Whether you have an open porch or a more enclosed one, front porches add a sense of place and charm to any home. Designing the perfect porch requires a thoughtful approach to seating, lighting, plants, and more.
Whether you’re building a new house or just updating your porch, these tips will help you make it the perfect spot for outdoor entertaining and relaxing.
If you want to design your porch into a welcoming and comfortable space, one of the most important things to consider is the focal points. Focal points help to define the space, draw your eye in, and naturally flow you from room to room.
The best way to identify your focal point is to stand in front of the room and look for a spot that immediately stands out. It could be a piece of art, an architectural element, or something else that stands out in the space.
Once you’ve identified the focal point, it’s time to design around it. Use color and fabric in pillows, art or accessories to help draw the eye towards that defining feature.
You may also want to add a rug that matches the focal point so that you can really emphasize it. Alternatively, you can use a wall to create a frame and set it apart.
Adding plants is another easy way to create focal points in your garden. Plants that are showy in spring, interesting in the fall, or simply have striking characteristics can make excellent focal points.
If your garden is big enough, you can have multiple focal points in different areas. However, you do need to plan ahead and be careful with plant selection.
For example, you might consider using a Bleeding heart as your spring focal point, but you shouldn’t plant that until after the tall lilies are in bloom. Similarly, you shouldn’t plant a specimen tree in your garden that isn’t going to look good all year long.
Seating can be a major element of your porch design. It helps define the space and is an excellent place to entertain guests and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with friends.
While you should consider your budget when deciding on the seating for your porch, there are plenty of affordable options to choose from. For example, you can purchase a rocking chair that will add a relaxed vibe to the space. The seat can be upholstered in a variety of colors and patterns to complement your porch’s style.
You can also choose a patio chair with a reclining back for added comfort. These chairs are crafted from wood, steel or wicker and come in various colors and finishes to pair with your existing furniture.
Lastly, you can opt for a sofa or sectional. This furniture will create a comfortable spot to relax with a book or watch the birds while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Another option is to build in seating into the walls and windows. This can be done easily and will give you extra seating options without taking up too much room.
For example, you can place a bench with a built-in window seat in a small space like this one to help create a cozy nook where you can enjoy a good book and a cup of coffee while the sun sets. The combination of textures in the seating and the rolling bar cart make this area inviting for any season.
Regardless of how you choose to arrange the seating on your porch, it is important to remember that the positioning of the furniture can affect how well it defines the space. For instance, seating that is grouped together can be more cluttered than those that are placed individually. This can affect how you interact with each piece of furniture and make it harder to focus on the task at hand.
Lighting can make all the difference in your porch design. It will help you define the space, enhance your curb appeal and give guests the perfect first impression of your home.
Light fixtures can be used to draw attention to the main focal points on your porch, like your front door and garden feature, and also to illuminate walkways and steps. Whether you use decorative wall sconces, a pendant light or a string of lights, these are all great ways to add ambiance and style to your porch.
Ceiling-mounted lights are another popular option for porches. These can take the form of pendant lights or chandeliers, but are usually more suitable for larger, covered porches.
Alternatively, a pair of matching wall lights on either side of your front porch is an effective way to create a sense of depth. Depending on the size of your porch, you could also consider placing a set of recessed step lights or lanterns along the path up to the entrance.
Other ways to illuminate your porch are with battery-operated candles or lamps. These are a great way to create a warm, inviting feel without the need for power or wiring.
You can also place lighting in plants and shrubbery to soften the look of your porch. This is a great idea for a porch with more rustic or cottage-style decor.
Porch lights should be durable enough to withstand the elements, so it’s best to choose ones made of robust materials such as brass or copper. Likewise, they should be rated for weather conditions that can damage indoor fixtures, such as rain, snow, high humidity or sun exposure.
Plants are great for defining your porch, making the space feel more natural and cozy. They also offer air-purifying benefits and can help reduce stress levels by reducing noise and distractions.
Choose plants that are suitable for the condition of your porch, and consider what kind of lighting it gets. Porches are often shady, and this means you need to pick plants that thrive in low light conditions.
There are many types of shade-tolerant plants that will thrive under your porch, including some perennials and annuals. For instance, astilbe will do well in a shaded spot and can be grown in containers or planted on the patio.
Another good choice for a covered porch is fuchsia, which will bloom in different colors during the warmer months. You can place them in hanging baskets or tall pots and tend them until they get a healthy and full display of flowers.
Toad lilies are an easy-to-grow flower that bursts with blooms in the fall but is attractive all year round. These plants are rabbit and deer resistant, and their foliage attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
They are hardy and will grow in a variety of soil types, so they should be fine on your porch. It’s best to amend the soil with organic matter before planting, and avoid leaving them in dry areas.
Violas, which have more than 500 varieties, are a versatile group that can be grown under your porch. These clump-forming plants are hardy, self-feeding, and require minimal maintenance. They also come in an array of color choices, including lavender, pink, and red. They look beautiful in a container on your porch and are also a good choice for pollinators.
Decor can add a pop of color or create a theme, but it also makes a space more comfortable and inviting. It can also serve a functional purpose, such as adding an extra seat or keeping the weather at bay.
One way to decorate the perfect porch is to use furniture that reflects your home’s aesthetic and style. This can be as simple as a colorful rug that sets the stage for a casual gathering or as elaborate as a mirrored coffee table and lounge chairs that double as an outdoor living room.
Whether you’re decorating your front porch or an outdoor space, consider adding some plants to liven up the area. Filling pots with a variety of greens, or adding large hanging plants that trail down from the ceiling, can make your space feel more like a garden.
The key to a beautiful porch is to use natural materials, including wicker, that blend with the architecture of your home. These pieces are durable and beautiful, and they’re the perfect addition to any front porch or wrap around patio.
Another great way to define a porch is with solid-panel shutters. They block the sun and keep out rain, and they fold back flush against the wall when opened, so they look elegant and add color to the space.
A ring of outdoor armchairs fosters conversation, turning the porch into a place to catch up with friends and neighbors. On a traditional home, this furniture arrangement creates symmetry that is perfectly in tune with the classic architecture of the porch.
In a small porch, a coffee table made of four slices of maple and a set of casual leather-wrapped rattan chairs are the ideal spot for an afternoon drink. Two fiddle-leaf figs frame the space, bringing a touch of nature inside the house.
If you’re interested in a porch remodel, contact us at Detroit Construction Solutions. We would be happy to provide a free estimate and answer any questions that might come up. We would love nothing more than to work with you in relieving the stress of your project needs. To learn more about your options or to get a quote from us, contact us at 586-443-6199 or fill out our contact form here.