Front Porch Ideas
Are you looking for tips on how to design the perfect front porch or maybe just want some cool front porch ideas? If so, you’re in the right place.
A front porch used to be a staple of just about every home. But as home design evolved and people moved into the suburbs the front porch has been replaced by the back deck or patio. People don’t spend as much time as they used to sitting out on the front porch and just relaxing. Chatting with the neighbors or watching kids play ball in the street is now watching Netflix while kids play video games online. Some people still use the front porch, but most are built just for decoration or as an architectural detail. But whatever the purpose for building one, a front porch can be a beautiful & functional part of the home.
Like any outdoor area, a porch is an important part of the home and should be designed as such. It’s one of the first things people see from the street, an integral part of the entryway and a major factor when it comes to curb appeal.
If your lucky enough to have a front porch or even just some front steps or s stoop then this article is for you. It’s filled with all of our best front porch ideas and designs, tips and tons of pictures.
Type of Front Porches
Porches come in a bunch of different shapes, sizes and designs.
- Open Porch: These are often called a front landing or stoop. They don’t have any sort of roof or covering.
- Wraparound Porch: These are more common with older homes but we still use them on new homes from time to time. The porch wrap from the front of the house, around the side and sometimes all the way to the back. They can wrap around one side or both.
- Screened Porch: These porches are enclosed by screened windows and doors so you can enjoy the open air feel without the bugs.
- Covered Porch: Covered porches have a roof so you can sit out on the porch in the rain but not wall coverings so they’re completely open air.
- Enclosed Porch: A fully enclosed porch, also called a 4 seasons porch, has a roof and walls with real windows and doors, not screens. These porches can be locked up and are sometimes heated and cooled.
Knowing the type of porch you plan on building or decorating will influence your design.
Front Porch Construction
Porches are built out of a variety of materials. Here are the most common:
- Wood Decking: Open porches are commonly built with wood beams and an open decking floor.
- Wood Screened Porch: A screened wood porch generally has a decking floor too because water can still get in. These porches are designed to be indoor outdoor.
- Wood Covered Porch: As with the screened and open porch designs, these typically have decking floors so water can drain.
- Wood Enclosed Porch: A fully enclosed porch can have a finished floor just like inside the house because when it rains you can shut the windows.
- Masonry Porch: These porches can be open, screened, covered, wrap around and enclosed just like a wood porch is. The only difference is that the porch floor is made out of a masonry product like concrete, stone, brick or a combination or materials.
When your designing your front porch take into consideration not only the design but also what it’s made of. Some styles may work with a country style wood porch but not with a modern concrete one.
Front Porch Design Ideas
Figuring out how to decorate your front porch can be harder than you think, but with a little time, effort and creativity, your porch can be beautiful too. Here are some great front porch ideas to get you started.
The Front Porch Top
When people search for front porch ideas they’re usually looking for ideas on decorations and decor but don’t forget about that actual construction of the porch. If your designing and building a new front porch then these elements are even more important than how you decorate the porch. You can always change the decorations but it’s not so easy to change your porch top.
Masonry is a great way to build a porch. This open covered porch features real stone with matching stone veneer columns and cap. Everything is cemented in which is an extremely solid way to build. However it’s permanent. Be sure before you build a masonry porch that every element is exactly as you want it.
Compliment our house style and color scheme with your stone. Keep the porch colors on the light side and neutral.
The best front porch designs enhance the home while not overpowering it.
A front porch to sit out on and enjoy the view and fresh air is a standard when you live in the country. I the suburbs this sort of living moved to the backyard when housing got more cramped. But if you’ve got more space then a front porch is an excellent design choice.
This one features a stone floor with cement grout, tan cedar shake siding and round columns with a white ceiling and trim. The color scheme is fantastic and very current while still feeling traditional. It’s winter so the planters are empty but in spring time this porch really gets colorful. For now the tabletop flowers will have to do.
The Front Door
Another major part of your front porch design is the door. The porch is an extension of the home and choosing the right door is essential. When you think about it the door is really the focal point of the front porch. Functionally speaking, you use the porch to get into the house. Sure, they look great and are a nice spot to sit out on but there main job is as a entryway to the home.
Choosing a great front door is a hard decision on any home, but it’s even more difficult when you have a porch to worry about. Reason being, the door now has to work well with not only the home’s style but also your porch design.
We try to make decisions in stages. Choose permanent items like you porch and home design first, then the door design and color and finally your decorations.
Front Porch Seating
Setting up multiple sitting areas will help you entertain more people. It also helps get better use out of the space when you have a place for people to sit and relax. To spruce things up, consider adding in cushions and pillows with some color. Make sure it looks good with the house and porch design but change it up a little. You don’t have to match everything too closely.
