By Dave and Mary

7 Things a Front Porch Needs

And a Few Others That May Surprise You!

We want to share 7 things a front porch needs for a curb appealing and relaxing outdoor space you can enjoy this season. No matter if you have a small, cozy porch or a large, gracious wraparound porch, almost every porch can benefit from one these ideas.

Often times it only takes a few amenities to transform your porch from the ordinary to something really special.

1: Use Comfortable and Durable Seating

front porch decorated for summer
Lovely summertime porch with pleasant seating area
Outdoor furniture provides seating and lounging options, making your front porch a comfortable space to relax, socialize, or enjoy the outdoors. Your front porch then becomes a functional extension of your living space, offering an area for activities such as reading, dining, or entertaining guests.

But that's not all.

Well-chosen furniture pieces can enhance the visual appeal of your porch, adding style, character, and warmth to the exterior of your home. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose seating options that suit your lifestyle and activities, whether it's a cozy seating arrangement for lounging or a dining set for outdoor meals.

Personalize your front porch and express your unique style and taste through the selection of colors, materials, and designs that reflect your personality and preferences.

Comfortable seating can create a tranquil retreat where you can unwind and enjoy moments of solitude or quiet contemplation.

A well-furnished front porch can improve your home's curb appeal and overall value by creating an inviting and attractive entrance that potential buyers will appreciate.

Whether you have room for only one chair or several, make sure it is both weather resistant and comfortable. Local weather often dictates what type or material of chair, bench, or porch swing is suitable for your area. Fortunately, you have a wide variety of styles and materials from which to choose.

front porch with comfortable seating area
A comfortable seating area
Outdoor furniture materials range from wood, metal, wicker, and plastic. Wrought iron furniture works well for us on our side porch, which is consistently exposed to weather. We use comfortable cushions that we store when not in use to prolong their longevity. Consider using a water-proof container near your furniture in which to store the cushions when not in use.

If your furniture is often exposed to harsh weather, consider selecting furniture from made a polymer material that will last a very long time.

Cushions are often a must for a porch. Not only do cushions provide comfort but they also add color, texture and interest to your porch.

Overall, adding seating to your front porch transforms it into a welcoming and functional space that enhances your lifestyle, promotes social interaction, and elevates the curb appeal greatly.

2: Keep Some Handy Tables on Your Porch

dining table and chairs on front porch
Who wouldn't love this porch?
A table makes it a convenient space to place items temporarily while entering or exiting your home, serving as spot for setting down groceries, keys, or packages.

A nice table also creates a gathering spot where friends, family, and neighbors can sit and converse comfortably. It encourages social interaction and fosters a sense of community.

Tables become designated areas for various activities such as dining, working, playing games, or simply placing items like drinks, books, or decor pieces.

Take advantage of pleasant weather and perhaps beautiful surroundings and go alfresco by dining outdoors!

A well-chosen table can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your porch, serving as a decorative focal point. You can personalize the table with tabletop decor, such as vases, candles, or seasonal centerpieces, to complement your porch's style.

small red bench on front porch
This red bench was the reason someone bought our house
Whether it be a small table or a convenient bench (like our red corner bench above), it's so helpful to have a place to set down your packages at the front door. This particular corner bench was so well-liked by a couple seeing our home that they wrote it into the contract. Our front porch back then was small and we made this corner bench to cozy it up and have a place to set things.

Small, large or in-between, a table on your porch is very useful. Whether you want a place for your drinks, a spot to display your decor or a place for hosting outdoor gatherings, tables help to complete a porch.

3: Dress Up Your Porch with Outdoor Rugs

front porch with nice outdoor rugs
Our porch has enjoyed various rugs over the years
You will be surprised at how an outdoor rug can add warmth and comfort to almost any porch. If space is limited, a small rug at the front door adds instant charm. A rug provides a soft and a comfortable surface for outdoor activities.

Rugs add color, texture, and patterns that will create a welcoming appeal to both visitors and passersby.

front porch with nice outdoor rugs
We put two rugs side by side for our seating area
Use a rug to define a space for seating and gathering for relaxing and socializing in addition to protecting a wooden surface from stains and general wear and tear.

Select a rug that is durable and weather-resistant to make it easy to clean and maintain. If your surface is slippery, a rug can help improve traction and reduce the risk of falls.

Versatile, rugs come in a wide variety of styles, shapes, colors, and textures to satisfy your personal taste.

