They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to your home, the porch is it. So when looking for front porch ideas, it’s best to think in terms of both practicality and aesthetics.
Think about how it will complement your front door ideas and lead guests into your home. ‘A porch should not only be practical but enhance the beauty of your home, says Kunal Trehan, interior designer and founder of Touched Interiors.
‘If your facade is relatively flat, then adding a porch can really add depth to your home and elevate the overall look. When used creatively, it can also balance any unwanted asymmetry.’
Front porch ideas
While the structure of the porch is of course important, how you dress and fill the space is what really sets the tone for your guests as they enter your home. Kunal says resisting going storage crazy is key. ‘Don’t forget, this is a porch and not a garage, so don’t try to store everything in there. You wouldn’t greet guests from the garage door, so don’t turn your porch into one.’
To help you get the most out of the space and boost your kerb appeal, we’ve spoken to four experts and paired with our home decor expertise put together 10 easy to achieve front porch ideas so you can create an entrance to be proud of.
1. Opt for an open porch
If your home is currently porch free, you’re in a great position to design the space from scratch. But when looking for front porch ideas, consider whether an open structure or one that is enclosed will be best for you.
‘One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is that they instantly think a porch should be watertight and enclosed. This really is not the case and your starting point should always be asking yourself, what practical elements, other than aesthetic, would benefit you from having a porch.’ Kunal told us.
‘If you want to be protected from the rain whilst trying to find keys buried at the bottom of your bag, then an open porch will not only suffice but most likely look better too,’ he continued.
Before committing to the build, really be clear about what you need out of the space.
2. Add in space to sit
If you opt for an enclosed porch and have space to include some seated furniture, go for it. By including a bistro set, bench or even a small modular couch, your porch could provide you with another seated area to enjoy in your home.
Seating can work in an open porch too, just be sure to go for hardy, structures and outdoor fabric. Also, think carefully about how to arrange the pieces so they don’t obstruct foot traffic flow or become a nuisance for posties and pets.
3. Incorporate greenery
The greenery you go for depends not only on space but whether your porch is open or enclosed. For an open porch, Dobbies’ Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles says, ‘To create a showstopping porch display, pansy and viola plants are great as they work well in containers and will give your pots a wonderful fresh look. Pair their vibrant flowers with containers in complementary tones for maximum effect, and make sure you water well when planted and then regularly to keep the soil damp.’
‘My unenclosed front porch is pretty nondescript, but styling pots of plants either side of the doormat makes it feel far more like an ‘entranceway’. Opting for pots means it’s also easy to swap the plants out with the seasons to make sure there’s pretty much always something in bloom, whether that’s tulip bulbs in the spring or evergreen shrubs in the winter,’ says Ideal Home’s Ecommerce Editor Amy Lockwood. ‘It’s a great way to add some seasonal style and create as much of a statement focal point as you want’.
4. Make a statement with houseplants
For a fully or partially enclosed porch, Dobbies’ Houseplant Buyer, Claire Bishop, suggests making the most of beautiful houseplant ideas, ‘If you’re looking for a low effort way to transform your porch, a Sanseveria is a fantastic choice. This eye-catching plant can go without water for weeks at a time.
‘The quirky Sanseveria Trifasciata is also a proven air purifier, making it a great choice for compact spaces, and its height means it works well when grouped together with other houseplants for a cool jungle effect.’
5. Make a statement with decorative tiles
In recent years, porch flooring has gone from something very much over-looked to being a major focus of the space. So when considering front porch ideas, don’t be scared to choose something bold for your flooring such as decorative flooring tile ideas, just make sure they’re practical too.
Eloise Street from The London Tile Co. says, ‘Vitrified porcelain is an excellent choice as it’s unaffected by changes in temperature, plus it’s extremely durable and fade resistant. And check for a high slip resistance rating if you’re using the tiles in an area that gets wet often.’
For grouting ideas, Eloise recommends, ‘Choose one that’s suitable for outdoor use and go for a darker shade in high traffic areas to help hide any marks and reduce cleaning.’
6. Create symmetry with sconces
Outdoor wall lighting is a must in a porch, and while it needs to be practical it can be pretty two. consider investing in sconces or floor lanterns on either side of the door for symmetry. If you only want to fork out for one lighting fixture a large pendant light in the centre of the porch can achieve the same symmetrical look.
