New meets old in these smart (and budget-friendly!) porch ideas that put vintage finds to work.

By BH&G Editors
Updated September 06, 2019

One of the best parts of summer is outdoor living. It's the chance to gather with family and friends, share a meal, and catch up. So it's important to create both an inviting and function porch or patio that feels like an extension of your home.

But decorating a front porch doesn't have to be a big investment. Turn to thrift stores, flea markets, and estates sales to score vintage finds for your outdoor room. Here are 12 fabulous front porch ideas featuring flea market finds that will make your friends and family eager for an invite this summer. Even if you don't have a front porch, these bold and creative ideas can be applied to any outdoor space.

Porch with floral seating and doily rug
Credit: Kim Cornelison

1. Paint It

Turn to exterior-grade paint to pull together a front porch filled with flea market finds. A colorful rattan table and chair set, scored at a secondhand shop, can easily be updated with white spray paint. Rather than laying a new floor, paint over the existing material to refresh it. A fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and walls can also tie a mishmash of textures together and make the porch look tidy.

Porch with tiled floor and wooden chairs
Credit: Anthony Masterson

2. Upgrade Seating

Add charm to your porch with comfortable furnishings and unique elements. Thrifted ladder-back chairs greet visitors with a warm welcome. Plush pillows sewn out of fabric scraps give furniture a colorful pop. A patterned area rug adds a fun twist to the outdoor space.

cottage-style porch with patriotic colors

3. Pay Attention to Scale

Even small front porches are fitting for flea market furnishings—just make sure to consider scale. A large, solid sofa will make a tight space feel even smaller. Opt for spindly seating, such as rattan or bamboo chairs.

outdoor porch green room
Credit: Marty Baldwin

4. 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. Utilize flea market baskets to house smaller plants arranged along the floor and on tables.

porch with rug and screen
Credit: Ann VanderWiel/The Wilde Project

5. Mix and Match Styles

Have fun layering in different pieces—old and new—and don't be afraid to mix and match styles. Rugs, furniture, lighting—consider a blend of all of your favorites. This front porch of Jen from Flea Market Fab includes a wood chair, whose frame she scored for $2.50, a carved screen she purchased at a local flea market for $20, and vintage shell hangings.

porch with shutters and hanging lanterns
Credit: Richard Leo Johnson/Atlantic Archives Inc

6. Use Wall Space

Pay attention to wall details. Using your outdoor wall space gives you vertical height and the 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.

pink floral wall all seasons room home decor
Credit: Brie Williams

7. Don't Be Afraid to Add Color

Embrace a bold color scheme—especially if you're using bargain secondhand decor. Even if your home tends to be more neutral on the inside, you can find small ways of layering color on your front porch through flea market furnishings or accents. Here, a vintage rattan loveseat gets a colorful update with blue cushions and pink throw pillows. A vibrant wall hanging, ottoman, and rug round out the eye-catching outdoor room.

hanging porch swing
Credit: Robert Brinson

8. Think Outside the Box

We all need functional seating outdoors, but 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. Secondhand poufs and pillows, as well as a distressed coffee table, complete this informal look.

farmhouse front porch rocking chairs
Credit: Edmund Barr Photography

9. Rock On

When in doubt, turn to the always-in-style traditional rocking chair. Who isn't excited by the thought of relaxing for a spell on a beautiful front porch sipping some cold tea? And don't fret if the flea market furniture has a few knicks; a coat of primer and your favorite shade of spray paint will easily refresh the chairs.

front porch lanterns on steps
Credit: John Merkl Photographer

10. Light the Way

With thrifted outdoor lighting and potted plants, you can create a beautiful focal point on your front porch. Vintage lanterns fill with LED pillar candles guide guests up the stairs. Galvanized metal bins make for easy planters with pretty patina.

outdoor table and chairs
Credit: Tria Giovan Photography, Inc.

11. Create Zones

Divide your outdoor space into dedicated zones to create purpose. Arrange a small seating area with two chairs, a large place for lounging with a sofa, or a dining area complete with table and chairs. Utilize area rugs and lighting to visually separate the spaces.

cozy outdoor seating with colorful patterned pillows
Credit: Dana Gallagher Studio LLC

12. Make it Cozy

There is nothing like spending time outside at dusk. But setting the mood with lights can make all the difference. Update vintage fixtures with dimmable LED bulbs to set the mood. Having extra throws and pillows on hand is another must for entertaining.

Comments (13)

August 2, 2018
I love the colors and design of the Mix and Match porch. Everything works well together
July 26, 2018
Even a tiny apartment deck can be "decked out" with thrift store finds: a colorful rug, baskets, wrought iron oddities. Coordinate mismatched items with paint and voila!
July 26, 2018
How about a porch that's barely 6ft wide and 10ft long?
July 26, 2018
Beautiful designs and wonderful inspiration!
July 11, 2018
I LOVE THESE IDEAS!!! Thank you very much!!!!!
July 11, 2018
All beautiful, but I live in a neighborhood where stuff is stolen right off your porch. It's a shame, because I have a nice porch. :'(
July 10, 2018
Not for the common home owner. Those are expensive homes! How about some budget ideas for the working class.
July 10, 2018
These porches look like they are nice and wide. My front porch is 6 ft. wide. How about some ideas for a narrow porch.
July 10, 2018
Very relaxing!
June 28, 2018
Oh, I would just love to be in any of these homes:)
April 22, 2018
Beautiful photographs and great ideas!!
April 21, 2018
Love the green porch. So pretty
April 21, 2018
Awesome looks. Love the color of all the displays. All of the designs had a very good presence.