Front of the House Curb Appeal: Porch Design

While the kitchen is considered the center of a home, homes are actually judged by their exterior appeal. It's the first impression that any neighbors and friends will see as they pass by, and if you plan to sell your home, it's the one thing that will catch a buyer's eye. The front porch of any home is like a welcome center. It should be tidy but also comfortable, inviting visitors and yourself to relax in a comfortable setting. Your front porch can be an extremely inviting place, or you may have let it go and thus detracted from your house's curb appeal. There are some easy ways to fix a dilapidated porch and give it a sophisticated touch.

Starting from the Bottom


Head outside and step back from your house. Study your front of the house from the street to get a good idea of what others see from this point of view. What bothers you about your curb appeal that you can change immediately? Are there structural changes that need to be made? You should also take note of how your front porch functions. There are advantages to both small and large front porches, and either one can detract from your home's curb appeal. Basically, a smaller porch will act as a transitional space. Yes, it's comfortable to have a seat in, but it's not going to be its own living room. Big porches can be open spaces but you should be careful not to decorate in colors that contrast with your house's overall exterior or turn it into its own living space. You want to be inviting but not gaudy.

Clean It Out


If you have been using your front porch as a storage bin, or you have way too much going on, take some steps to de-clutter and rearrange some things on your porch. Throw away things that you haven't touched in months. If you like something a lot, try to focus on how that could be a part of a new theme. If it doesn't match what you're going for, don't hang on to it, just toss it. You'll be happier if you have a completely clean and open space to work with.

Changing It Up


There are some stylistic changes that you can make to the fundamental setting of your front porch. For instance, you can paint the front door with a new high gloss coat of paint in a color that will pop with the rest of your home's exterior. For example, you can use a red paint to make a white house pop. Gray house colors also work well with a dark brown or deep purple. Contrasting colors always work well to bring the eye to the center of your house.

New Hardware


You should add in some accents to your front door and exterior front porch that really draw the eye. For example, you can add in a sculptural door knocker. You can also change the house numbers, using a different script or metal that goes well with your new door color. Door knobs, lantern lights and railings are other ways that you can fix up the hardware of your front porch. Just be sure that you don't go overboard and you keep in tune with the rest of your home.

Decorating Your Porch


Hanging canvases and prints aren't just for the interior of your home. You can use ones that are specifically for outdoors. Outdoor art is usually printed on aluminum and has a special coating that can withstand the weather and elements. With a roomy front porch, you can hang art around your furniture to draw attention and complement the décor.

Arranging the Elements


Furniture should be one of the last things that you add to a front porch. You should decide how much your space can really handle. Loveseats and small sofas can hold two people and don't take up too much space. You can also add one solo chair and an ottoman to really finish the space. The largest piece of furniture can face outwards, while smaller pieces should be grouped just in a living room.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.
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