When guests come to call, their first impression of your home is the front porch. You should use that as an opportunity to show off your style, be it rustic and earthy, or trendy and modern. However you choose to decorate the space, your porch should be a reflection of your hospitality.
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Of course, finding the pieces to set the right mood is easier said than done. Porch furniture has to hold up against the elements while also being inviting and chic. The upside to this balancing act is that it's a relatively small space to decorate, making it easy to form a cohesive design. Every element, from the front door to the flooring, can work together to set the mood. You can read more about how to pick exterior door paint colors here, and how to choose the right flooring here.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? The good news is you don't have to start from scratch designing the porch of your dreams. We've compiled some visual aids and quick tips that'll help you think of everything. You're one step away from crafting the porch that'll be the envy of your neighborhood.
1. Country Cottage Chic
Those of you who love the simple and inviting country cottage style are in luck: wicker and greenery make an excellent pair. The woven texture of wicker furniture automatically lends a homey touch to your space while potted plants, shrubberies, and vines add a touch of authenticity to the cottage vibe.
Notice the way a few sage green accent pillows compliment the foliage and tie the whole space together.
2. Using the Color Wheel
This porch is proof that complementary colors always make for an eye-catching design. Since these shades of yellow and purple are so bold, they must be used as accents against a neutral white canvas. Setting these pillows and flowers against another forceful color, like green or blue, would have been overwhelming.
3. The Bigger, The Better
Generally speaking, your decor should be a mix of centerpieces and accents, but you can make a design built entirely around big pieces work. For evidence, look no further than this porch design!
The key to making this work is to keep things streamlined and minimalist.
4. Zen Garden Inspired
Using a central theme or idea is a great way to make your porch design flow. The different colored gravel, mulch, and stone here provide a zen garden feel that's easy to replicate if you find the right landscaper!
5. Mixing Textures
If you're looking to make an eclectic design work for you, mixing textures is a great way to start. The ornate carvings on the big wooden door and the porch railings contrast nicely with the brick steps and details. To offset these bigger details, you have unassuming wicker furniture, which adds another texture to the mix without overwhelming the eye.
6. Accent Rug
Admit it, you want to sit down and take a load off with all your closest friends on this porch. That's because the use of the runner here draws your attention while also effortlessly tying the space together.
Area rugs work just as well at accomplishing this. Consider, for example, this piece.
Setting it under your porch set will automatically make everything feel like part of a cohesive unit.
7. Sensational Shading
Decorating with different shades of the same color is a great way to provide character and harmony. Here, the deep red of the walls makes the unsaturated red on the rail detailing stand out.
Notice also the use of the complementary green pots. That little splash of another color frames the door nicely.
8. Topiary Delights
If your front porch isn't big enough for furniture, you can still give the space style through the use of hedges or other plants. This person here went the topiary route, and the soothing green pops wonderfully against the neutral yellow.
9. Classic Elegance
This porch borrows its coziness from several classic features. From the elegant detailing on the railings to the vibrant garden to the swing, this porch invites you to have a seat and drink some lemonade in the sun.
The most important element? Definitely the swing. Designing your porch around such a feature will automatically give it traditional charm.
10. The Framing Flowerbed
This small porch still has some big ideas. The full flowerbeds on either side make sure you take notice of the front door by elegantly framing it. It helps that the ornamental pots on either side of the steps match the color of the front door.
11. The Two-Tone Porch
Notice how this porch's neutral stone color lends itself perfectly to the rich blue accents. This kind of two-tone design works best when you don't over-emphasize the accent color. Here, they've done a perfect job balancing by making the door blue, as well as an item on either side of the porch.
12. Dining Set Centerpiece
A simple-yet-effective way to approach porch design is to make your furniture set the center of attention. Adding a couple of potted plants or accent chairs off to the side serves to emphasize that the main appeal is the table.
The set pictured here offers rustic charm, but you can pull off this look with any style.
This table and chairs set, for example, have a modern chicness that will fit in anywhere.
13. Artful Distressing
To effortlessly achieve a cottage-vibe for your front porch, turn to distressed wood. Not only does this porch feature artfully distressed rocking chairs, but there's also detailing on the railing and the house, as well. Though all the pieces are different colors, the shared detail works to pull the whole look together.
14. Incorporating Patterns
If you want to draw the eye to a particular spot on your porch, you can't go wrong with a bold pattern. Here, they use chair cushions to establish a centerpiece, but you can use a rug or even a flowerpot to achieve the same effect.
15. Eclectic Chic
Mixing and matching various design features can lead to a homey and relaxed vibe, as it does here. The neatly trimmed shrubs and tidy hanging pots contrast with the shabby scarecrow and rustic rocking chairs.
16. The Adirondack
Looking for a simple way to achieve a classic look? The Adirondack chair is here to provide. Consider adding a set to your own porch for a cozy place to relax that doubles as a bold statement.
17. Fly Your Flag
Flags naturally catch the eye, so adding one to your porch creates an instant centerpiece. Announce your patriotism to the world, or find something a bit more playful to display.
18. Forge a Path
If there's a short walkway leading up to your porch, feel free to incorporate it into your decor. Here, the flowerbeds frame the porch, while the colorful floral display on the porch-proper ties the whole look together.
19. Eye-Catching Cushions
Here, the decorator of this porch keeps the door from turning this porch into a lopsided eye-sore by adding colorful chair cushions. The result is a simple, balanced design.
20. Busy Bee
There's a lot to look at when it comes to this porch design, but it manages to stop short of overwhelming the eye. How? Well, for one, the business is all the result of one feature. Additionally, the flowers all share a similar color palette.
Notice the way the twinkle lights add to the magic vibe of this porch. Try achieving the same look with some of these:
21. Feature Flowers
Rather than having the pots or even the front door they're framing be the center of attention, you can plant vibrant flowers on your porch and have them steal the show. This person chose yellow because it pops against the slate coloring of their house. What color flower would look boldest on your front porch?
22. Simply Elegant
Sometimes the most straightforward approach to porch decor is the best, and this porch is the proof. The use of small pots to frame the door and bigger containers to frame the whole space is simple yet effective.
23. Porches Can Wear White After Labor Day
The white furniture here gives this porch country charm. The best part about the design is how elegantly the set brings out the trim on the house's windows and doors.
24. Door Decor
When decorating a porch, don't forget to take advantage of the most eye-catching canvas: your front door! Wreaths are an elegant choice, holiday-themed banners show off your spirit, and a little "welcome" plaque fits every occasion.
Consider this charming little guy, for example.
25. Decorating to Your Space
It may seem like the best way to decorate a spacious porch would be to fill it to maximum capacity with chairs and flower pots, but take a page from this porch instead. Spreading out a collection of eye-catching features and accent pieces makes sure that the space feels lived-in without being overly full.
26. Accent or Centerpiece?
Sometimes the smallest pieces of furniture can have the most significant impact. The way this porch design uses a single accent chair as the main feature might seem foolhardy, given all the open space, but that's where the colorful pots come to the rescue. They offset the unassuming nature of the chair perfectly.
Consider something bold and eye-catching, like this pot, for your porch.
27. The Warmth of Wood
Whoever says you shouldn't use the same wood stain throughout a space never saw this porch! A lovely, rustic design is achieved by matching the rocking chair to the porch railing. The simple pots and full plants offer a subtle contrast, keeping your eye from becoming bored while enhancing the coziness of the space.