First impressions are the ones that stick, which is why many people fall in love with homes before stepping foot inside. A beautiful porch can boost your home’s value, increase curb appeal, and give you more space to enjoy.
Porches date back to Ancient Greece, and over the years, we have modernized their form, function, and features. Let’s learn more about the different types of porches and how to maximize their capabilities.
What is a Porch?
A porch is a covered exterior space that is attached to a house. By utilizing the outdoors and giving protection from the elements, porches are an excellent investment and can improve the look of your home.
There are many styles, from simple stone platforms at the front door to elaborate wrap-around porches that hug three sides of the house. Left open or enclosed with screen or glass, porches provide extra space to socialize, relax, and entertain.
Essentially a covered entryway, this type of porch protects from the rain and adds aesthetic value to your home. While not large enough for seating, you can use decorative items like vases and plants to add vibrancy and color.
The portico is where visitors will stand when arriving at your house and where mail and packages will be dropped off.
Everyone loves a good front porch. This is where you greet visitors, relax, chat with neighbors, and show off your decorating skills. Many front porches will have seating, tables, plants, and various décor filling the space, which creates a comfortable and inviting vibe.
Having a front porch sets the mood for your home’s overall aesthetic and is the first thing visitors notice. Whether you have a small front porch or a large wrap porch, this space is excellent for indoor/outdoor seating, storage, and adding extra style to your home.
The back porch is a covered structure attached to the house, usually opening up to the living room or kitchen. Oftentimes, the back porch will have open sides, which creates the effect of being outside yet protected from the elements. Unlike the front porch, a back porch provides privacy, making it an excellent option for uninterrupted relaxation.
As the name implies, a screened porch is a covered porch with screen walls on all sides. Both front and back porches can be screened; converting an open porch to a screened porch is not complicated or expensive.
As one of the most popular styles, many screened porches act as second living rooms with electricity, lighting, heating, and ceiling fans.
With 3-season flexibility, you can comfortably enjoy the space without worrying about bugs, rain, or other inclement weather. It also means that your furniture and décor aren’t as visible, which helps deter thieves.
As the brightest spot in the house, the sunroom is a warm and inviting space that can be enjoyed year-round. With wall-to-wall windows, sunrooms allow plenty of natural light and give the feeling of being outdoors without needing to deal with bugs or bad weather.
Four-season sunrooms can be enjoyed all year long, with heating and AC maintaining a comfortable temperature. As an extension of the home’s interior living space, sunrooms are usually not separated by doors and open up to the house.
Sunrooms can be used for various purposes, such as extending living rooms, setting up a home gym, or creating an office space.
This type of porch features an awning that comes off the house 3-6′ past the porch floor. With enough space for a seating area, this covered patio is ideal for enjoying afternoon rainstorms without getting wet.
Boost Your Aesthetic
If you have a simple porch, you can significantly amplify your home’s curb appeal by upgrading different aspects. Moreover, these changes can be done quickly and affordably, from replacing old and rusty hardware to swapping out your house number.
For more elaborate alterations, consider replacing a basic door with one that has ornate detailing and features. You can also paint your door to create a dynamic composition, choosing a color that pairs well with your home’s exterior paint.
Replacing an old mailbox, doorknob, and exterior lights can play a huge role in your home’s appearance. Lighting is essential for safety, and there are a variety of outdoor sconce and pendant lights to choose from.
Even something as simple as pressure washing the exterior of your porch and the steps can make a dramatic difference. Once clean and dry, adding a fresh coat of paint to the steps of your porch creates an inviting welcome.
Accessorize Your Porch
There are many ways to decorate your porch to elevate the aesthetic and bring some personality to the space. For smaller areas, focus on the purpose before getting into the finer details.
Seating and Comfort
If you want to create a seating area on an open porch, ensure the fabrics are weather-resistant and easy to clean, as dust, dirt, and pollen will eventually settle in. To elevate the seating area, consider using an outdoor rug to pull all the furniture together and give your feet a soft spot to land.
Small tables, lamps, and throw pillows will make your porch an entertaining haven. These details invite comfort and relaxation, perfect for afternoons lounging with a book or drinking lemonade with friends.
Adding plants to any space will brighten the mood and give your porch a lush, green feel. You can hang planters from the ceiling, letting them swing in front of the windows, and floor plants in the corner of the room will help make it feel cozier. For an extra boost, choose plants with fragrant blooms, as this delightful scent will welcome you whenever you return home.
For porticos, set pots, vases, and floor plants along the sides to add character. To add more visual interest, you can hang a floral arrangement on the door, which is easy to swap out as the seasons change. For small spaces, it’s essential not to overdo it on the accessories, as this can make the area feel cluttered and uninviting.