Front Porch Guide

Architectural, Landscaping, and Furnishing Ideas

Use our Front Porch Guide below to determine front porch designs along with porch characteristics, front yard landscaping ideas, and outdoor furniture ideas.



Our guide will give you an excellent starting point for designing, decorating, landscaping, and furnishing your front porch.


Front Porch Guide

Please Note

Our front porch guide is simply some guidelines and suggestions for your porch and landscaping based upon the style of home you have. Use your judgment and creativity to make your home "yours".



Architectural Style: Classical home styles such as Federal, Revival, Tidewater, Antebellum

Classical style Porch Characteristics: Porches range in size from small to large; usually roofed; symmetrical facades with central entrance ways; an equal number of windows flank each side of the door.

Roofs are either hipped (sloped on all four sides) or gabled; porch columns are classical or rectangular in design

Landscaping Ideas: Clipped hedges around porch; use brick walk ways leading to porch, use geometric plantings in containers on porch

Porch Furniture Ideas: Teak furniture



Architectural Style: Victorian home styles such as Gothic Revival, Italian, Queen Anne, Eastlake

victorian house Porch Characteristics: Porches range in size from small to large; usually roofed; symmetrical facades with central entrance ways; an equal number of windows flank each side of the door.

Roofs are either hipped (sloped on all four sides) or gabled; porch columns are classical or rectangular in design

Landscaping Ideas: Clipped hedges around porch; use brick walk ways leading to porch, use geometric plantings in containers on porch

Porch Furniture Ideas: Wrought-iron furniture



Architectural Style: Post-war homes such as Cape Cod, Ranch, Raised Ranch, Split-Level

raised ranch Porch Characteristics: Rather small porch and most without roof or overhang; siding is usually clapboard, shingles or brick; symmetrical appearance; multi-paned windows (double hung); centered front door (often with a roof-portico); decorative shutters

Pediments over the door, consider an overhang, small roof, or awning over door, upgrade door frame, extend porch to either side for additional space (perhaps a patio adjacent to porch for plants and chairs)

Roofs are either hipped (sloped on all four sides) or gabled; porch columns are classical or rectangular in design

Landscaping Ideas: A low sheared hedge along the base will emphasize its horizontal profile, include a few simple plants with contrasting shapes, match plantings on either side, use stone walkways leading to porch

Porch Furniture Ideas: Naturally weathered or painted wooden furniture



Architectural Style: Early 20th century style such as Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Bungalow, Cotswold

Early 20th century style Porch Characteristics: Arts and Crafts (Craftsman) Homes: Porches have thick square or round columns, stone supports One or two stories; wood, stone, or stucco; exposed roof rafters;

Roofs are either hipped (sloped on all four sides) or gabled; porch columns are classical or rectangular in design

Landscaping Ideas: Symmetric or asymmetrical plantings depending on specific house design, use layered, natural looking plantings, use a mix of wood, brick, in, on, and around your porch, use stone walkways leading to porch

Porch Furniture Ideas: Wooden garden furniture with simple lines



Architectural Style: Colonial style also Dutch, Garrison, Saltbox

Colonial style Porch Characteristics: Porch is usually small in size with a pediment and perhaps more ornate door frames; narrow clapboard siding (could be bricked)

Crown molding or a pediment over the front door: pilasters or columns; double-hung windows or multi-pane windows in pairs on each side of front door

Landscaping Ideas: Brick pathways, symmetrical large plantings on each side of the door, geometric beds, make the porch/entrance dramatic with striking door color and wreath

Porch Furniture Ideas: Classic teak furniture, geometric placement is the key












Architectural Style: Farmhouse English /Country

Farmhouse Porch Characteristics: Large wrap-around porches; tall windows; shingle or metal roofs; dormers and gables; lat siding; simple moldings and trim; odd, irregular shape; lack of ornamentation; tall, over-sized windows; natural materials like cedar or stone; blends with natural surroundings

Landscaping Ideas: Use symmetrical plantings, simple painted garden furniture, rockers and a swing of course! Use brick. flagstone and stepping-stone walk ways to access the porch. Also consider using prominent features like arbors and pergolas. Use mixed beds and borders around porch.

Porch Furniture Ideas: Use teak or heavy wrought-iron furniture.



Architectural Style: Contemporary or modern also Bauhaus, International, or A-Frame

Contemporary style Porch Characteristics: Porches are usually large and can be covered or not; not easily distinguishable due to many shapes but the general rule is the presence of large, tall panes of glass. Odd, irregular shape design; lack of ornate moldings; wood or stone siding; blends with natural surroundings

Landscaping Ideas: Use asymmetrical plantings in, on, and around porch; evergreens around porch is common; flagstones for walk ways

Porch Furniture Ideas: Stained or weathered furniture



Architectural Style: Neo homes also neo eclectic, neo colonial, neo-Mediterranean, post-modern

Neo style Porch Characteristics: Porches are usually ground level, deeply shaded with arches; usually incorporates a mix of details imitating the architecture of Spain, Italy, Greece, and Morocco.

Often called Mediterranean, Spanish, or Hispanic. Low-pitched roofs; red roof tiles; stucco siding; arches above doors, windows, and porches; heavy wooden doors

Landscaping Ideas: Usually asymmetric bold plantings; incorporate herbs and plants with silver foliage, and brightly colored vines. Where feasible, use succulents and other drought-tolerant plants in the Southwest

Porch Furniture Ideas: Metal, artistic, or contemporary furniture



Architectural Style: Mediterranean or Spanish Colonial

Mediterranean style Porch Characteristics: A distinguishing characteristic is the extension of the side or front wall to form a porch; blends with environment, usually built from stucco or coquina rock; thick stucco walls to conserve heating and cooling; limited ornamentation arched entrance ways; wooden roof supports over porches

Often called Mediterranean, Spanish, or Hispanic. Low-pitched roofs; red roof tiles; stucco siding; arches above doors, windows, and porches; heavy wooden doors

Landscaping Ideas: Symmetrical or asymmetrical plantings depending on specific house design; use Mediterranean herbs and plants with silver foliage, use brightly colored vines to cover stucco walls

Use tile or cut-stone pavers for walk ways; include water features

Porch Furniture Ideas: Wrought-iron furniture



Architectural Style: Southwest Prairie

Prairie style Porch Characteristics: Southwest houses usually have one-story porches with massive square supports; come in two styles--boxy and symmetrical or low-slung and asymmetrical. Roofs are low-pitched, with wide eaves. Brick and clapboard are the most common building materials.

Often called Mediterranean, Spanish, or Hispanic. Low-pitched roofs; red roof tiles; stucco siding; arches above doors, windows, and porches; heavy wooden doors

Landscaping Ideas: Often symmetrical plantings, use succulents and other drought-resistance plants; use gravel and tile/sandstone for walk ways

Use tile or cut-stone pavers for walk ways; include water features

Porch Furniture Ideas: Heavy, carved wooden furniture



End of Front Porch Guide





We hope you found our front porch guide useful. Our front porch guide should only be a start to learning more about front porch designs, landscaping, outdoor furniture, and lots more. We have lots to offer!

If you have suggestions for more home styles to be included in our front porch guide, please let us know. Thank you!


Be sure to see our entire porch design section, covering porch architecture from ranch style to contemporary porch styles and more.


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