The front porch is an excellent gathering space for many reasons. It's a place to gather with friends and family or relax solo, serves as an extra room to decorate, and is a prime spot in which to display plants, too. It makes perfect sense why "The Front Zone" will be a huge trend in 2022 according to Garden Media Group.
The If you're looking to zhush up your own front porch in time for spring, we've rounded up several ideas to keep in mind. After all, if you're lucky enough to have such a space at your disposal, you may as well make the most if it!
Meet the Expert
- Linda Greenberg is the founder of Linda Greenberg Landscape & Design, which operates in Charlotte, NC, and Charleston, SC.
- Janet Bertin is the owner of her own Decorating Den Franchise and is based in Arlington, VA, and frequently works on outdoor living spaces.
1. Be Strategic With Furnishings
You'll want to select porch furniture that is optimal for entertaining small groups and is comfortable. Landscape Designer Linda Greenberg selects opting for furniture that can accommodate two people, if not four. You'll also want to keep multi-functional pieces top of mind. "Make sure you can prop your feet, using an ottoman, which can also hold a tray of appetizers," Greenberg said. Choosing fabrics that are meant for outdoor use and will stand the test of time is critical. "With high performance fabrics and weather-resistant materials, your front porch can be as comfortable as your family room," noted Janet Bertin of Bertin's Decorating Den.
And don't forget to think about the porch floor. Explained Greenberg, "An outdoor rug will also add warmth to the space."
2. Paint the Front Door
Even though the front door technically isn't part of the actual porch, it plays a key role in this space's design. "Create an inviting, welcoming, and beautiful front porch entrance by adding a vibrant colored lacquered door that will stand out from the exterior finish," Greenberg suggested. Her favorite hues include colors such as Sherwin Williams Show Stopper—a bright red—but she also appreciate French blues—which may appeal to those who prefer a more subtle look. And bonus points if you take things up a notch by working plant and flowers into the equation. "Repeating this color in select flowering shrubs will also connect the garden to the porch by creating repetition in color," Greenberg added.
3. Upgrade Your Lighting
You'll want to be able to enjoy your porch space at all hours of the day, so installing lighting that looks good and is ultra functional is of the utmost importance. "Check to see if your existing porch light has a coordinated hanging option, or find an outdoor rated pendant light to bring your front porch from day to night," Bertin suggested. Greenberg added, "Strong consideration of the architecture should influence lighting decisions to create ambiance after the sun sets. I personally love the gas lights, but also just simple clean lined lighting features will make a profound impact."
4. Add Some Plants
It's important to be thoughtful about your front porch plant display—after all, anyone walking up to your front door is bound to see it! Greenberg has you covered when it comes to what types of plants to purchase. She recommended "flanking the front door and with at least two oversized planters with thriller, filler and spiller plant materials." Greenberg added, "Typically, I prefer planting evergreens like a boxwood or unique spiral topiary in the middle of the planter with at least two spilling plants that will complement the center plant ... and of course, seasonal annuals like pansies or violas for a pop of color."
5. Display a Fountain
We can all appreciate the calmness that comes with sitting by a body of water—and fortunately, you can work to replicate this effect at home! Greenberg enjoys adding a fountain to the front porch when possible. "The sound is intriguing," she said. Just be sure to keep key measurements in mind throughout the planning process. "Consider the scale of the ceiling height so that the fountain fits the space; typically, these designs are more narrow and vertical."