These black chairs with blue cushions and pillows looks nice with the homes gray siding but still manage to stand out.
As we’ve been saying, it’s not all just about decor. With out without chairs this front porch design is beautiful. The front door, stone porch top, columns and wood ceiling are all fantastic choices. When you build a porch like this it’s really hard to wrong no matter what you decorations you put on it because the overall design is so strong.
Covered Wood Front Porch With Stone Siding
I wanted to put this front porch design here for a reason. As I’ve been saying the overall porch design and construction is more important than what you put on it. This design is so beautiful all it needs is a simple door mat. Personally I’d include some plants by the door and maybe a chair or two but it doesn’t need it. If the design is strong then additional decor isn’t as important.
Everything used here is part of a natural, earth toned, harmonious color scheme. And yet because the tones are subtly different they all manage to stand out.
These fantastic real stone veneer stones are just a bit lighter than the real wood front door and darker than the wood decking. The ceiling is white with light cream trim and columns. Dark bronze light fixtures with tan glass are nice finishing touches. The color scheme has everything from almost black to bright white.
Pro Tip: By using a wide range of tones, regardless of the actual colors used, helps each individual color pop.
Harmonious Porch Color Scheme
This is a great place to take a look at this front porch because it ties into what we were saying about the previous design. You can have a totally harmonious color scheme if you want one, it can be a beautiful porch design if you do it right. But it’s not just about color. The tone of your colors matters just as much or more than the colors themselves.
The color palette here is obviously blue. But notice how the tones are so varied.
- The pots are a very dark blue, almost black.
- The front door is a medium blue with matching mat.
- Siding is a lighter shade of medium blue.
- Stones have more muted shades of dark blue throughout.
While every color is blue, they’re so varied that each color manages to stand out and have impact.
Another great choice here are the white columns and door trim. Using white is a great was to outline important areas on the home like doors and windows.
Porch plants are also great choices and we recommend them for just about any front porch. They add so much life and vibrancy to the design as well as colors you wouldn’t otherwise use. And they can be changed seasonally however you like.
Some of our favorite front porch ideas use a harmonious color scheme.
All White Porch
If you want a harmonious color scheme that doesn’t mean you have to pick a color. All white counts.
This all white house features white siding, trim, columns and front door with a white ceiling. The blue stone porch stop with limestone steps are fantastic additions with white. And so are all this beautiful landscaping and potted flowers.
With a design like this you’ve got to add some contrasting elements which come in the form of black hardware and light fixtures.
If you want a super clean and crisp porch design then this one may be just right for you.
Screened Front Porch
A screened front porch is a great addition to a home with a view from the front of the house. It makes it so much easier to sit out at night when you don’t want to be bothered by the bugs.
One of the main reasons people tell me they don’t sit out on the porch as much as they’d like are the bugs. Face it, they’re annoying. With a screened in porch you get the same fresh air as an open porch without having to worry about getting bit by mosquitoes.
- Everything else about the covered porch design is exactly the same except the spaces in between your columns are filled in with screened panels or windows.
- Many people used to call these smoking porches because they’d sit outside at night smoking a cigar, cigarette or pipe. It’s a relaxing place to hang out.
- Even in the morning’s it’s nice to sit out on the porch and enjoy the breeze ad fresh air.
- A screened porch is kind of like a sunroom except they’re not heated or cooled.
A screened in front porch is a nice addition to the home. We have them all over here at the Jersey Shore. People even use them as living space for guests by installing removable glass panels and large blinds.
Flower pots filled with bright seasonal flowers are a great way to liven up your design and add a variety of colors. The great thing about using porch flowers is that you can change them to adjust your design whenever you like.
When your decorating your porch with flowers make sure to not only consider the flower but also the pot. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with flowers. Just about any color will work with any design. But I’ve seen some really terrible pot choices. Consider how the color and style of the pot looks with the house and porches style and color scheme. These light blue pots with simple design look fantastic on this house. Light blue works well with the gray siding, red brick and wood door as well as the blue stone but isn’t a color found on the house. It blends it but stillstands out which is what you want.
Also consider the size of the pot in relation to the plant and home. These pots are just the right size.
Front Porch Potted Flowers
Here’s another view of that beautiful front porch with potted flowers. Notice how the flowers have been changed from a spring mix to a tighter bouquet.
The great thing about using porch flowers is that they’re so easy to change. And each time you do it changes the look and feel of the porch quite a bit. The previous flower design was wilder and more natural while this one is cleaner and more refined.
The pots are the same so you can see from these two pictures how much of an impact your choice of porch flowers is.
Purple & Pink Flower Power Porch
If your someone who has an affinity for whites and neutrals then your in luck. White homes have never been more popular. Especially when you throw in natural elements like this small red brick front porch. But, to offset all that white you can use landscaping and porch flowers.
