The best part about summer, hands down, is being able to live outdoors. Living in the Northeast, there is a certain anticipation that comes when the warmer weather arrives because we know the best months are ahead. Whether you live coastal or inland, on a big piece of property or a small one, we all want the same thing—to bring our outdoor spaces to life and make them feel like an extension of our home. There is a longing to invite our family and friends to be a part of our hospitality once again and for them to experience it in a peaceful and pretty setting.
This is the time I get energized to decorate and refresh our front porch, so I am always looking for ideas and inspiration to make it the most ideal spot to relax and catch up. My porch is considered a farmhouse front porch, which means it wraps from the front to the side of the house. It is expansive; at first it was a challenge to decorate, but I have learned a ton over the past five years from living in and using the space.
Here are 10 fabulous front porch ideas that will make your friends and family eager for an invite this summer. Whether you have a front porch or not, these bold and creative ideas can be applied to any outdoor space. Head to my blog, City Farmhouse, for more inspiration.
1. Think Outside the Box
We all need functional seating outdoors, so why not think outside the box? A hanging couch or daybed creates a cozy area to relax. And, it gives some style to an otherwise casual aesthetic. Small poufs or ottomans complete this informal look.
2. Break Up the Space
Dividing your outdoor space into areas for various functions creates direction when designing and decorating. You can create a small seating area, a large place for lounging, or even a dining area. By breaking up your outdoor space it can feel more purposeful and intentional.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Add Color
Your outdoor spaces should be a safe place to be bold and use color. Even if your home tends to be more neutral on the inside you can find small ways of layering pretty pinks, reds, and blues through plantings, pillows and accessories. If you like color and want a stronger commitment you can also bring in bold hues with your furnishings.
4. Front Door = Focal Point
Every front door has the potential to be a visual asset to your home. With simple paint, outdoor lighting and plantings you can create a beautiful focal point on your front porch. Be sure to keep it symmetrical and balanced for the most curb appeal.
5. Make it Cozy
There is nothing like spending time outside at dusk and feeling cozy and captivated by the illumination. Setting the mood with lights can make all the difference to you and your guests. Having extra throws and pillows on hand and hanging string lights always creates a beautiful ambiance.
6. Go Green
Just as pillows and throws are important for creating a cozy space, so are plants. Large tropical plants can create a room divide and make you feel transported to another region of the world. Small-medium plants arranged along the floor and on tables also gives a visual balance.
7. Lighting is Key
There is a fun, artistic freedom when it comes to outdoor lighting, and it really is key to making any open-air space feel finished. Whether you choose lanterns, light fixtures, candles or string lights, lighting is essential to establishing a cool outdoor vibe. If you don't have outdoor power outlets, consider battery or solar-operated lights.
8. Mix and Match
Have fun layering in different pieces—old and new—and don't be afraid to mix and match styles. My favorite outdoor spaces are cohesive but not always intentional. Rugs, lanterns, lights, plants—consider a blend of all of your favorites.
9. Use Wall Space
Pay attention to wall details. Using your outdoor wall space gives you vertical height and an effect of being in an outdoor room. Vertical gardens and mirrors are always a smart design decision and will add tons of interest to your walls.
10. Rock On
When in doubt, the traditional rocking chair is always in style. If you are limited by space, this is an ideal choice. Plus, who isn't excited by the thought of rocking and relaxing for a spell on a beautiful front porch sipping some cold tea.