12 Small Front Porch Ideas That Make a Big Difference

Small front porches can be just as impactful as large front porches when it comes to stepping up curb appeal game. Learn how to get the most out of these architectural elements with our favorite small front porch ideas.

At brick&batten, we know how to make the most out of a small porch situation. We’ll come up with a game plan for your exterior home makeover, show you the designs with a rendering, and curate a helpful resource list. If you’re curious, learn more about our virtual exterior design services.

12 Small Front Porch Ideas That Make a Big Difference

#1 Add Elements That Serve Multiple Purposes

We always tell our clients to think of the front porch as an additional room, and this rule still applies to small porches. So think about what type of accessories you use to add life to a bare room, and add those. However, with limited real estate, each porch element needs to earn its place by serving more than one purpose. For example, you can opt for a small outdoor rug rather than a welcome mat. It gives a cozy look to your porch, but you can still use it to wipe off your shoes before entering. Add a small bench to the mix, and you now have a place to remove your muddy shoes before entering and a spot to display plants.


outdoor porch curtain

Outdoor curtains on a porch

#2 Curtains Can Create Visual Space

For what your porch is lacking in square footage, it might not be lacking in height. If this is the case, draw attention to the vertical space with curtains. Many companies make mildew-resistant outdoor curtains, which are weighted, fade resistant, and dry quickly.  We found these perfect outdoor curtains at Ballard Designs. A great addition to my outdoor front porch. Adding curtains instantly makes your front porch feel like a living space.


dutch door, wood, interesting glass

Before and after of a home with an updated, more open front porch

#3 Two Words: Potted Plants

Purchasing potted plants is an easy way to add greenery to your home’s exterior. After all, it’s a lot less daunting to place a plant in a pot than it is to dig up and replace an entire bush in the ground. You don’t need to be an expert gardener or certified plant lady to keep them alive either. If you live in a hot region, we suggest asking your local greenhouse or nursery which potted plants are drought-resistant. Just be sure not to overwater them! Also, as much as we love terra cotta pots, just look at how elegant those French-inspired planters or the more modern designed planters as seen above. They may be worth the splurge.


hanging plants

#4 Dealing with a Super Small Porch? Go with Hanging Plants Instead.

On extra-small porches, sometimes potted plants can just add chaos and make it difficult to even enter your front door. Again, utilize your small porch’s vertical space with hanging plants instead. Ferns are an easy-to-grow and classic hanging plant choice. For a pop of color, go with a trailing plant that blooms, like a petunia.


#5 Add Oversized Side Porch Lights

Usually, a smaller space calls for smaller porch accessories. However, we’re here to tell you that breaking this rule can actually work in your favor when it comes to lights. Oversized lights that you hang next to the door should be about 1/3 to 1/4 the size of the doorway. Check out our article on how to choose the correct porch light size for more information on this topic.


Before and after of a home with an updated front porch overhang and statement lighting

#6 Draw the Eyes Up with a Pendant Light

You might have already noticed a pattern in this list of small front porch ideas. One key to making a small porch seem bigger is to guide the eye upward. We’ve already mentioned how curtains and hanging plants can achieve this, but so can pendant lights. Lately, we’ve been loving glass lantern pendant lights or even the globe pendant on your mid-century modern home.

Doors out to a covered porch

#7 Make it Appear Larger with a Glass Entry Way

Just like a mirror can make a room look bigger, a glass entryway can make your front porch seem more spacious. If privacy isn’t an issue, or you have an extra-long front yard, be bold with a modern glass design. We especially love this option if you have a home interior that you want to show off.

Exterior design of a stone and siding home with a statement entryway and porch

#8 Add Transom Windows or Sidelights

If #7 seems like too much of a commitment for you (we admit, a complete glass entryway may call for a lot of Windex), you can get a similar effect by adding transom windows or sidelights. You’ll also love how these windows add more natural light to your home’s front room or hallway.


black front door with sidelights

#9 Embrace Minimalism

It’s cliche, but true. Sometimes less is more on a small porch. However, minimalism doesn’t have to be boring. Let architectural elements speak for themselves, like patterned patio brick and gorgeous door. Give it a modern zen look with concrete spheres or additional decor.


Virtual rendering of a home with updated porch
Before and after of a brick home rendered with painted brick and a new porch awning

#10 Frame it with a Wood Beam

Just like a good picture frame, a good porch frame can draw in the eye. Consider framing your porch with elements like stained wooden beams to add some interest. You can play off the brown color on other parts of the home, like with brass gutters and lights.


Before and after of a sketched home rendered with a copper awning over the front porch

#11 No Room for Anything? Add Personality with a Statement Door

Some porches are so small, that they might leave you guessing on whether they are really a porch or just merely a step. In this case, we find that it’s worth it to pour some of your project budget into a creative door. Dutch doors are always a conversation piece! Add iron or a fresh color to really greet your guests.

Before and after of a sprawling ranch home with a large porch and driveway overhang addition

Before and after of a home with a porch addition

#12 Go All In and Extend It

If you’ve tried working with a small porch and you’re just not having it, you can always extend it. While this project is certainly no DIY, it’s still fairly affordable to contract it out. And if you plan on spending a lot of time on your porch, it’ll be worth it.


Before and after of a Spanish-style home painted white, with new windows and an updated small porch

By working with what you’ve got, you can easily make a small porch feel more spacious and serve as a visual focal point. We hope these small front porch ideas inspire you to create a beautiful home!