Porch decorating is a long-standing tradition. In the days before air conditioning, a home’s front porch was a go-to gathering spot, a place to stay cool and get some fresh air. We believe front porches should function as an extension of the home and are worth looking at as another “room” to decorate. Whether you frequent your home’s front porch often or not, it’s still how you welcome guests into your home. Think of it as your home’s first impression. We’ve curated this list of front porch decorating ideas to help you make your entry more inviting.
Is your home in need of more than front porch decorating ideas? At brick&batten, we’ll help your house reach its full curb appeal potential. We work with our clients to create a custom virtual exterior designs based on their needs and desires. You’ll get a photo rendering and resource list to put your design in action. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services.
25 Front Porch Decorating Ideas to Make Your Entry More Inviting
#1 // Think Style AND Comfort for Front Porch Seating
It can be hard to find porch chairs that are both attractive and relaxing to sit in. Luckily, you can transform pretty much any chair into a lounge chair with the addition of outdoor throw pillows. Spend a lot of time on your porch? Go for something weatherproof and truly comfortable, like these teak chairs from Rejuvenation, a brick&batten designer favorite, pictured in the first example above. If you want to skip the pillows but are still looking for comfort, we often suggest furniture made out of woven materials for our clients, since they are softer than wood or metal. Case in point: the rockers in the second example above. Plus, there’s always something to be said for a classic wooden porch swing.
#2 // Decorate the Steps or Walkway with Potted Plants
One way to make a small porch seem larger and more inviting is to utilize the steps and walkway as an extension of the porch. Place potted plants along each one. Not only will they stand out, but they will also add some depth and dimension thanks to the tiered effect.
#3 // Use Front or Back Porch Accessories to Create Symmetry
There’s a reason film director Wes Anderson’s symmetrical set designs and framing methods have made him an industry icon. Simply put, people love symmetry. When combined with soothing colors, it can set a relaxed mood. We especially love this look on large porches that expand the entire length of the home. Keep in mind that you don’t need to create perfect symmetry. It is okay to have a coffee table on one end and an extra chair on the other. Just try to achieve visual balance.
#4 // Create an Urban Retreat with Outdoor Curtains
We love outdoor curtains for front porches and back porches alike. With this accessory, you can create a serene place fit for conversations between close friends. Look for curtains that dry quickly and are resistant to mold and mildew, such as these from Ballard Designs.
#5 // Go Minimal on the Porch Decor and All-Out on Landscaping
While we do love tall privacy plants, there is such a thing as too tall. If your plants or decor are starting to look like they are taking over your porch, it’s time to try a different approach. Consider using horizontal space as opposed to vertical space to plant large flower beds with layered landscaping that draws the eye directly to the door.
#6 // Choose Warm Recessed Lighting
We’ll never stop loving stringed lights on porches and beautiful lanterns; however, a dimmable recessed light can put off the same wonderful glow. Recessed lighting is a great alternative to wall lights or can be used in addition to wall lights. Get specific lighting ideas here and pro tips here.
#7 // Create a Larger Seating Area with a Pergola
Pergolas certainly aren’t just for backyards. If your front porch doesn’t have any room for visiting, create some with the addition of a front porch seating area. If you commit to a front yard pergola, we love the look of cement tiles, flagstone, or brick under the seating area.
#8 // Make a Statement with an Oversized Porch Light
When it comes to front porch decorating ideas, there’s one easy change that we often recommend: Swapping out small, understated porch lights for dramatic, large fixtures makes a noticeable difference all the way from the street. Keep in mind, your lighting doesn’t need to all match. Choose lights that serve the purpose for their location on your home’s exterior.
#9 // Use Tea Lights or Lanterns on Special Occasions
If you’re hosting a party, go all out and light the way for your guests with tea lights. If you’re concerned about a fire hazard, battery-operated options are just as appealing. We especially love using faux tea lights on occasions like Halloween.
#10 // Paint Your Front Door
Such an easy fix! Painting your front door is an excellent way to to update your home’s curb appeal, as well as add interest to your front porch. Learn more about the front door colors we are loving.
#11 // Switch Up Your Address Numbers
Any graphic designer knows that fonts make a big difference. New address numbers are affordable and super easy to install. If you have a short street name, adding it under the address numbers can further make your home stand out. Just make sure to choose numbers that are easy to see from the street. Choosing the best address numbers for your home’s architecture and your personal style is a great way to some flair to your outdoor space.
#12 // Upgrade Your Front Porch Railing
Porch railings are one of the often-overlooked front porch decorating ideas. Outdated railings can age a home, but replacing them with clean, modern railings can quickly modernize the whole façade. To create a sense of visual cohesion, you can repeat the porch railing as a front fence.
#13 // Source New Planters
One piece of porch decor that we encourage our clients to have fun with is flower pots. We are loving terra cotta and durable materials like glazed stones that aren’t subject to weathering quite as quickly. Express your personal taste by choosing artistic designs or opting for more modern planters with simple lines. Find out more about how to master container gardening and make your porch come to life!
