Knowing how to decorate a porch is a true skill. And, when you get it right, your porch will become a lovely outdoor living space that feels like a natural extension of your interior style.
Whether your front porch is large or small, there are a few different ways to make the most of what you've got and we've pulled in the experts to help. There’s the classic weatherboard style porch that we know and love so well, but also there’s room for a touch of modernity too – you may yearn after a contemporary style front porch instead.
How to decorate a front porch
The beauty of having a front porch is that you can change it seasonally. During the colder months it can be decorated with pumpkins and fall colors, for Christmas, we're all about fairy lights and wreaths. Come spring and summer you can give it a lick of paint and plump up some new cushions, and add furniture and rugs for a new look.
We all need a little inspiration from time to time, but decorating a front porch is easily done and you're sure to add heaps of personality to your front of house space in the process. From adding a double swing to creating a faux wood wall...
1. Install a hanging swing
You need to think about style and function here and spending time on your porch means you'll want some great outdoor seating installed.
There’s nothing nicer than whiling away your time on a swing – invoking those happy memories of spending time in parks as a child. You can have a double swing installed on your front porch to create a focal point. Paint it in a similar shade to your color scheme like this design and match up your seat cushions to the wall color.
2. Paint a porch in duck egg blue and white
This traditional style porch lends itself to classic shades like this pretty blue teamed with crisp white doors. Introducing a color will enable you to create a more flexible scheme for your furnishings. Neutrals go really well with this blue and you can carry the color through into cushions and vases.
3. Be seasonal with your decorations
A porch gives you the opportunity to play around with decorative accents in time with the seasons.
A collection of pumpkins and gourds in various shapes and sizes has fall written all over it. Pumpkins look great in groups of three as a super seasonal fall porch look. You could even have a few on each step if you have them. Mix it up with plants in pots for an extra splash of color and texture, as Kirsten Krason, co-founder and principal designer of House of Jade Interiors explains:
‘For this front porch, we layered greenery, fall florals, and varying squash vegetables that are quintessential to the season. Because we didn’t want to be too literal with the decor, we just used a select few of the pumpkins and gourds, sprinkling them around the potted plants to help lead the front porch from summer into fall.’
4. Choose modern materials
Of course we adore the classic wooden porches, but if you love a contemporary look then you’ll need to adapt your style and the materials you use accordingly.
This sweet table and chairs set fits this setting perfectly, and because the chairs are see-through and the table top glass, it allows you to see the landscape via the glass surround so you feel at one with nature despite the concrete elements, an ideal small porch idea if space is limited also.
5. Create an extra room
This amazing porch is wide enough to encompass a dining area and living space – not forgetting the TV!
Kim Armstrong, owner and senior designer of Kim Armstrong Interior Design, explains her thought process when she was designing her porch space:
'We live in Dallas, TX, but I have a strong connection to Cape Cod, which is where I spent my summers while in College. So when it came time to decorate our porch, I was influenced by outdoor living on the Cape. I began with a layout that worked well, we have a designated dining area and a sitting area for socializing with friends and family and for watching the Games on the TV.'
Armstrong introduced a mix of textiles, white and blue prints for the sofa, custom-made additions and wicker furniture for a natural feel. She worked with her inspiration but also with the space, 'The dining table is made narrow due to space constraints. But it works perfectly for al fresco dining, and because of the custom size, it feels roomy and spacious and is the perfect size for the porch.'
A splurge on a chandelier from Pottery Barn finished off the look.
6. Choose narrow furniture for a narrow porch
When your front porch is slimline, choose slimline furniture. A chaise is the perfect choice – on trend and fabulous for lounging on. It will be an elegant addition that you can dress up. We also love this idea of adding a shelf or two. It can hold your favourite plants and fresh blooms whilst adding a decorative element.
7. Furniture positioning is key
You want to have a good view right? So position your furniture so it maximizes this. You can use a coffee table as the centerpiece and place the sofa and armchairs around it.
This natural scheme works brilliantly, the colors all blend together to create one harmonious outdoor living space – the stone wall, wood elements and rattan all add a tactile feel that makes it a welcoming place to be.
8. Create an outdoor dining room on your front porch
‘Home-owners typically invest in styling their back gardens as leisure spaces, but a front porch can also offer ample opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re not green fingered? Go for faux.
If you take the time to set the scene, it will create a stronger vision for how the space can be enjoyed, and this can include colorful outdoor rugs and bold printed cushions.’
9. If your porch is uncovered, add a sail style awning
For various reasons your front porch may not be covered, this can easily be rectified by either having one added, or, if you’re on a budget consider a sail awning instead. It will do the job perfectly and add a more contemporary feel. They also work with any color scheme too which makes them a practical choice.
We love this powder coated steel table and chairs set too, it blends into the rest of the scheme whilst looking super stylish and the shade comes from the awning.
10. Keep it simple for a minimalist look
How do you decorate a front porch that’s more grand? You keep it simple and you let the structure of the building dictate the design.
Eddie Maestri, principal architect and creative director of Maestri Studio gives us his expert advice:
'I decorated this front porch to make a statement and become a welcoming greeting spot. Twin planters were selected to frame the entry, and a concrete foyer table was placed as a welcoming focal with a large planter. We approached the design of this space to truly be an extension of the interior space, with the look and feel of a grand foyer.'
11. Add a textured wall with wood-effect tiles
Although we love the wooden cabin feel of a traditional porch, it’s also good to do something different if you prefer a contemporary look.
These tiles have a clever wood-effect that gives a fabulous range of colors to this front porch, making it ideal for warming up a modern scheme. Let it be the focal point by keeping your furniture and accessories in iron grey and white. Add in a few plants to soften the edges and you’re good to go!
12. Invest in one-off finds to add character
Decorate your steps and around your front door with authentic pots and planters. The best ones are always those found at antiques shops and vintage fairs, just make sure they have a few holes drilled into the bottom to allow for drainage.
You can use them all year round – fill them with seasonal plants to fill your front porch with beautiful colors and scents.
13. Have an enclosed corner of your front porch for privacy
If you want to create a cozy corner then pop up some fencing. Not only will it be a style statement – especially when painted in jet black, it will create a natural buffer against the elements which ensures you can use it more during the year.
Balance out the black visually by investing in stone colored floor tiles, they will add warmth to the scheme. Another great item to consider when designing your front porch is to have a great fire pit, it will become the heart of your front porch.
14. Light up your front porch
You can never have too many lanterns and they’re a solid way to create a beautiful twinkly welcome on your front porch.
Collect various different shapes and sizes to create interest – scour antique fairs for some intricate designs too, the more the merrier.
Create a display with them, groups of three always work best and you could use some plants too like shown here.
15. A wreath isn’t just for Christmas
‘Decorative wreaths may be popular at festive times, but they are certainly not just for Christmas. From fiesta inspired pom pom pieces to seasonal floral ideas, the options are so endless you could swap them every week,’ explains Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor at Wayfair
'Acting as the final touch to your front door makeover, apply them like you would a piece of jewellery...opt for a simple, statement piece and let it shine.'