Literally speaking, a front porch is an extension of your home.
But it’s a little more than that, too.
In some sense, your front porch is a room of its own – bringing with it an opportunity to decorate with as much thought and beauty outside as you have inside.
In other words: extending your unique style out to the area most known for warm welcomes, lazy Sundays and daily ins and outs.
Altogether, pretty important things.
So if you’re ready to bring more life to your porch – and make a great first impression – then follow these tips for creating a welcoming front porch.
Take a Step Back
Pretend for a moment you’re visiting your home for the first time. What would that journey look like?
Typically, a visitor’s first view will be from the street or perhaps the driveway. So it’s a good idea to get out there and take a quick walk in their shoes.
From that perspective, ask yourself: Is there a clear and welcoming path leading to the porch and front door?
If not, start here.
Try adding plantings, decorations, or lighting elements to accent and emphasize the pathway.
If you can make a crystal clear and clutter-free path, you’ll have made an inviting one.
And because the front door is the ultimate destination for you and your guests, it should be the focal point of the view as you approach the porch.
You can achieve this focal point effect by adding symmetrical decor on either side of the door. Most popular, are two potted flowers or small trees – one on each side of the door.
But feel free to get creative with other decorative elements, or even go as far as painting the front door with a fresh coat or an entirely new, complementary accent color.
A Place to Connect
No matter how much room you have, a front porch can be a wonderful area for a relaxing gathering place.
And let’s be honest, there are few better places to unwind with friends and family than out on the front porch.
If your space (or budget) is tighter, you can always keep it simple with a bench or few chairs seated next to each other. It doesn’t take a massive 6-piece set of furniture to add welcoming ambience to a porch.
If you have more room to work with, think of your porch as a separate, smaller living room. Try a social-friendly arrangement of outdoor furniture placed on a stylish outdoor rug.
Again, a similar set up and atmosphere as you’d have in a living space.
And while you’re at it, why not include a small coffee table or end table to really complete the look?
Half the fun of a front porch can be had well after the sun goes down.
So take a page from popular restaurants around town and add a little light to the patio area.
Starting small, try swapping out the bulb or light fixture on your main porch lights to get the right effect. Bright, white lights tend to be far less welcoming than warmer, golden tones.
And if you’re willing and able to go bigger, consider stringing up simple christmas-style lights or more professional and durable bistro-style lights.
As a bonus, you can find many of these lights that operate on a timer or remote, avoiding the need to constantly plug and unplug.
So try a few options and see how it feels. Again, have a seat and take a look around. If the light feels harsh and sterile, mix it up.
The goal, as always, is to create a comfortable, inviting space. And for any time after sunset, lighting does the heavy lifting here.
This one may be a bit obvious, but even the best decor and lighting in the world won’t work right on a cluttered or dirty porch.
So shake out the welcome mat, wipe down the door and sweep away the dirt. Somewhat often.
A clean and organized area will feel a lot better for both you and your guests.
The Last Details
When you’re furnishing a room inside, you generally start with the big stuff.
Sofas, beds, lamps, rugs.
But then comes the fun part. The smaller items that put the final strokes on the space and give it a breath of your unique character.
Things like artwork, books, coasters, trinkets and general bric-a-brac.
The point is: the little things go a long way. So don’t completely skip this step when it comes to your front porch.
Get creative, express yourself – just make sure they aren’t extremely valuable or likely to be damaged by the weather.
Still Need a Porch?
If this all sounds like good fun, but you don’t yet have a front porch to get to work on, we might have a solution for you.
Come visit us over at our True Homes website and have a look at the beautiful new homes – and porches – we have to offer.