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28 Awesome Porch Railing Ideas [Inc. Metal and Wood]

Deciding on the perfect railing for your porch or deck can be a daunting task. There are seemingly endless amounts of wood types and colors, modern or classic styles, and even unique custom pieces. So how do you choose the right railing to complement your home?

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Whether your goal is to add privacy and safety for your family or create a visually interesting addition to your home, we're here to help! This curated list of unique and beautiful porch railing ideas are sure to inspire your next porch makeover.

wood deck with view to the forest, 28 awesome porch railing ideas

1. Updated Classic

The familiar and cozy look of a simple white porch is a classic, but the standard slats and railings can be boring and outdated. Geometric patterns and unique lines give this old favorite an updated look. This is a simplistic touch to add a bit of style to your front porch when you're craving something new. 

2. Pop of Color

Adding a bit of color to your railings can give your home an eye-catching look and really set your porch apart from surrounding homes. Choosing pale colors like soft green or robin egg blue can add dimension to your home without losing curb appeal. By carrying the color into your shutters as well, it will give a cohesiveness across the outside of your home.

3. Industrial Cables

Newer homes are all about the raw feeling of bare ceiling beams and exposed ductwork. The industrial design mimics the exposed structure of a home with metals and woods, and it's a peak current trend in home design. A wood and stainless steel cable railing bring the look of Industrial interior design to the outside of your home. It's modern, minimalistic, and sure to be a standout addition to your porch or deck.

4. Custom Hints

The little things can make a big impact! For a personal and subtle look for your railings, you can add a few unique woodcuts into your panels. Hearts, moons, palm trees, and stars are perfect for added touches that will be an interesting surprise for guests.

5. Rustic Railings

Log railings are an obvious rustic element to add to any home to give the feel of a cabin in the woods. But you can take it to the next level with branch panels. These can be found in natural wood and hand-picked branches, or shaped metal panels to give you a sturdy, long-lasting railing with the look of branches straight from the forest.

6. Glass Panels

Modern stainless steel railing with glass panel

For a porch railing that won't obstruct a beautiful view, glass or plexiglass panels give you the security of a porch railing with an illusion of invisibility. By framing the glass in wood, you preserve the look of a homey porch without going too modern.

7. Change Direction

Horizontal panels are a refreshing take on the normal vertical or open railings. This creates privacy, a solid structure, and the horizontal lines will make your porch and home look taller in comparison.

8. Gorgeous Stained Glass

For a splash of color and texture, you can adapt the glass panel effect but use beautiful stained glass panels instead. These panels will capture sunlight making your railings a work of art. Stained glass can be created in any number of colors and patterns, giving you the ability to match your tastes perfectly.

9. Modern Rods

From tropical architecture to minimalist contemporary homes, these thin rods create a sleek and unique look. These railings pair well with art deco homes because they highlight and trim the sharp lines these homes are known for.

10. Mix Materials

Your porch railings can be any combination of materials you want. The mix of bright white wood and solid black iron bars creates a beautiful contrast of colors and textures that complement each other so well. You can mix a variety of different color woods with the black iron for an upscale look.

11. More Than Just Railings

Adding a wider top to part or all of your railings can give you an area to eat outside without having to invest in expensive patio furniture. All you need are some bar stools and you have the perfect place to enjoy a meal by yourself or with friends.

12. Country Chic

For a high-end country look, cross a white picket fence with a corral fence to get these simple yet bold white, vertical porch railings. These thick and bold lines complement a larger and taller front porch since it can easily overpower a smaller porch.

13. Farmhouse 

If you like the country chic look but also enjoy a bit of rustic style, then hog wire railings are for you. With thin, modern lines that create a grid, these railings look less delicate than a contemporary country railing, but still hold the trendy, simplistic style.

14. Create Seating

Much like converting the railing into a table, you can connect a matching bench to your railing for added seating space. This is a great idea if you have a smaller porch without much room for furniture, or have a multi-level porch and want to create extra seating off the main level.

