As homeowners, we have a lot to choose from when it comes to front porch design details. While some might think of it simply as an addition with a floor and roof, it has a more compelling function — transforming the look of your home with compelling curb appeal. Details are important whether you want to enjoy a new ‘facelift’ or looking to encourage strong curb appeal interest with prospective buyers. Also keep in mind you want your front porch design to reflect your specific needs.
Front Porch Floors. You may need some inspiration when selecting your porch floor, especially since it’s one of the first things your guests will notice. The floor can transform and establish a style for the front porch design — whether you use wide-plank wood decking, concrete, tile or brick. As the foundation of your space, it should reflect the overall décor of your front porch. There are so many colors, designs, textures and materials to choose from — which actually makes it easier to coordinate a comprehensive look.
Porch Ceilings. From classic flat to vaulted, a well-built roof protects your front porch design from the elements while reflecting the design you are striving for. There are a host of options, whether you’re looking for contemporary, elegant or rustic. Tongue and groove – painted or stained — is a popular choice. For more rustic appeal, select an open ceiling with exposed rafters creating an expansive feel. Enjoy a traditional look with a classic bead board ceiling. Paint your new porch ceiling a robin’s egg blue for good luck — a truly southern tradition!
Front Porch Railings. Think about an approach to your porch stairs. Railings – which can be the first element you see – not only provides safety but adds a sense of luxury. The balustrade – which is the entire railing or your porch – keeps your porch sound and secure. Railings can be made from a combination of materials and synthetic alternatives to wood such as vinyl which offers durability and low maintenance. One of the hottest materials is aluminum which gives the appearance of iron. Railings can share the same material with your porch floor, or you can combine different materials such as cable and composite wood and even glass.
Front Porch Steps. Steps don’t have to be ordinary. They can add a statement, from making a small porch look bigger, to creating a floral introduction to your home. Customize your space by painting your steps to match the porch and add a punch of contrasting color such as geraniums. Natural materials such a slate are low maintenance and add a subtle and colorful dimensional look. The shape of steps can dramatically change your front area. Curved steps, for example can add a whole new dimension to the porch.
Front Porch Lighting. Lighting up your space offers a myriad options. From landscape lighting to outdoor table lamps to double sconces to lantern lights to recessed lighting, illumination says “welcome” as part of your front porch design. Exterior entry lighting complements your home’s look, offering safety while guiding your guests to the front door. So it’s important to find the perfect light which brightens the entry and casts a cozy glow. Also keep in mind that light fixtures should carry an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rating on the label.
Front Porch Columns. Columns add sultry sophistication to any home. Functional and decorative, columns do more than support the roof. Columns should define the home’s architectural style while making your porch more inviting. A key part of your front porch design, the actual material such as wood, composite, stone bases, low maintenance fiberglass, wrought iron, etc. are just some of the choices. For a unique approach, try the non-structural vinyl porch column which wraps around your existing columns. They offer easy maintenance, durability and are truly elegant. The most common column designs are tapered, square, rectangular or round. Whatever you choose, they will dramatically enhance your front porch design’s curb appeal.
Front Porch Roofs. There is a variety of shingles to choose from, depending on your front porch design. Composition shingles, also called asphalt shingles, are the most popular roofing material, consisting of a fiberglass mat between two layers of asphalt. Tiny stones embedded in the top help protect the shingles from damaging rays. Wood shingles and shakes are traditionally beautiful but not as practical because of rising concerns about fire. They perform well in dry climates, but need to be fire-resistant. Metal panels and tiles are the fastest growing roofing material because they are extremely long-lasting, resistant to fire, and some are strong enough to stand up to damaging storms.
Gray is the trending color for rooftops throughout the country, because it complements nature. Accent colors become alive when complemented by gray, which has many roles as a weathered color that enhances brighter shades.
Front Porch Furniture. Easily create your outdoor lifestyle by featuring furnishings on your porch. Nothing is more inviting than a pair of rockers and a table with a pitcher of lemonade. If it’s visible to the street, it can be a cozy invitation for visitors or a place to relax. Depending on the size of the porch, create your own style with love seats, chairs, end tables, accent rugs, plants and of course the Southern favorite, a porch swing. We recommend selecting durable and water-resistant pieces for easy maintenance.
Paint it. If you choose to go the simple route, simply paint your door a bold color to update and brighten your home. Then add hardware and you’re all set. Exterior house trim can also create charm and curb appeal. You can go all the way with a trimmed out porch with brackets, running trim, moldings and medallions. Decorative elements such as the trim can really shake up the design.