Front Porch Decorating Ideas
A front porch is a transitional space. Porches offer the best of both worlds: the sights, scents and sounds of nature along with the comfort of inside living. No matter what style you choose when decorating front porches, it should be relaxed and inviting. Comfort is the key element in porch decorating. Treat your porch as an outdoor room. Use the same design elements outside as you would use inside the home. Comfortable seating, good lighting, carefully chosen accessories and art will all help to make your front porch memorable.
Smart front porch decorating ideas
Front Porch Furniture
Whatever you choose for seating, the first thing you should consider is comfort. Nothing is more aggravating than seating you can’t get up from gracefully. Sure it’s great to sink into that huge Papa-San chair or the cutesy bean bag seat. But remember, people have to get out of them. Be especially aware of this if you have elderly friends or family who enjoy sharing your porch with you.
Wicker sofas and chairs, lovingly restored, with cheerful colorful chshions or upholstery, are a natural choice for front porch furniture. Bentwood rockers and metal tables and chairs are also good choices that can sustain heat and humidity. If you have the room, be sure to make room for the classic piece of front porch furniture, the all time favorite hanging porch swing.
If you have a hodge-podge of furniture but would like a more unified look, consider spray painting everything one color. Use a high quality exterior paint and take the time to clean everything throughly before painting. You will be amazed at how quickly your porch starts to take on that decorator look, simlpy by coordinating your various pieces of furniture with one color.
More than any other elements, soft furnishings and color add life and style to your front porch. Introduce color, pattern and texture to your porch with fresh, bright colors in your upholstery, linens and accessories and see your front porch spring to life.
Of course you can use any piece of wood furniture on your front porch. Just be sure it isn’t something you would worry about ruining out in the heat and humidity. Even if you plan to bring it back into the house every time you use it, there’s always that one time when you forget or are away and a huge, windy thunderstorm comes up unexpectedly. It’s so much easier to have casual relaxed porch furniture that you can just put into place and forget about.
Front Porch Flooring
Most front porches have the original flooring as a base. Painted with a high gloss deck enamel, they look good with just a quick sweeping. If you’d like to do something different, consider stenciling a pattern right onto the wood as you paint. You could do the black and white rectangular pattern that resembles marble flooring. You could stencil a border to look like old time floorcloths. Or you could just stencil an all over geometric or floral pattern. If you would like to separate your seating areas, linoleum is still available in standard sizes such as 6X8 or 10X12 sizes. Area rugs are also a choice as is indoor/outdoor carpeting. Canvas floorcloths are also well suited to front porches.
Protect Yourself From Noonday Sun
As much as we enjoy being outside, sometimes the hot summer sun can be brutal. Roll-up shades whether cotton, bamboo or canvas, are easy to install. Blinds allow the greatest degree of sun control because they can be opened or shut as needed. Curtains can be used outside on a porch as well as inside. These can be hung on drapery rods installed at the top of the porch overhang and can be opened and pulled closed as needed.