Out front, out back, or wrapped full around, your porch is an extension of your home’s living space. Learn how to maximize its impact as you enjoy these incredible porch ideas.
A welcoming front porch increases your home’s curb appeal, while a cozy back porch is the perfect outdoor retreat. Whether you have a small screened porch or a wide wraparound porch, you can personalize this outdoor living space to reflect your individual style.
Every beautiful porch has the power to increase your home’s value, and it may take only a small investment to turn a boring porch into the perfect outdoor space. Find your inspiration here among our selection of inviting porch designs.
1. Back Porch Ideas
A back porch can be a simple outdoor living space, with a porch swing and no superfluous details. Or, a back porch can be an elaborate outdoor living room, a true extension of your home’s interior. Porch ideas expand with its size, as a large covered veranda has enough space for separate dining and seating areas.
Many new homes’ back porches feature a built-in fireplace or complete outdoor kitchen. Back porch decor may mimic indoor decorating ideas, including artwork and a flat-screen TV. These elements can be added to an older home’s back porch, too. Connect a covered small porch to an open patio to easily switch between relaxing in the sun or shade.
A screened porch is an excellent option for the backside of your home, as it protects you from insects as you relax or dine in the fresh air. A ceiling fan will help you enjoy your porch year-round and is a necessity in warm climates. Every great porch design needs adequate lighting. From wall sconces to overhead lanterns, ambient lighting turns your back porch into a magical nighttime retreat.
For more screened-in porch ideas, check out The Top 100 Best Screened-In Porch Ideas .
2. Country Cottage Style Porch Ideas
Many country cottages owe their curbside appeal to impressive front porch decor. Most cottages include a front porch that extends the house’s width, providing lots of room to exhibit creative front porch ideas. Country porch decor may include old tin milk cans, chalkboard signs, and a fern-filled hanging basket between each column.
Hang a wreath covered in roses or another type of flower on the front door, and use white wicker furniture for classic cottage decor. An antique rocking chair looks wonderful next to your front entry, and a pair of them beckons visitors to sit down and stay awhile.
3. Entrance Porch Ideas
Front porch decorating ideas should draw the eye to your home’s entrance. Your front porch ideas should also be an extension of your interior home style. Modern, craftsman, or shabby chic styles work well with front porch design.
A front porch swing or plush-cushioned chairs provide welcoming seating options regardless of your personal style. Toss a throw pillow on each seat, and arrange a potted plant medley on the coffee table. Change your fall, winter, spring, and summer front porch color schemes along with the seasons.
String lights aren’t just for the holidays. Drape several strands of fairy lights along your front porch railing or hang rows of string lights from the porch ceiling. This type of ambient lighting creates a welcoming atmosphere at any time of year.
For other ideas on what to do with your porch railings, check out The Top 55 Porch Railing Ideas .
4. Farmhouse Style Porch Ideas
The farmhouse porch has been a classic part of American architecture for generations. Many farmhouses feature a wraparound porch, providing ample space to experiment with porch design ideas. Farmhouse style includes metal, wood, and masonry finishes, merged together into a casual backdrop for your favorite decor.
A farmhouse’s cozy porch style should be uncluttered and clean. Simple black and white decorating choices keep true to modern farmhouse style. Soften the look with natural fabrics and materials. Use a wicker basket or an upcycled wooden crate as a planter for ferns or mums. Anchor the space with a durable outdoor rug made from fabric or jute.
For more farmhouse exterior ideas, check out The Top 40 Best Modern Farmhouse Exterior Ideas .
5. Modern Porch Style Ideas
Great porch ideas aren’t limited to farmhouses or other traditional types of architecture. Modern homes generally have a small front porch with simple seating options—perhaps a pair of metal stools or a contemporary bench. Many modern front porch layouts are devoid of seating altogether, opting for open spaces and a simple planter or two.
Modern architecture favors the long, open lanai when it comes to back porch ideas. This type of open porch design may be partially covered by a metal panel awning and attached to an uncovered patio area. Midcentury ranch homes often include this type of modern porch design—sometimes along the front porch as well.
