The style of your front porch gives visitors and passersby a preview of your home – it’s like the bow on a beautifully wrapped package. While porches can vary in size – from a modest stoop to a wrap-around veranda – you should never minimize the impact of this space. As important as any other room in your home, your front porch deserves as much design consideration as a living room or kitchen space.
Here are six tips on designing a front porch that welcomes visitors and connects your home to the neighborhood:
1. Maintain your sense of style. Your front porch shouldn’t be a completely new look for your home. Instead, it should mirror or complement the décor inside based on the point of entry. For example, if your porch leads into a traditional foyer, don’t decorate it with country accents. Or if your front porch leads into a contemporary living room, keep the feel by using minimal contemporary accents, including hardware such as door knobs, lighting and house numbers.
2. The front door. One of the most important aspects of your porch is the front door. The style of the door should blend with the style of the home’s exterior. Be sure to pay attention to the color. A high-gloss coat of paint will pop against the material of your home. Red is a traditional favorite for a reason; the classic color symbolizes energy and comes in a variety of shades that will coordinate with everything from brick to wood siding to stucco. But red isn’t the only color for a front door; consider deep purple, sunflower yellow or lime green.
3. Think about the flooring. If you have a lot of floor space, consider using an outdoor rug to complete the look. Outdoor rugs are made of materials that are fast drying, non-absorbent and mold- and mildew-resistant. The touch of color or pattern will give your porch the feel of an exterior room and will welcome guests. And don’t forget the welcome mat.
4. Choose furniture to scale. If you have room on your front porch, consider adding seating, such as chairs and a side table or ottoman, loveseat, or small bistro table. The furnishings will encourage family or guests to stay and visit, and will allow you to connect with your neighbors if you live in area with a lot of foot traffic. Rocking chairs or a front porch swing are also great choices for this space. You can even coordinate throw pillows to match or complement the color you chose for your door.
5. Add plants. Bring the lushness of your front yard onto your front porch by adding plants. Urns on either side of the stairs or door will give your front porch a polished, regal feel. Fill them with colorful annuals or stately ferns.
6. Consider using art. Finally, consider adding artwork to your front porch. If it’s covered, you have a lot of options, but even if your porch is open to the elements, there are ways to accessorize and dress up the area. Wooden plaques treated for the weather can be hung near the front door. Or choose metal art in nature-inspired shapes, such as an oversized star, birds, or a sun; iron pieces will gain character as it ages.