It hard to add color to a house with a white color scheme other than gray or black. Even if you include some brick or stone it’s usually used as an accept and not a main component of the design.
Flowers are a great way to include the colors that are lacking on the home.
Open Front Porch
Small, open front porches like this one are very common with just about style home. They’re very simple porches built out of masonry that are basically a set of steps with a center porch top. Many people call these a front stoop or landing. They’re totally open without any roof but sometimes have rails on the sides depending on how high they are.
If you have a simple, small open porch like this then a couple plants tends to work best. Don’t overdo it or crowd such a small area with tons of stuff. The black pots used here work nicely with the homes white and black color scheme. The red flowers add some much needed splashes of color. Notice how that red was used by the window plants a well.
What’s really special about this porch is the front door trim. The front door and trim work are all part of the porch design. If you’ve got a simple small porch then accentuate it with a thick front door trim design.
The reason the design works so well is because there’s no roof overhead to overshadow the door.
Covered Porch With Balcony
There’s a lot of big design work going on with this small front porch. As with the example above, the front door has a thick white surround only this time it’s capped by a fantastic balcony. Unfortunately the balcony is just for show but it’s doubles as a great cover for the porch.
The blue stone porch top and real stone veneer are great additions and look very nice with cream siding.
Warmer color schemes are thankfully coming back in style which is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I still like gray, white and black homes but after you’ve seen 100 of them it’s nice to warm things up a little.
With a porch design like this you don’t need much extra. We’d eventually put out a mat and maybe some potted flowers but that’s about it.
Black Front Door & Planters
A nice design choice is to match your flower pots with the front door color. Especially if your door is black or white. Neutral pots help flowers stand out that much more.
Black is a funny color because it pretty much goes with anything. Although we would suggest using it sparingly and with a lighter siding color. Creating contrast is important or else you risk your color scheme becoming muddy.
White Front Door & Planters
Here we see the flip side of black on black which is white on white. A white front door with side by side white flower pots.
I love this design when you’ve got other white elements on the porch like all this trim and the columns. It’s such a clean, crisp design. I also like the simple green plants. There’s something about a lush green plant in a white pot that I really appreciate both inside and outside the house.
Matching Planters & Decor
Another great way to decorate your front porch is to match the planters and decor. Here we see weathered gray side by side door planters with matching rocking chairs and benches.
If you plan on matching everything on the porch then you better choose that color carefully. It’ll be a challenge to not only find a great color that works well with the home but it also has to work with whatever you put on the porch. This weathered gray looks fantastic on both the chairs and planters. It’s also a nice compliment to the overall color scheme of the house.
With a black, gray and white house color scheme any shade of gray works. It’s one of the reasons gray is such a popular color at the moment. It’s just so versatile that’s it’s a safe choice for just about any house.
Modern Front Porch Ideas
You can have a front porch with any style home including modern. When most people think of a front porch they generally picture a country home or some wrap around design. But any style home can have a front porch and therefore needs some designing.
This home has a covered front porch design but because it’s modern with a flat roof there’s no need for posts. Modern home designs typically feature large cantilevers because of the way they’re framed. It’s a really cool look, especially when your under the roof because it appears to be floating without any support.
Most modern designs are using simple finished and natural materials. Lots of metal, concrete, stone, brick and wood. So in that vein you should stick with simple decorations.
These cool flower pots work well with the homes color scheme and the flowers add just the right amount of color.
Modern Small Front Porch
Here’s another great example of a modern front porch design. Very simple concrete steps with stamped concrete siding and retaining walls.
One of the things I love about modern homes is how much masonry and metal they use. How simple and clean the styles are. These basic black planters and green manicured bushes are just right considering the design.
Don’t Forget The Porch Ceiling
There are lots of decision to make when designing your porch and every one is important. The ceiling is easily overlooked because you barely see it from the curb but up close it’s hard to miss. A rustic country design like this one with warm stone and real wood looks fantastic with a real wood ceiling.
The stain matches with the front door, shutters and columns. Matching stains is one way to do it but it’s not the only way.
Many porch designs use a variety of stain colors and tones.
Natural Color Scheme Covered Front Porch
This color scheme is one of my favorites for a front porch and overall home exterior. It’s a warm and inviting look that’s very easy to maintain. Real wood stained front door with a wood ceiling. Masonry real stone floor with white washed brick. Dark wood columns.
For decoration the designers kept it simple and tasteful. Potted green porch plants and some wood chairs. What I really like is how the cushions go so nicely with the color scheme. Attention to detail is important inside and outside the home.
This porch has a stained wood ceiling but unlike the example shown above, the stains don’t match. here we see a lighter shade on the front door, a medium shade on the ceiling and a dark stain on the columns. Either way looks good but I personally prefer a mixed design.
