As the spring breezes blow and the snow recedes, we are drawn out to our open air spaces, ready to live in the sunshine and fresh air. Welcoming friends and family with a pretty porch amps up the gracious feel of our homes, offering a smile at the approach to our front door.

Whether you have a tiny porch or an expansive wrap-around, making it welcoming requires a little bit of thought, some creativity, and often no more than a weekend’s worth of work.

The larger the space you have to work with, the more of these ideas will be able to be layered in.  Look at your porch like it is a room in your home, an extension of whatever is right inside the front door. Look up, look down, look all around.

  • Ceiling – Some porches come complete with gorgeous wood ceilings that can be refinished or painted. If the ceiling contains architectural features that you wish to highlight, consider treating them differently than the rest of the ceiling surface.
  • Lighting – Overhead lighting often works, but choose interesting fixtures. If the space allows, a ceiling fan can add comfort when the doldrums of summer arrive and you crave a cool breeze.
  • Flooring – Sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all that is required, but consider adding a weather-resistant rug for a splash of color and to provide a boundary for the conversation area. Also consider the simple practicality of a lovely doormat that coordinates or accents the rest of the design scheme.
  • Seating – Perhaps your porch comes complete with a porch swing – if so, add some fun pillows and enjoy. Otherwise, add seating if space allows, with a small table to hold drinks. Chairs and benches often work well here, add in some plush weather-resistant pillows for comfort.

As you build the space, remember to keep in mind the flow of traffic to the front door, the arrangement that is most conducive to conversation, and make plans for adapting to the sun, providing shade options for when the sun hits the porch.