We’ve talked about outdoor living spaces on the blog before, but focused mainly on the backyard patio and deck. While still an outdoor living space, the front porch is a slightly different creature. One of the top ways to add curb appeal to your place, the front porch is the first look people have at your style and design aesthetic. A front porch should be welcoming since it’s the entryway into your home for guests but it can also be a great place to relax and even provide additional living space. So how do you get a spectacular porch? Here are some tips to help get you started.
Define the Space
The first step in creating a fabulous front porch is to define the space. How do you want to use this porch? Even the smallest porch should have its space planned out. Is it going to be small and simple with just a couple of chairs for grabbing some fresh air or watching the kids play on nice days? Will you use it year round? Do you want to use it for dining or entertaining? Is it going to be a gardening center? If you have a large enough space you can fit multiple functions onto the porch, but you still need to decide what you want to include and plan out where to put what before proceeding.
Blend Outside to In
Since it’s the first glimpse of your home the design of your porch should seamlessly blend with the style of your house. An easy way to do this is to pick up on and accent your home’s architecture in your design. Molding and trim details as well as flooring choices can easily be carried outside. The general style of your decor can also easily be brought outside . if you have a screened-in porch you can use indoor furniture with no problem. If your porch is more exposed to the elements you should invest in outdoor furniture that won’t have to be taken in at the first sign of bad weather.
Play with Pattern and Color
You might not want your house to be that one bright pink house you can see from down the block, but adding some bright colors and bold patterns to your porch will help your home stand out in a good way. Color can also help draw attention to an architectural detail or piece of furniture that you especially enjoy. A brightly colored front door is a classic option for adding color to a porch, but if you don’t feel like breaking out the paint there’s always accessories. An outdoor rug can quickly add both color and pattern while also unifying the space. Some throw pillows are also an easy option for adding color and pattern. Rugs and pillows are an ideal option as well because they can be switched out with the seasons as the colors surrounding your porch change.
If you plan on spending time relaxing on your front porch, enjoying the view and the fresh air then you want the furniture to be comfortable. Not only for yourself but if you plan on using your porch for entertaining at all you want your guests to be comfortable as well. Once you have comfortable chairs, make sure to place a table or table-like surface nearby so beverages and snacks don’t have to be in hand the entire time outside. You may even want to set up a sleeping porch, perfect for naps on warm summer afternoons.
Let It Bloom
You don’t have to go overboard and have a porch full of foliage, but some well placed greenery and flowers provide a nice transition from inside to out. They’re also an easy way to add color and natural beauty to the space. Whether in window boxes, hanging baskets, or just placed on the ground potted plants are always a nice touch. You can choose flowers within the color palette of the rest of the porch, or choose blooms in contrasting colors for bold bursts of color. If you enjoy watching nature you can pick flowers more likely to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Light It Up
It’s easy to forget about lighting for outdoor spaces since half of the day the sun does the work for you. But proper lighting will help you enjoy your porch even once the sun goes down. You’ll want lighting of some sort for no other reason than it makes unlocking the door at night much easier when you can see both the key and the lock. Traditional porch lighting is usually flush against the wall next to the front door and this is certainly an option. But if you want to try a more unique look, consider hanging a pendant light or two around the porch. This will not only add illumination but can serve as a focal point for the overhead space.
When planning out the design of your front porch, always remember it has to be a functional space. Don’t overcrowd the porch and make sure there is an uninterrupted pathway to your front door. But also remember to have fun with it, and personalize it. The porch is an expression of your personality and your personal style. Create a space you’ll look forward to seeing when you get home every day and can’t wait to spend time on.