Your front porch is the face of your home. It’s the first thing you, guests, and neighbors see when they approach your house. It’s the quintessential hallmark of a homeowner—the postcard-perfect first impression you get to offer the world. So it’s important to get it right. If you’re not sure your front porch is up to snuff, a few simple changes can completely alter the way your home sets that first impression.
The Pieces of the Front Porch Puzzle
Before you can give your front porch the glow-up it deserves, you have to know all the elements that make a front porch shine, first. After all, it’s about more than the banister and the pot of mums you set out each fall. A great front porch will create a warm welcome through a combination of design elements and structural choices.
One of the best ways you can really take in all that goes into a solid front porch is by taking a few steps back from your own. Head out to the sidewalk or curb closest to your front porch and take it all in. Notice that your front porch is a combination of the landscaping around it, the stairs, furniture, the lighting choices, the windows, and, of course, the front door. Notice how these things work together or against one another to create harmony or stylistic discord.
Each of these pieces are what you should consider when it’s time to kick that front porch design up a notch. Ready to roll? Here’s how you can do it.
Sprucing up Your Porch Design in 5 Steps
1. Install Outdoor Lighting
Just as lighting can change the feel of rooms inside your home, it can also change the way your porch feels. There are many different ways you can arrange your front porch lighting to not only help people find their way to your entrance at night but also add some personality to your porch.
The most basic lighting objective is to illuminate your driveway, walkway, and the area immediately around your front door. At a minimum, try to ensure that visitors can find their way to your entrance and locate the doorbell. Front porch lighting can also be used to highlight certain things on your porch. If you have foliage or other decor, consider arranging your lighting to shine on your showstopper elements even at night.
There are many different kinds of front porch lighting you can install. Step lighting can be installed beneath each step on your porch, providing a unique way of guiding guests safely to your home’s entrance. These lights are a great option if the rest of your lighting is somewhat dull, and doesn't properly reach your steps. Hanging lights and lanterns are another great choice. Especially if you’re going for a modern look with a front porch overhang, hanging lights and wall-mounted lanterns can add that homey charm without sacrificing your modern style. Floodlights, on the other hand, can be used in different areas to create more light overall . Typically, floodlights are best used for added visibility at night as opposed to design-centric lighting, and therefore are often seen tucked high in corners or areas where a more stylistic lighting fixture might not fit.
2. Update Your Front Door
Your front door is the main attraction of your front porch, and changing it can give the entire front of your home a new feel. You could try simple changes, like hanging new accents such as a wreath, or changing the handle design. You might also consider changing the color or style of your front door entirely. One of the biggest problems with front door design is that they simply don't pop, either because the design is basic or because they are a similar color to your exterior. So no matter how you do it, try to make your front door stand out!
3. Front Porch Landscaping
Front porch landscaping is another great way to improve your curb appeal without breaking the bank. Two symmetrical plants on either side of the front door will give it a bold pop. Smaller plants lined along the stairs and walkway will make the area feel less empty and can be a great way to hide outdoor lighting or create a more natural, overgrown vibe for your home’s entrance area. With the return of more cozy and “cottagecore” decor choices and themes, landscaping around your front porch can make a huge difference in how welcoming and warm your home appears.
4. Install a Modern Front Porch Overhang
Beyond the front door, your awning, stair rails, walkway, and steps are the remaining pieces of the front porch puzzle. Experimenting with any one of these can make a huge difference in the feel of your front porch, but the biggest architectural change you can make is with a modern front porch overhang. If your door does not have a natural overhang, consider installing an awning or trellis - this will make your front door stand out, and there are many modern front porch overhang options available to add that little something extra. Rails around your front porch and stairs can work with the foliage and style you have chosen, whereas a well-placed railing can make your front porch feel less empty if your landscaping is more minimal. While it's a bit more of a project to replace your walkway, updating it can be a great way to revitalize your home front. Stone or brick are timeless materials that will often stay trendy longer than asphalt or concrete.
5. Incorporate Color into Your Front Porch Design
Like any part of the house, changing the colors of your front porch can make it feel like an entirely new place. If you have a light-colored facade, try a darker color for your door, railing, awning, light fixtures, or other accents. Likewise, if you have a darker facade, try lighter-colored fixtures. This contrast can be more appealing and bring out your design.
SEE ALSO: CHOOSING A COLOR FOR YOUR FRONT DOOR
These are just a few of the ways you can begin to revitalize your front porch. A couple of simple changes can make a huge difference and give you the chance to experiment with different designs. With a little practice, you'll be able to try your own front porch ideas!
Channel Your Porch Personality
Since the front porch is often the first impression others get of your home, it offers a unique opportunity to add a power-packed punch of personality before your guests even step foot in the door. By digging deep and deciding the first impression you want others to get when they approach your home, you can find a porch personality that truly shines.
Ready to envision your best front porch design? Contact a Pella window and doors specialist to help you make that first impression a lasting one in the best of ways.