4: Optimize Lighting

copper barn light on porch
Copper style barn light
Often overlooked, lighting can not only make your porch more functional, but also add a measure of safety, security and comfort. Here's how:

Adequate lighting on your porch improves visibility, reducing the risk of trips, slips, and falls. Lighting pathways and stairs can help to ensure safe navigation for you, your family, and visitors. We love the ambiance that well-planned lighting can bring to the porch.

Illuminate entry points to deter criminal activity. Motion-activated lights or smart lighting systems with timers can alert you to any movement or activity around your porch.

Attractive lighting fixtures create ambiance and set the mood for your porch whether you're relaxing alone or entertaining guests. Soft, warm lighting creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while brighter lights are preferred for activities like dining or reading.

Fixtures can be strategically placed to highlight the architectural features of your porch, such as columns, railings, or decorative trim, adding visual interest and enhancing the overall design of your home.

lamp on porch adds ambiance in the evenings
A small accent lamp provides beautiful ambiance
Lighting can be used to highlight and accentuate decor elements on your porch, such as plants, artwork, or furniture, creating focal points and adding depth to the space.

We like to have a small accent lamp on our porch. It's on a timer and gently illuminates our porch in the evening hours. To provent it from blowing over in the wind, we screw it down to our stand. Seems funny, but it works!

Proper lighting extends the usability of your porch into the evening hours, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities and relaxation even after the sun goes down. Mary and I use table lamps on our porch to create a warm and inviting space.

Thoughtfully designed lighting enhances the curb appeal of your home by adding visual interest and highlighting its architectural features, creating an inviting and welcoming entrance for guests.

5: Hang Outdoor Artwork

outdoor butterfly artwork on front porch
Creative outdoor artwork
Outdoor artwork adds visual interest and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your porch, making it more attractive and inviting to guests and passersby.

Use artwork to express your personality, interests, and style preferences to create a unique and personalized outdoor space that reflects your taste and creativity.

Artwork is a perfect conversation starter, sparking discussions and connections with visitors, neighbors, and friends.

Pretty wall art on a St. Augustine porch
The wall art serves as a focal point on this porch
Artwork can serve as a focal point or centerpiece on your porch, drawing attention and adding depth and dimension to the space, especially when strategically placed or illuminated.

Outdoor artwork can be updated seasonally or for special occasions, allowing you to refresh the look of your porch and celebrate holidays, festivals, or changes in the natural landscape. Mary creates artwork that we display on our porch and change it to reflect the season or holiday.

Pretty wall art on a small front porch
The wall art and pretty bench provide a focal point
Durability: When selecting outdoor artwork, you can choose materials that are weather-resistant and durable, ensuring that the pieces withstand exposure to the elements and maintain their beauty and integrity over time.

Outdoor artwork can enhance the curb appeal of your home, making a positive impression on visitors and adding value to your property.

Often overlooked, outdoor artwork can showcase cultural influences, artistic traditions, and historical significance, enriching the outdoor environment and providing educational and inspirational value.

Overall, incorporating outdoor artwork on your porch adds beauty, personality, and meaning to the space, enriching your outdoor living experience and creating a welcoming and memorable environment for you and others to enjoy.

It has never been easier to hang outdoor art work. There are hangers designed for almost any exterior surface, many of which do not require nails or screws. You can find hangers for brick or siding that alleviate the need to damage the exterior material.

6: Display Plants and Flowers

hanging baskets of flowers on front porch
Beautiful hanging baskets on front porch
Plants and flowers add natural beauty, texture, and color to your porch, creating a lush and inviting outdoor environment. Whether you choose flowering plants, greenery, or a combination of both, plants enhance the visual appeal of your porch and complements its architectural features.

Plants soften the hard lines and surfaces of your porch, creating a more organic and welcoming atmosphere. Plants can soften the edges of structures, such as railings or walls, and blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces.

hanging baskets of flowers on front porch
Hanging baskets and potted plants give this porch great appeal
Use tall or dense foliage to provide privacy screening for your porch, shielding it from neighboring properties or street views. Strategically place climbing vines, shrubs, potted plants, or hanging baskets along the perimeter of your porch to create a sense of seclusion and intimacy.

Trees, vines, and large plants provide shade and help to cool the air around your porch, making it more comfortable to use, especially during hot summer months. Shade-loving plants can also help to reduce the temperature inside your home by blocking direct sunlight.

