Before & After: A Pretty Front Porch

Bird stencil pattern
These first-time homeowners boosted their home's curb appeal by shifting their front porch from easy-to-overlook to must-see. By bringing inside style outside, they prepared a pretty porch perfect for warm-weather get-togethers.

Before: Wasted Space

Bare and boring, this front porch had tons of potential for hosting parties and get-togethers but lacked seating, color, and comfort. An update took this porch to a whole new level, fit for festivities.

After: Pretty Sitting

Fresh paint, bold fabrics, soft rugs, and furniture that's easy to arrange and rearrange make this L-shape porch a great space for parties and family gatherings. For flexibility, select lightweight furnishings that would work just as well inside the house.

Front Porch Fabric

Go bold with fabric. Two-tone striped awning fabric hangs in panels from grommets, adding style to the outside space. The grommets force the heavy fabric into vertical folds and create movable "walls" for privacy and shade.

How it Works

Galvanized 3/4-inch electrical conduit makes strong, inexpensive, and weather-worthy curtain rods for the dramatic curtain panels. Plumbing fittings secure the rods to the beams. The finials were once tops for chain-link fence posts and add a natural element to the sleek rods.

Select a Color Palette

A fabric that contained a touch of the house's brick hue along with citrus green, gray, pink, and terra-cotta inspired the porch's color palette. Gray served as the dominant color for the floor and curtains, with citrus-green accents. The fresh palette splashes dashes of fun onto throw pillows.

Standout Door

Create a look-at-me door with oversize zinc house numbers bold enough to be seen from the street. Window film featuring bold circles adds privacy to the door and obscures a direct view into the living and dining rooms. A coat of spunky citrus-green paint freshens the entry.

Eat on the Go

A narrow desk on casters rests against one wall and is used as a sideboard on most days. Painted citrus green, this desk adds personality and functionality to the porch. Roll it in front of the bench and it offers fine dining for two. Pull up the chairs and stools spread around the porch, and it's party time.

Stump for Seats

Sections of tree trunk serve as handy side tables or stools and add a rustic touch to the outside room. Four swivel casters on the bottom of each log make them easy to move. Add cushions for seating comfort.

Space Smarts

Add a swinging bench to the side area of the porch for a more private gathering space. For durability, use exterior primers and paints on furniture -- porch-and-floor enamel is a dependable option. Make curtains and pillows from indoor/outdoor fabrics to prevent wear and weathering.

Let Style Take Flight

A bird stencil pattern adds a hint of color to the curtains backing the swing and adds interest to the simple stripe fabric. Use exterior acrylic paint for this project to make it durable.

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