When choosing which lamp to go for try to opt for one with a motion sensor. Not only with this help with home security, but it means you’ll be met with light as soon as you come home.
7. Choose discrete built in storage
A porch can be an ideal place to store chopped wood for a wood burner and house umbrellas and muddy boots, but as it’s the first introduction to the home, you want to avoid clutter greeting your guests.
‘Generally small spaces, a porch can be one of the hardest working rooms in the home. Welcoming in friends and bidding fond farewells, but has the potential to become a dumping ground, so storage to neatly hide away shoes and coats really is key.’ Says Teresa Buck, Head of Brand Creative at The Cotswold Company.
If space allows, include a couple of low-profile storage solutions that won’t block windows or archways. For an enclosed porch, slimline cupboards built in under the windows work well.
8. Add warmth with window dressings
If your porch is enclosed, how you dress your windows will set the tone, from the outside and inside. ‘If you want to add interest to the front of your home, opt for curtains or roman blinds with a coloured lining in your porch,” says Yvonne Keal, senior product manager at Hillarys.
Before committing to window dressing think if it’s privacy you want, or decoration or a mix of the two? A combination of blinds and flowy voile panels could work. Also think about light and temperature. Yvonne says, ‘Venetian blinds offer ultimate control of heat and light while also creating a uniform look from outside, especially when used in all windows at the front of your home.’
9. Decorate with garlands all year round
An easy way to add colour and personality to your porch is to add seasonal décor in the form of real or faux garlands or wreaths, all year round. Think gypsophila and daisies or wildflowers for spring, sunflowers, tulips or peonies for summer, maple leaves and eucalyptus for autumn and berries, pine cones, pampas and fir for winter.
Use hooks for the wreaths or add a trellis to wrap your garland around the porch posts and swap them out at the start of every new season to keep your porch feeling fresh and interesting. Keep an eye on home decor discount codes to discover what seasonal styles you can find for less.
10. Welcome guests with terracotta tiles
Terracotta is trending at the moment and is the perfect way to add warmth to a porch. ‘Providing a rustic, earthen texture, terracotta feeds the prevailing desire to connect our interiors with the natural world,’ says Diane Hyde, Marketing Manager at Craven Dunnill & Co. ‘Terracotta is also ideal for porch tiling, creating a welcoming and distinctive entrance to a home.’
Can I add a front porch to my house?
If you intend to build a porch that is less than 3 metres, you may not need planning permission, though it’s best to check.
However, regulations aren’t the only thing to consider when deciding on size and style. Kunal from Touched Interiors says, ‘The first thing to do is to consider the size of your existing property and what size and shape of porch would enhance the entrance.
‘A porch should enhance and not be the main event, so use the basic principle that it should only surround your front door way, to avoid adding a monstrosity to your sanctuary. When it comes to depth, ensure that it does not protrude so excessively that it makes the rest of the house look unbalanced. Balance on width and depth is key to get this right.’
How can I make my front porch look nice?
It’s best to avoid too much clutter, trinkets and decorative items if you want your porch to seem inviting and spacious. Avoid lining the windowsills with too many items so it doesn’t look messy. And think about layering your textiles, patterns or pops of colour can be introduced through rugs and pillows if you have seating in your porch.
Plus painting your front door and changing out your number/name plate and letterbox can really revitalise a tired porch.
What to put in a small porch?
A small porch should always have lighting and a doormat, it could also have some small baskets or boxes for storage of clutter or shoes and dog leads.
Greenery is a must too, plants and flowers help add interest to an otherwise boring entrance. When deciding on plants for a smaller porch, Marissa Carrara, a Design Assistant at Rachel Bailey Design suggests, ‘If space is limited, consider alpine plants, as most alpines enjoy dry, conditions, they are perfect for containers. Using a mulch of grit or gravel on the top surface to that their foliage doesn’t sit on damp soil.’
She also told us, ‘A porch with good light levels could accommodate vegetables like tomatoes or consider herbs, perhaps a large pot of basil, Rosemary or salad ready for the salad bowl.’ Which would be a great additional use for the space.
Now autumn and winter are here this is the perfect time to style your front porch and create a beautiful vision to welcome you home on a chilly evening.