15. Match the Porch

Painting part of the railing the same color as the porch creates cohesiveness and helps the color of the porch and stairs to stand out. This is perfect for non-traditional porch colors, like blues or greys.

16. Light It Up

Adding lights to your railings can bring an element of safety and beauty to your porch. String or rope lights can look too festive or bright. So for a subtle glow, add post and stair lights.

17. Matching Gate

If you have dogs or small children and want to enjoy mild afternoons on your porch, you can add a matching gate above your stairs. Baby gates can be unsightly and rarely match with your existing railings. By creating a swinging gate out of a matching rail panel, you create a seamless look and don't have to sacrifice the look of your home to have a safe place to play.

18. Stone Columns

Stone can add texture to an otherwise one-note wooden porch. By adding stone to your railing columns, you give your home a more dramatic look and increase the value of your home. By using a stone veneer, you can add a layer of stone to existing columns without renovation.

19. Stained Wood

Quiet mountain morning view in the porch

Staining natural wood can help give your porch railings a luxurious upgrade. Deep browns and redwood stains provide a richness to your porch or deck railings where natural wood would seem unfinished and bare.

20. Infinity Railings

Another way to raise curb appeal and the value of your home is solid glass porch railings. When relaxing on your porch or deck, these all-glass panels give the illusion that your porch goes forever, and gives you a beautiful, unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape.

21. A Lakeside Look

Whether you're a boat enthusiast or live on a lakeside property, boat cleats and rope are a fairly simple DIY upgrade you can make to your porch railings. Not only are they a unique look for your railings, but boat cleats are versatile decorating elements that can be reflected throughout your home.

22. Geometric Iron

Part of the porch and threshold with steps with an iron black fence of twigs and wrought pattern

Black iron panels are a classic railing option but are in need of an update from the standard verticle railings. Adding panels with alternating diagonal lines will add an interesting visual to otherwise average railings. 

23. For Plant Lovers

Beautiful flowers compositions on the porch of the wooden country house

Adding matching planters to your railings is a perfect way to bring life and color to your porch. Especially if you have a small yard and aren't able to plant as many flowers in your landscape as you'd like, planters are a great alternative. You can choose small colorful blooms like marigolds or pansies, or even grow some fruits and vegetables like strawberries or kale. 

24. Sunbursts 

What better way to pay homage to the sunsets you enjoy sitting on your porch than a sunburst railing panel. If you're looking for a DIY project, these sunbursts can be created from wood, or if you prefer a more unique and custom panel, colored glass or a bright mosaic will create an even bigger impact.

25. Copper Highlights

Copper pipes added to your railings and post covers can offer you an artistic element to a standard wooden rail. By using copper as a highlighting element, instead of the entire rail, it can give your wooden railings a pop of shine in the sunlight. Copper will oxidize over time and turn green. You can choose to clean and polish your copper or allow the oxidization for a weathered, antique look.

26. Shiny Stainless Steel

Stainless steel railing

If you like the idea of mixing materials but aren't a fan of copper, stainless steel will give you that highlighting element but with extra shine and without the hassle of oxidization. 

27. Perfect Privacy

Create privacy without the added cost and room of a privacy fence, by incorporating it into your railings. The differing height levels are dynamic and you can control how much privacy you have without blocking your entire view.

28. Rule of Three

The rule of design says that groupings of odd numbers are more visually appealing because they challenge your mind and look more natural. Consider this rule when choosing colors, materials, and patterns for your railing and porch. This home uses browns, whites, and greens, and combines lines going vertically, horizontally, and outward.

In Closing

From color combinations to dynamic patterns and textures, there are hundreds of variations when it comes to deciding the perfect railings for your porch or deck. Focusing on function first, like lights for nighttime safety or gates for pets and children, will ensure you get what you need. Focusing on what styles and visual elements are most attractive to you will help you create a standout porch that you'll enjoy spending time on.

For more inspirational decor ideas, check out these posts:

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