#14 // Update Your Walkway
Your walkway is the first thing people see as they’re arriving at your doorstep. Pulling out the old builder concrete steps and walk and adding flagstone or brick is an excellent way to increase your home’s value and take your curb appeal to the next level.
#15 // Add an Outdoor Rug to Your Porch
An outdoor rug can instantly bring life to your front porch, making it feel as cozy as an indoor room. A high-quality outdoor rug is durable and can withstand environmental elements. It’s a nice alternative to a welcome mat or porch floor.
#16 // Incorporate Wood Accents
Wood accents are a beautiful way to add warmth to your home’s exterior. Wood blends beautifully with darker paint colors such as Kendall Charcoal or lighter colors such as Seapearl, both by Benjamin Moore. (The latter is our 2021 exterior paint color of the year!) Use wood accents in gables, above windows, around door frames, and on columns. Wooden front doors can give off a casual but elegant vibe. Wood works well on a myriad of home styles, from farmhouse to mid-century modern, and the front porch is a great way to incorporate this natural element into your home’s exterior.
#17 // Choose a Statement Door Knocker
Although most guests will reach for a doorbell before they use a knocker, there’s something special about keeping up the tradition and adding one to your door. However, traditional doesn’t need to mean antique-looking. Many companies offer modern, whimsical, and quirky door knockers. A door knocker will be one of the last front porch accessories visitors see before they enter your home, so why not make it reflect your taste?
#18 // Find a Statement Piece
Sometimes making a dramatic change to your front porch doesn’t need to involve paint, cement, or a big dumpster in the driveway. The right porch accessory can do wonders. We love playing with trends when it comes to porch furniture, and hanging swings are definitely on-trend. Think Bohemian, and go for it!
#19 // Add a Fire or Water Feature
Many of our clients ask us to add a fire pit or water feature to their outdoor living space. They both create a central space around which to gather. Fire pits or fireplaces provide coziness and warmth, extending the longevity of your outdoor space into the cooler months (or times of day). Water features offer soothing white noise and bring a serene vibe to your home.
#20 // Choose a Neutral Color Scheme
Ivory, gray, and black make a great neutral color scheme. We especially love using concrete architectural decor pieces to give off a minimalist, yet classic European look. When in doubt, keep it simple.
#21 // Mix Decorating Styles and Materials
Sometimes choosing a theme for your decor can limit you. We’re all about mixing styles. Just because you own a farmhouse, it doesn’t mean you can’t add modern and rustic accessories.
#22 // Add a Gable or Awning Over Your Door
Adding a gable over your door adds dimension and interest to the front of your house. It also gives coverage from the rain and sun beating down on your door. A gable roof can be metal or wood. If you keep it simple, gables and awnings are inexpensive and easy to install by local contractors.
#23 // Think of Every Element as Art
When putting all your front porch decorating ideas together, keep in mind that no detail is too small. Container plants, lighting, front doors, sidelights and transoms, walkways, and even the rises on the steps up to the front door all come together to make this home’s curb appeal so eye-catching.
#24 // Make a Dramatic Material Change
Sometimes painting or changing the material of your porch floor or ceiling is just what you need to create the feeling of a new space. While we don’t often suggest painting a wood front porch floor, you can find stains that come in nontraditional colors like black. Be sure to prime the surface before painting. Another idea is to extend your front walkway to create a beautiful flagstone porch.
#25 // Try a Cathedral Railing
Cathedral railing doesn’t need to be reserved for a church. With its beautiful arched shapes, it can add class to any style of home, much like traditional columns. Since it is so versatile, it ranks as one of the most popular porch railing ideas that designers reach to when they want to add an interest piece to a front porch. Some cathedral railings can also have a simplified modern design. Take a look at how we used modern cathedral railing to replace the standard vertical railing in the photo above.
Front Porch Decorating: From Ideas to Reality
Now that you’re inspired, it’s time to make some changes to begin enjoying your house and outdoor living space. If you don’t know where to start or just need confirmation you’re making smart choices, that’s what our team is here for.
When you engage us in our virtual design services, our expert exterior designers will take your ideas — or lack thereof — and use their knowledge of trends, style, and architecture to create before-and-after renderings like those above. You also receive a list of materials, furniture, and fixtures they recommend using. Do the work yourself, hire a local contractor, or do a bit of both. We want to get you on the path to making your home exterior design dreams a reality. Get started today!
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one of our past clients has to say about their brick&batten experience (as posted to Houzz):
We used brick&batten to get a virtual exterior design of our home and we couldn’t be happier! They took all of our desires for our home, such as making our entry feel more welcoming, and created a cohesive and beautiful plan. We personally enjoy working on our home and updating things ourselves, so this allows us to have a visual guide/master plan, without using a builder or contractor. So now, when we need to replace windows, shingles, doors, paint, etc, we know exactly what to do! We definitely recommend brick&batten!
We’ve rounded up more client reviews here. Our fantastic clients are the reason we’re the leading virtual exterior design company!
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