Front porch ideas - 10 expert ways to transform your entrance and maximize your space
The latest trends for front porch ideas will inspire you to create a truly stylish welcome to your home
Choosing the right look for front porch ideas can totally transform the curb appeal of your home and will add an easy and stylish uplift. Good front porch design works by framing your entrance in a pleasing way, but also has to be practical so the space is fit for purpose. Get the basics right then enjoy adding interesting details to make a front porch that's all your own.
There are lots of looks to choose from and there will definitely be one to suit the exterior aesthetic of your particular home. Perhaps the idea of a sleek and contemporary streamlined look is appealing or maybe something a little more curated with an interesting mix of plants, decorative accessories and furniture to help maximise your space.
Front porches are part of a wider interior design trend. 'One of the biggest trends of 2022 is maximizing space,' says Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People, the online marketplace connecting homeowners with local tradespeople. 'Whether that’s physically adding more space, or optimizing what you already have by creating multifunctional zones. Adding a new front porch is a great way to give you more space and storage.'
So whether you're eyeing up a new front porch or want to make over your existing one, we've rounded up some of the best ideas to give you all the inspiration you need, as well as asking the experts to share their top tips to make sure your front porch has all the standout you're looking for.
10 inspirational new ways with front porch ideas
1. Start with standout door color
Front doors are a simple way of adding color to your porch decor and an easy project that can be accomplished in a few hours. 'Having a stand out front door not only looks fantastic but is an easy way for visitors to find your house in seconds,' says Helen Shaw, director of Benjamin Moore. 'Consider taking a lead from nature when deciding on paint color for your front door. Shades of green in varying tones from rich forest greens, to fern hues or soft sages look striking while also feeling at one in an urban environment.'
We often pick shades we wouldn’t choose for our interior scheme. Front doors offer a great opportunity to express our craving for color without affecting the mood of a room. 'Statement doors have become very popular,' says Matthew Brown, Sadolin & Sandtex consultant, 'with people opting for shades like bright blue and vibrant yellow. More recently, we’ve noticed sage and olive green have also become a favorite. They really make your property stand out and give it a more modern feel.'
2. Accessorize your porch with carefully chosen details
A dream porch is a place to sit, relax and feel good about life. And that requires a few carefully chosen details to enhance what could otherwise be just a walkway from outside to in.
Equally, for modern urban homes, the classic porch accessories (a wicker rocker and coffee table) might not be stylistically right, or might not fit. If a city home has one at all, it's likely to be a small porch. Instead, make room for some greenery in a statement pot to soften a linear space and don't forget a modern doormat and some discreet spotlights to bring a little night time shine that will perfectly enhance the space.
3. Match the floor tiles to the wall
A particularly modern approach is to use the same tiles on the walls and ground to create a sleek and streamlined look. Go for large-format tiles as they help to visually open up a space and create a sense of continuity, and when used together on floors and walls lend a cohesive look.
Look for qualities such as resistance to chipping, wear, frost and UV rays, all essential in spaces with high foot traffic in outdoor areas. ‘Arles is a large-format porcelain tile with an intriguing stone-effect that’s ideal for exterior settings and is available with an anti-slip surface,’ says Vanesa Vaquer from Coverlam, a pioneering brand in terms of green credentials as their tiles are environmentally friendly and the ideal choice as a sustainable material.
4. Opt for a cool color palette
The combination of white and green works every time when it comes to landscaping, whether you want a modern or more traditional look. It's blissfully uncomplicated.
'Classic colors such as glossy black, deep grey and off white remain popular choices for front doors,' says Matthew Brown, Sadolin & Sandtex consultant. 'These neutral shades are timeless, elegant and suit every exterior.'
Keep paintwork and hardscaping white, and planting green and white, and that's all you need do to get the look.
5. Use symmetry to maximize porch features
A streamlined, symmetrical design can help a small front porch appear larger. Enhance this effect with clipped topiary cones on either side of the porch. Identical potted plants add a balanced look that draws the eye without appearing too busy.
Carry on the symmetrical look with good exterior lighting, which has the power to transform your porch. Plan carefully to maximise the features and enhance your entrance. Try layering several different front porch lighting ideas. Pendants, wall lights, lanterns and LED candles can be combined to create a warm welcome. Extend the lighting into your front yard by adding solar powered stake lights to illuminate the path to your home.
'Well placed, good quality outdoor lighting will give your porch area instant kerb appeal and makes the entrance to your home more welcoming in the evening,' says David Amos, CEO at Amos Lighting + Home. 'One way to style porch lighting is to apply matching light fixtures either side of the front door. This creates a reassuring sense of symmetry and balance. Lanterns that mirror the shape of the front door opening are particularly on trend too.'
6. Match your path and porch for a statement feature
Tiling a garden path and matching the front porch is a stylish way to bring character to your outdoor space, allowing you to create a welcoming, inviting entrance to your home. It's a flexible option too as this look works in lots of different spaces both modern and classic.
