A small front porch can live just as big and beautifully as expansive decks and patios. All that's needed is a little know-how. Our small front porch ideas will help you turn compact outdoor square footage to your advantage.

By BH&G Editors
Updated September 11, 2019
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Outdoor spaces equal livable square footage, so even if you have a small front porch, there's ample opportunity to transform it into a beautiful living area. Making a small porch into a beautiful outdoor space is very doable—it's all about knowing what to put where in the most visually appealing and efficient manner. Front porch seating ideas, plants, accessories, and decorating ideas on a budget can all help you maximize your outdoor space. Here are 10 stylish ideas for a small porch.

Blaine Moats

1. Scale Down Outdoor Furniture

For dwellers with small front porches, sized-down outdoor furniture can help a space from feeling overwhelmed. Look for round accent-size tables (no angles mean better traffic flow), comfy chairs without arms (reduced visual bulk), and sectional sofas (to pull apart as needed).

2. Add a Few Key Accessories

Make a porch seem complete but not cluttered by including a few key accessories. Pillows and a small garden stool on this small porch are examples of collectibles that work well in a variety of locations.

Adam Albright

3. Include Pillows

Pillows offer another way to add color and character without making a porch visually heavy. Here the pillow fabrics repeat the horizontal lines of the floor. Perch them on a porch swing or other seating as an easy update.

Gordon Beall

4. Zone Small Front Porches by Purpose

It's easy to divide a large front porch by purpose—eating, relaxing, cooking, to name a few. Luckily, small front porches can utilize the same principle. Dedicate the space in front of a door, for example, to moving people into and out of the house. Have a few square feet in a corner? Tuck in two comfortable chairs and put down a petite area rug for a relaxing conversation nook.

5. Match Plants to Small Front Porches

Overgrown trees, shrubs, and other plants can overpower a small front porch. Pay careful attention to plant labels at the nursery or home improvement store and opt for dwarf or midsize options. Those scaled-down plants add restrained structure and beauty to a small front porch.

Tria Giovan Photography, Inc.

6. Create Connection

Your small porch might lead to lots of other outside spaces, such as a driveway, another outdoor space, or a backyard. Joining those other spots increases the sense of cohesion and creates a feeling that your small front porch is bigger than its actual footprint. Use similar plants, color schemes, or architectural details throughout.

Marty Baldwin

7. Make It Practical and Pretty

A smaller front porch means anything you choose has to be beautiful and work hard. Use a mirror or artwork, for example, to hide an unsightly wall; a small table might offer personality-driven color as well as a practical spot for glasses and plates during meals. Use soft window treatments to create intimacy and block any unsightly views.

Kim Cornelison

8. Reduce Clutter

Too much stuff—knickknacks and furniture that's stashed in corners—can easily distract from the livability of a small space. Get rid of anything that's dated, worn out, or ill-used. Then, include only those things that have both purpose and charm, like a repurposed bar cart for holding entertaining essentials.

Gordon Beall

9. Soften Edges with Greenery

Blurring the lines between a small front porch and a yard helps a pint-size space feel bigger. Use appropriate sizes of containers or hanging baskets to help. Plant trailing flowers in hues that tie together your color scheme and blend the hardscape with softscape.

10. Use Color to Trick the Eye

If your small porch is primed for paint, your color combos can create a sense of visual expansiveness that disguises a space's limited dimensions. Pastel colors, of course, are a natural fit, but a balance of light and dark hues—say, navy floor or dark brown with a white ceiling and window frames—can create coziness that doesn't feel suffocating.

Comments (4)

Anonymous
October 14, 2019
These are beautiful, and all are about twice the size of my front porch! Mine happens to be approximately 3 feet wide by 4 1/2 feet long. There certainly isn't room for the pretty furniture etc. I would love to see some ideas for those of use who are living in 1970s tract ranches with no real front porch- just a couple of steps up to the door- that doesn't involve tens of thousands of dollars in renovations.
Anonymous
October 14, 2019
These are beautiful, and all are about twice the size of my front porch! Mine happens to be approximately 3 feet wide by 4 1/2 feet long. There certainly isn't room for the pretty furniture etc. I would love to see some ideas for those of use who are living in 1970s tract ranches with no real front porch- just a couple of steps up to the door- that doesn't involve tens of thousands of dollars in renovations.
Anonymous
October 13, 2019
They don't know what a "small" porch really is. Mine is 4x4 ft. Room for a flower pot and a door mat!! A bench or chair!!! Out of the question. These stylists need to be more realistic.
Anonymous
September 20, 2019
These ideas are very nice, I have the problem with small porches and exposure from the rain. Do you bring everything in when rains and what to do with unexpected rain? Very pretty ideas though