Covered Porch With White Ceiling
White bead board is another great look for a porch ceiling. This particular design featuring gray siding with white trim and ceiling with a wood front door is one of my favorites. Especially when it includes some real stone veneer.
The black light fixtures and ceiling fan are both really nice finishing touches.
Partially Covered Masonry Front Porch
If your like most people you spend all your time designing the inside of the home but it’s the front porch that makes or breaks that first impression. It’s an extension of your house, which means it’s equally as important, and sets the stage for what’s to come. In fact, since your porch is the first things your guests most likely see when they come over, it might be even more important. And don’t forget the front porch is a huge part of curb appeal, so if your selling the house a beautiful porch can make or break a sale.
This white brick home has a partially covered porch with white columns on a stone base and french style arched entry door. Real stone porch top with stone veneer.
The white and dark brown color scheme with natural stone and dark brown gutters is a fantastic look if you’ve got white siding.
Simple porch plants and some flowers are great finishing touches. Light and dark designs benefit from splashes of color.
Covered Wraparound Front Porch
This beautiful wraparound front porch is open air and fully covered. If you’ve got the right style home and the room then it’s a fantastic, classic design. Not as many new homes are built with wraparound front porches any more so it’s refreshing to see one on such a wonderful custom home.
Cedar shake siding with real stone veneer, a wood front door and lots of white trim. I especially like the arched detail above the front door. Notice how it compliments the arch above the open breezeway connecting the garage to the main house.
Small details like this and the porch in general are great ways to maximize your curb appeal.
Covered Brick Front Porch
What I love about this red brick, covered front porch are the planters between each column. The space between columns is commonly left empty or filled with a railing, but the use of these planters is a fantastic design. A little creativity can go a long way and it’s refreshing to see.
The planters are simple enough to build. They’re just pine boards stained and sealed with a very simple design. No fancy trim work is needed. In fact when it comes to a home style like this it’s better to be simple.
Using porch planters is a great way to add color. These bright green plants really liven up the porch and add some more variety from the curb.
Natural wood and greenery work really well with red brick. If you have a brick front porch then elements from this design may be for you.
Covered Red Brick Front Porch
Here’s another take on a simple red brick covered front porch. Simple things always seem to work best. All you really need are a few simple plants and maybe a chair or two. It’s more about choosing the right elements than overdoing it. That’s a common mistake we see with amateur designers. The pros understand how powerful simple things can be.
On this porch it’s all about color. This dark stained front door looks fantastic with white brick siding and the red brick porch.
Two small planters by the front door are just a nice finishing touch.
Small Covered Front Porch Idea
Colonial style homes with white siding and black shutters often include a small covered front porch. This one features round columns, blue stone top and stone veneer.
When you’ve got a beautiful, clean home design like this then simple porch decor is best. Don’t over do it. These simple matching black planters with greenery are all you need. The door mat is another great touch. Don’t underestimate the impact of a really nice mat.
Notice how the dual planters works well with the dual columns. You can borrow from this design on your own porch. Mirror the layout of your supports with your planters or other decorative elements.
Charming Front Porch Design
This front porch design has just the right amount of decoration. The yellow and purple flowers and great taste in pots creates a charming feel.
Laid Back Front Porch Design
Our home is a place we take pride in, and nothing welcomes guests like a well designed front porch. Since it’s the first thing anyone sees of your house, how it looks fro the curb or to guests as they come into the house is an important thing to consider. Ideally you’ll want to create a welcoming feel.
White columns hold up a large covered front porch which includes lots of rocking chairs and a bench. It has a nice, laid back comfortable feel that’s just right for sitting outside and watching the sunset.
Simple Covered Porch Design
If you’ve got a covered front porch then all you really need are a few rocking chairs to sit and relax on.
Cute Covered Front Porch Design
This super cute front porch includes pastel green siding with a real wood door and white trim. Simple wood chairs with a small table.
Summary: Front Porch Ideas & Designs
People don’t spend as much time as they used too. Sitting outside and just relaxing on the front porch is a thing of the past for most. But if your lucky enough to have a home with a front porch, it’s still a great opportunity for design and maximizing curb appeal. Maybe your someone who still likes hanging out on the porch, in that case some furniture, lighting or possibly a ceiling fan may be something you’d enjoy. Simple potted plants, wreaths, seasonal decorations or holiday decor are all wonderful reasons to decorate the front porch.
Like any outdoor area, a porch is an important part of the home and should be well designed. It’s an important part of your curb appeal and used pretty much any time someone enters the home.
If your lucky enough to have a front porch or even just some front steps or s stoop then I hope a few of the pictures we’ve included throughout the page will help you with your design.
If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.