Porch decorating is a long-standing tradition. In the days before air conditioning, we can imagine that a home’s front porch was a go-to gathering spot where a pitcher of lemonade never ran empty. It was an extension of the home and simply another room to decorate, and we believe it still is. Whether you frequent your home’s front porch often or not, we believe it is still important to make it feel welcoming to guests. Think of it as your home’s first impression. We’ve curated this list of front porch decorating ideas to make your entry more inviting.
In many cases, a home needs more than just porch accessories to make it stand out. At brick&batten, we’ll help your house reach its full curb appeal potential. We’ll create a custom design complete with 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 cute and relaxing to sit in. Luckily, you can pretty much transform any chair into a lounge chair with the addition of outdoor throw pillows. We often suggest chairs made out of woven materials for our clients, since these are much softer than wood or metal. Of course, we love a good porch swing, but a cozier alternative could be to opt for a swinging daybed instead, like this one by Magnolia Porch Swings.
#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. A word to the wise–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 landscape that draw your eyes directly to the door.
#6 Choose Warm Recessed Lighting
Honestly, 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 with wall lights. For more pro tips on outdoor lighting, click 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 your own 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. Though a pergola may not be a porch decorating idea, it’s certainly an idea to add value to your greatest investment.
#8 Make a Statement with Oversized Porch Lights
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 ones makes a noticeable difference all the way from the street. You can also match your porch lights to other design elements like your outdoor planters, as seen above. Keep in mind, your lighting doesn’t need to all match. Choose lights that serve the purpose for that area and select others, from the same lighting family, for different areas.
#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 ones look just as cute. We especially love using faux tea lights on celebratory nights like Halloween. A simple porch decorating idea like tea lights or lanterns is an inviting way to show your style.
#10 Paint Your Front Door
Such as 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 colors we are seeing and loving!
#11 Switch Up Your Address Number Font
Any graphic designer knows that fonts make a big difference. New porch 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 Update Your Front Porch Railing
Porch railing is one of the often-overlooked front porch decorating ideas. This design element can come in different architectural styles. Outdated railing can quickly age a home, but replacing it with clean, modern lines often helps. To create a sense of visual cohesion, you can repeat the porch railing as a front fence.
#13 Say Goodbye to Old 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 a glazed stone that aren’t subject to weathering quite as fast. Feel free to show off your personality with flower pots, whether that’s by choosing artistic designs or more modern 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 truly 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. We are loving this aztec print from All Modern.
#16 Add 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. Use wood accents in gables, above windows, around door frames, and on columns. Even a wooden front door can give off a casual but elegant vibe. From farmhouse to mid-century modern, you can’t go wrong with some earthy wood tones on your front porch.
#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 and whimsical 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 Make it Feel Like a Living Room With Comfortable Seating
Comfortable seating is a game changer for a front porch. Adding cushions to your favorite chair or a coffee table to elevate your feet, comfortable seating is a must. In 2020, we’ve noticed an upswing in front porch designs creating usable living space outdoors. It’s not just the back deck anymore, now people are enjoying for porch living.
#19 Choose 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 a hanging swing is definitely on trend this year. Think Bohemian and go for it!
#20 Use a Fire or Water Feature
Many clients of brick&batten are asking us to add a fire or water feature to their outdoor living space. It creates a cozy place people want to be, offers background noise, and warmth to your area.
#21 Choose a Neutral Color Scheme
When in doubt, ivory, gray, and black make a great 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.
#22 Mix Decorating Styles and Materials
Sometimes when you declare a theme for your decor, it can limit you. We’re all about mixing styles. So for example, just because you own a farmhouse, it doesn’t mean you can’t add modern and rustic accessories.
#23 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 and many times and if you keep it simple they are inexpensive and easy to install by a local handyman. For more door inspiration, click here.
#24 Think of Every Element as an Individual Work of Art
When putting all your front porch decorating ideas together, keep in mind that no detail is too small. Yes, welcome mats are primarily functional, but it doesn’t mean they need to be lackluster. Why can’t they look artsy too? We love this 3-D textured wood as a stand-in for the typical mat. We’ve also been swooning over glass mosaics and iron doors.
#25 Make a Dramatic Color or Material Change to Your Porch Floor or Ceiling
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. That said, you can also extend your walkway to create a beautiful flagstone porch.
Get 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.
#26 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 cliche craftsman railing in the photo above.
Learn more aboutbrick&batten. We’ll show you the way and help you with your porch decorating.