6. Plant Display Porch Ideas
Few things are more southern than swaying on a front porch swing beneath hanging baskets overflowing with trailing begonias and ivy. Plants are part of nearly every successful porch design, as they blend the boundary between the garden and the home. Porch plants are one of the easiest decorating ideas to incorporate into your entrance or back porch design.
Fill two stone urns with tall ferns and position one on each side of your front door. If you have a contemporary home, use rectangular metal vases instead of urns. Top porch furniture with a potted daisy or miniature rose collection for a warm spring porch vibe. A front or back door wreath is another perfect place to display your favorite flowers or plants.
7. Pop Of Color Porch Ideas
A bright red, green, or blue front door is perhaps the most colorful of all front porch ideas. It is also an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up a dull entryway.
Replace a plain doormat with a paisley or striped mat. A colorful pillow pile is an inviting way to add color to a swinging porch bed or chaise lounge. Simple fabric pennants or banners also add a pop of color to bare porch walls. Hang colorful porch curtains that can be closed to provide shade when the sun is its brightest.
When repurposing old furniture for the porch or patio, get creative with color. Instead of classic white paint, use sunny yellow or burnt orange to brighten up your front porch ideas. Adding a simple terra cotta pot or two is an easy way to add a peachy-warm punch to your potted plant display.
Watch this video to learn how to repaint your front door yourself:
8. Porch Lighting Ideas Porch Ideas
A mixture of lighting is best when it comes to porch design. An overhead light, a table lamp, lanterns, or sconces attached to the walls all serve a purpose in lighting your porch at night. Edison bulb light strands add a festive feel and plenty of ambient light when strung from the porch ceiling. Industrial light fixtures work well on farmhouse and modern porches, while an antique chandelier fits into shabby chic porch decor.
For lower light levels, use candles. Whether battery-powered or the old-fashioned flame-type, candles add a warmth like no other light source. Scatter candle collections on your coffee table, on top of accent tables or shelves. You can also hang candle lanterns from the rafters or line them up on a wide porch railing.
9. Seating Area Porch Ideas
The same design rules that make a living room inviting also work well when it comes to porch seating. Arrange chairs in groups, centered around a coffee table or interspersed with small accent tables for holding beverages. Group together a wicker sofa and two side chairs or purchase durable outdoor furniture that resembles interior furniture designs.
Wooden rocking chairs are the quintessential porch seating option, and a soothing way to relax on a lazy summer day. Benches also work well on porches, whether set alone or as part of a dining table grouping. If you frequently eat in the open air, an outdoor dining set is a must. Durable floor cushions also make an excellent porch seating option.
10. Porch Swing and Bench Ideas
If you have room for a porch swing, you should not exclude this classic piece of porch furniture. Nothing is more pleasant than nestling down on soft cushions and swinging along with that special someone. If you don’t have room for one big swing, hang a couple of individual hammock swings or individual wicker swinging chairs.
Swinging daybeds are a comfortable place to nap, alone or with a loved one. However, a daybed’s larger profile requires plenty of space, so measure accordingly. With some wood, rope, a mattress, and decent DIY skills, you can build your own swinging porch bed. Watch this video to find out how:
Benches of all sizes work well on front and back porches. You can use them for seating or as part of a potted plant display. You can refinish old church pews into charming bench seating—perfect for a cottage or farmhouse porch.
What should I put on my porch?
What you put on your porch depends on how you plan to use it. Welcoming porch basics include comfortable seating such as a porch swing or a pair of rocking chairs. Add an accent table and an outdoor area rug to define the space. Accessorize with potted plants and colorful seat cushions.
How much does it cost to build a porch?
Average porch building costs vary by size, location, and how much work you can do yourself versus hiring a professional. A 200-square-foot porch can range from $4,000 to $22,000, depending on the materials used and the craftsmanship required for construction. When budgeting for a new porch, be sure to include $100 to $500 to cover the cost of building permits and inspections.
What are the different types of porches?
Porches go by many different names even though they all refer to the same basic type of structure. Some names refer to unique porch features, while others are simply geographical variations of the common word.
Common porch types include:
- Screened porch
- Sleeping porch
- Rain porch
- Farmer’s porch