'Whether you’re after a classic mosaic path to complement a Victorian terrace, a rustic vibe to go with a country bolt-hole, or a clean, modern aesthetic to suit a new build, tiling is a great option and can be used to create any number of looks,' says Harriet Goodacre, consultant at Topps Tiles. 'Whichever style you opt for, make sure the tiles and adhesive are suitable for the job and designed for outdoor use.'
Porcelain tiles are a great option as they're hard wearing and most are frost proof. Look for designs that are also slip resistant, which is important for high traffic areas.
7. Opt for on-trend oversized porch planters
Choosing a pair of eye catching over-scaled planters as part of your front porch ideas helps to create impact for your entrance. Maybe hold off on the clipped balls and instead choose topiary in more interesting shapes that are accessorised with succulents for a one-off look.
'Taking inspiration from grand stately homes and sculptural lines, this look follows neatly on from the bay tree porch trend we've seen growing in popularity,' says interior designer Sanel Konyar, founder of Interior Kollection. 'This is a big step up from the 'bay tree in a pot' look, upscaling topiary to maxi-sized planters to give your porch a real sense of grandeur that will maximise first impressions.'
It's further proof that front porch designs are center stage in 2022. 'More of us are being inspired by social media when it comes to creating an enticing home entrance,' says Dervla Farrell, Colourtrend's online color expert. 'By highlighting your home’s façade with a different shade than the siding, this helps to really emphasise the surroundings and create a focal point which will make your porch pop. Shades of green are a particularly popular choice when it comes to transforming your porch.'
8. Add some excitement to your porch
Give your home standout by choosing a color scheme for your front porch ideas that will get your space noticed. 'I find that people often pick rich, vibrant colors for their front door that they would never pick for their interiors, and I love that,' says expert paint colorist Annie Sloan. 'This is your opportunity to build excitement for the rest of your space and create an entrance that puts a smile on your face every time you return home.'
Rich yellows are characteristically robust, richly saturated and joyful. Use on front doors and porch surrounds to broadcast sunshine to your neighbours all year long.
'Choosing a bold color is an easy way to create an inviting and unique front porch,' agrees Colourtrend's Dervla Farrell. But don't worry if yellow isn't for you as there are plenty more options. 'We’ve found that people are also loving dark blues, as they can help to create that wow factor. Combinations of beautiful greens and blues are also proving popular as they bring that ‘coastal breeze’ look that instantly adds an element of calm and cheer to your front porch.'
9. Stage your porch with clever hardscaping
Think of your front porch as a stage that deserves attention, but one that will have the focus firmly on it at all times so needs to be up to scratch 24/7. Always consider a combination of hardscaping and planting to set off your front porch to the best possible effect.
The main entrance to these apartments in Louisville, designed by award winning landscape architects Myers+Co, features a terraced bluestone garden path, inset pockets of crushed gravel and low 'Green Velvet' boxwood hedging. These tiers of interest come together to form an attractive approach to the porch that looks good whatever the season.
10. Utilise every inch of porch space
Our front yards stepped up to become places to socialise and hang out rather than simply pass through. It looks like the trend is here to stay, with a 150% increase in requests for 'functional front yards', according to US based landscape design platform Yardzen.
The emphasis has now firmly shifted to the porch as the focal point for this new way of socialising. There's a huge trend to include seating areas and dining spaces on screened in porches, as well as fire pits and even pergolas.
It's all about getting the most out of every inch of space, which is particularly important if your home is on the small side. Now our front yards are places to dine, gather and be seen in, so it's time to take a fresh look at the potential of your porch.
Look again at what available space you have. Squeeze in a slimline bench and a small table and you have an instant spot for socialising or taking in the street view.
How do you light a front porch?
We asked Lee Lovett, founder of the Soho Lighting Company, what the key points are when it comes to how to light your front porch.
'A porch light is often the first light guests see when visiting your home,' says Lee. 'As well as offering practicality in terms of lighting, they can also make a fabulous style statement and introduce your guests to the interior they are about to experience.'
Here are Lee's top 5 tips on what to remember when you light a front porch:
- A porch light is often the first light that guests will see when visiting your home. As well as offering practicality in terms of lighting, they make a fabulous style statement and introduce your guests to the interior they are about to experience.
- When it comes to selecting a style and finish, it’s a good idea to think about your home’s architectural features and the colours that are used throughout your property. For example, if your interior has an industrial style then choose a porch light that mirrors this.
- Considering head height is essential. For lower height porches, wall lights and ceiling mounted lights are a perfect choice, whereas for entrances with higher ceilings pendant lights are also a stylish option.
- When selecting porch lights, factor in if your porch is sheltered or exposed to the elements and pay close attention to the IP rating. Officially, outdoor porch lights must hold a minimum IP rating of 45+. If they are more exposed to rain, however, a rating of 65+ will ensure full protection from direct moisture and dirt. Gusty winds are also a consideration that favours wall lights and ceiling mounted lights over pendant lights.
- Ensure that you accurately measure your space and the dimensions of your desired porch light. Choosing a fixture that is too large or too small can negatively impact your desired aesthetic and the practical emittance of light you require. Marking up a piece of paper and holding it in the spot where your light will go is a simple way to avoid this.
Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own garden where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.
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