As exterior designers, we like to think of a front porch as a little bonus room. We put a lot of effort into making it relaxing and welcoming with elements that work well together. Aside from home color, the porch is one of the first features people notice when viewing a house. So whether you’re trying to improve your home’s curb appeal or woo potential buyers, sprucing up your porch railing is a great place to start. In hopes of sparking some inspiration, here are eight of our go-to front porch railing ideas.
The truth is, the right porch railing depends on the home’s specific style. At brick&batten, we can offer you personalized advice on front porch railing ideas and more. We can design a whole new look for your home’s exterior and help you envision it with a rendering. And because we want you to succeed, we’ll also equip you with a handy resource list. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services.
8 Front Porch Railing Ideas That Designers Recommend
#1 Metal Modern Railing on a Traditional Home
You don’t have to have a brand-new house to choose a modern-style railing. Clean lines can flatter any type of home if you know how to successfully combine old and new. For example, a historic bungalow or craftsman home can easily pull off a modern railing. It just takes some other design elements to merge the two styles, like dark paint color, updated doors, and freshly-stained wood.
For this reason, we especially love mixed-media railing made of wood, metal, or cable. When choosing a type of metal railing, look for a strong material that is corrosion-resistant, like powder-coated aluminum.
#2 Choose a Chippendale Railing With Large Geometric Shapes
Looking at the geometric-patterned Chippendale railing pictured above in an isolated setting might leave you assuming that this railing is reserved strictly for modern homes. In reality, we see Chippendale railing all over historic southern homes, and certain patterns may look more traditional than others. Adding this railing is also a great way to instantly update curb appeal, and we argue that it can make an outdated home look a bit more timeless when paired with classic elements like columns and shutters.
#3 Combining X Porch Railing with Vertical Railing
X-shaped porch railing is perfect for the homeowner who wants to add a touch of interest while playing it safe. This type of railing looks great on traditional and farm-house style homes, and it can also add a bit of coastal flair. We think X-shaped porch railing looks best painted white, but we’ve also seen natural wood and black railings we love. You can mix x railing with railing with basic vertical lines, like shown above.
#4 Getting Back to Your Home’s Roots with Sawn Balusters Railing
If you have a Victorian home, we say lean into the look with sawn balusters railing. This type of railing comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, ranging from small and intricate details to larger geometric patterns. Just keep in mind that this type of railing doesn’t work on every style of home. If you try to place it on a midcentury modern home, it can look tacky and forced. If you choose this statement railing, you want it to look original to the home. So in other words, if your home was built in the 90s, we say you might want to avoid sawn balusters or replace them.
#5 Playing with Mixed-Media Cable Railing
Cable railing is a type of horizontal railing, but its unique materials make it stand out. Plus, it’s super durable and sleek. In fact, it is one of the most low-maintenance types of railing. We love a good stainless-steel cable wiring for a no-rust, stylish option. Again, with this type of railing option, you can have fun mixing materials like metal for your posts and wood for the top railing.
#6 Using Cathedral Railing to Update Your Traditional Style
Cathedral railing isn’t just 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 a modern cathedral railing to replace the vertical craftsman railing in the photo above.
#7 Adding a Twist to Craftsman-Style Railings
We love a traditional vertical railing in some scenarios. The trick is to either paint it a unique color or choose an interesting design that goes beyond the evenly spaced vertical spindles. For example, a craftsman style railing that uses varying spacing widths and horizontal lines to create simple patterns is always a winner in our book. Or, if your home has other architectural elements, like two-toned paneled porch posts, a basic craftsman railing painted the same color can do wonders for making it the porch look cohesive.
#8 Going Off-the-Rails
Not every front porch truly needs rails and forgoing them could save you money on your exterior redesign. You might be surprised how wonderful your home looks after simply removing an outdated or worn railing. Using landscaping elements like a flower bed and retaining wall, you can still create a safe barrier, while benefiting from a simplistic look. And, as a bonus: No porch railing = One less thing to maintain. Just check with your city to make sure your porch will still meet building codes.
Overall, porch railings can add a touch of modern simplicity or traditional authenticity to your home’s exterior. Making your front porch railings work for your home rather than against it is another key to curb appeal greatness!
Railings are just one aspect of curb appeal. If you need help pairing front porch railing ideas with other design elements, contact brick&batten. Our designers are always on standby, ready to help you achieve the unthinkable on your home exterior project.