Outdoor Living

5 Elements of an Inviting Front Porch

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “you only get one chance to make a good first impression”. Your front porch is where your home makes its first impression. This is why it’s so important to create an inviting space outside your front door that makes your guests feel welcome.

A front porch, whether big or small, is so important to the visual appeal of a home. It can be seen from the road, which means it plays a big part in creating curb appeal for your home and creating an impression on your visitors.

Depending on the style of your home, you might have a large front porch or a small one. No matter the size nor shape, there are a few design elements and pieces that go into making a front porch inviting. Most of these things can be added to any front porch and can also be done on a budget. A beautiful front porch doesn’t have to break your bank.

Beautiful Front Door

A beautiful front door is the focal point to your porch and even to most homes. In my opinion, it is a necessity for an attractive home. You know Henry and I both love wood front doors and of course wood is our top choice of material for a front door, but there are plenty of other options that look great.

A steel door is probably the most cost effective and can actually look great if painted the right color. Going both bold or subtle could give your home the perfect look.

Another great look is a wood of steel door with windows. There is something about glass in a front door that is very inviting. Some stay away from this due to privacy. We currently have a double wood door with glass and will be doing the same our new build. We feel the more natural light the better!

No matter what type of front door you have, they all can be inviting and beautiful with some stain or paint. I have seen many front doors go from ugly to gorgeous with a little bit of paint!

Plants in Containers

Plants in containers are my favorite! I love the look of taking a cool pot and adding greenery. I normally place one potted plant on each side of the front door. This adds texture and color, while creating symmetry. I also like to layer the potted plants if room allows. Another idea is to add smaller potted plants on the sides of the steps, drawing your visitors to the front door.

There are a few things to keep in mind while using potted plants. Make sure to check the amount of sunlight your porch area gets. For example, some plants such as ferns do better in shade. You also want to a make sure and use the same plant and same size of plant in pots on mirroring sides. This will keep everything looking nice, clean, and uniform.

Don’t go overboard on the plants, you don’t want it to look or feel cluttered. Keep in mind, less is sometimes more. You can always add in a few flowers here and there to add some color.

Unique Flooring

Unique flooring can be anything from brick pavers to stained or painted concrete. When I am talking about unique flooring, I am referring to pretty much anything other than the basic concrete look.

Depending on the amount of space you have to work with, flooring can become very pricey. I love the look of brick pavers, but we chose not to spend that much. We went with wood decking for our current front porch, but it was how we finished it that set it apart. We stained it a darker color with a glossy finish. For our new build we will be using brick pavers due to the porch size being smaller.

If you want to really go budget friendly, another option would be to stain or paint the floor of your porch area. This can easily be done as a DIY.

Stand Out Ceiling

My favorite porch ceiling material is wood tongue and groove like we have on our current farmhouse. It’s easy to install, looks great, and you can stain or paint it any color you choose. It also offers texture and dimension. A ceiling that stands out will draw your visitors’ eye up and add to the welcoming feel of your front porch.

Another cheaper route would be to use outdoor sheetrock on the ceiling. You would need to make sure the porch area is completely in the dry for this option to work. This would allow you to paint the ceiling a color or for a clean, classic look, leave it a neutral color and maybe add a beautiful light fixture.

For a grand stand out ceiling, some choose to do exposed rafters. I love this look, but always worry about cleaning since I’m such a clean fanatic.

If you have a vinyl porch ceiling, keep in mind you can paint this material. A fresh coat of paint and some cleaning up can go a long way.

Comfy Seating

I realize that there’s not room on every porch for seating, but if you do have the room, you should take advantage and add some seating. As you’ve probably noticed, around here we love our porch swings. If not on the front porch, definitely on the back. A porch is for sitting and relaxing, so a swing is a great addition to any porch. It creates a feeling of both relaxation and calmness.

Not all porches are ideal for a swing, but that’s ok. There are other seating options out there. Rocking chairs are fitting for a farmhouse, and a wicker sofa with comfy pillows can work on almost any porch!

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  • Reply Brandy Key

    I love your blog. You give practical/relevant advice and everything is so beautiful. I know that your T&G pine ceiling is unfinished but have you put any type of sealant on it? I’m about to build a screened porch and
    I’m going over ceiling options. You also mentioned open rafters would be tough to clean. Are you thinking spider webs or dirt or both? I hadn’t even thought of that! Thank you!

    October 8, 2019 at 8:34 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Brandy!

      Yes, just basically your normal spider webs, etc.

      January 27, 2020 at 1:26 pm
  • Reply Danielle

    Where is the front door from ?

    January 23, 2020 at 12:01 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Danielle! It is from DSA Doors.

      January 27, 2020 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply Ann Williams

    What type of stain and wood is the front door?

    April 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply Gaby

    Hey there! Thanks for all the great tips! We recently put a tongue and grove ceiling on our back porch, but I’m looking for a stain color similar to yours. Would you be able to tell me which color stain you used for your? Thanks so much!! 💗

    November 19, 2020 at 5:11 am
  • Reply kelly

    I love your blog and I really love the stain on your door. Can you tell me which stain you used?

    May 21, 2022 at 1:39 pm
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