating area will not only allow you to spend time on your front porch, but it makes the home appear more inviting overall.
How can I make my front porch look good?
“Avoid clichéd signage and stick with [items] that you might normally be more likely to use indoors,” Hunter says. To make the front porch look good, and perhaps the envy of the neighborhood, make the space a continuation of your interior design. “It’s a great space to have some fun and add outdoor-friendly accessories,” Hunter continues. “Be inventive with your styling by grouping a collection of potted plants on a coffee table or a single fern on a garden stool. Lanterns or hurricanes are a great way to not only bring in decorative elements but also candlelight. This completely transforms the mood and allows you to entertain past daylight.”
Ahead, 50 front porch ideas—big and small—to transform the home entrance into anything from a favorite new book nook to a happy hour hotspot. Here, everything you ever wanted to know about front porch design.