8 Stylish Ideas for a Small Front Porch

A small front porch can live just as big and beautifully as expansive decks and patios. Here's how to turn compact outdoor square footage to your -- and your home's -- advantage.

Even a small front porch can be an eye-catcher. See how to boost the curb appeal and design of your porch with these smart tips.

Scale Down Small-Porch Furniture

Outdoor spaces equal livable square footage. 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).

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.

Match Plants to Small Front Porches

Too-big 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.

Create Connection

Your small porch might lead to lots of other outside spaces, such as a driveway, another outdoor space, and 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.

Make It Practical and Pretty

A smaller front porch means anything you choose has to be beautiful AND work hard. Use 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 the unsightly views.

Reduce Clutter

Too much stuff -- knickknacks, furniture that's sardined 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.

Soften Edges with Greenery

Blurring the lines between small front porch and 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.

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 belie a space's limited dimensions. Pastel colors, of course, are a natural fit, but a balance of light and dark hues -- say, navy walls with a white ceiling and floor -- can create coziness that doesn't feel suffocating.


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