Beautiful front porch garde
Beautiful front porch landscaping
Many foliage plants, such as herbs and flowering plants, emit pleasant fragrances that can perfume the air and stimulate the senses. Aromatic plants like lavender, jasmine, or rosemary can add a delightful scent to your porch and promote relaxation and well-being.

Choose low-maintenance plants that require minimal care and attention, making them ideal for busy homeowners or those with limited gardening experience. Choosing drought-tolerant or native plants can also reduce water usage and maintenance requirements.

Plants can provide year-round interest on your porch, with evergreen plants offering structure and color during the winter months and deciduous plants providing vibrant foliage and flowers in the spring and summer.

7: Add Personal Touches

vintage bicycle in front of gorgeous porch
This vintage bicycle adds personality
Adding personal touches to your porch transforms it into a unique and inviting space that reflects your personality and style.

Select decorative items that coordinate with your hobbies, interests, and passions. If you love gardening, incorporate potted plants or hanging baskets.

If you're a bookworm, add a cozy reading nook with a bookshelf and comfortable chair. Perhaps add a vintage lantern, ceramic pottery, or antique sign or similar item that may hole sentimental value.

beautiful front porch with personal touches
Notice the personal touches and how they make this porch extra inviting
Personalize your porch furniture with cushions, pillows, or throws in your favorite colors or patterns. You can also add DIY touches like painting or stenciling designs onto furniture and pillows to make it uniquely yours. Mary does just that with pillows to celebrate the seasons and holidays.

Incorporate personalized wallart, signs or plaques with meaningful quotes, family names, or welcome messages. You can also create custom signs using wood, metal, or chalkboard paint to add a personal touch to your porch decor.

Use DIY projects that showcase your creativity and craftsmanship. Whether it's handcrafted planters, a homemade bird feeder, or a DIY wreath for the front door, adding homemade touches adds charm and personality to your porch.

Introduce textiles such as rugs, curtains, or tablecloths in patterns or colors that resonate with you. Outdoor curtains also provide shade, protection from the elements, and warmth.

By incorporating these ideas, you can infuse your porch with personal touches that make it a welcoming and meaningful space for you to enjoy and share with others.

Beyond the 7 Things a Front Porch Needs...

Don't Forget Handrails for Your Steps

metal handrail on front porch steps
Metal handrail on front porch steps
In addition to the 7 things we listed above, we recommending adding handrails to your front steps. It only takes one step to fall.

Even if you only have one, two, or three steps, a handrail can prevent a serious fall. You may be in good health, young, and agile, but your other family members and visitors may not be.

Consider Infrared Radiant Heaters for Extra Warmth

infrared heater on beautiful screen porch from The Porch Company
Radiant heater perfectly located for maximum effect
Photo courtesy of The Porch Company
Infrared heating is considered a very efficient means of heating outdoor spaces because it warms people and objects directly, like the warmth you feel when you feel the sunshine. Infrared heaters can extend your outdoor time in fall or spring and they can be attached or free standing. Learn more about infrared heaters for your porch.

We encourage you check out this article by The Porch Company about How to Make Your Porch a Year Round Getaway and one of the ways is with infrared heaters.

Add Privacy to Your Porch

we will especially enjoy our privacy panels when dining on our back porch
We added these privacy panels to our porch
Often times you will want a little privacy or want to hide an unsightly feature near your porch. You can use shades, lattice, or even foliage to block someone's old broken down truck or beaten shed.

Want to know how we made our porch privacy panels? Many of our readers love adding privacy to their porches.

Mary and Dave, Founders of Front Porch Ideas and More
Hi! We're Mary and Dave, lifelong DIYers, high school sweethearts, and we both love porches. You've come to the right place for thousands of porch ideas.

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Mary and Dave, Founders of Front Porch Ideas and More
Hi! We're Mary and Dave, lifelong DIYers, high school sweethearts, and we both love porches. You've come to the right place for thousands of porch ideas.
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Use the PCA Visualizer to design your screen door

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.

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At no extra cost to you, we earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy.
We, Front Porch Ideas and More, confirm, as stated on our privacy policy, that we do not sell personal information.

All content here is solely for presenting ideas. We recommend consulting with a licensed, experienced contractor before you begin your project.
We make no guarantees of accuracy or completeness of information on our site or any links to other websites contained here.

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