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The front porch is the first thing people see when they visit someone’s home. All too often, though, the spot is completely overlooked. It’s understandable — when you have an entire house to decorate and care for, the outside of your home can start to feel like an overwhelming burden. Fortunately though, there are some ways to make your front porch look more intentional and welcoming that don’t take much effort at all.
In fact, according to interior designers TZR spoke to, one of the most important aspects of creating a nice porch space is just keeping things simple. Yes, accessories are a must. But going overboard can have the opposite effect you’re going for, shares Libby Rawes, owner and principal designer of Sharp + Grey Interiors, who explains that “overdoing it” is one of the most common mistakes she sees. “Layers are always nice, but we don’t want the space to feel too crowded or cluttered.”
Thus, choosing the right pieces to display in front of your home is crucial — which is why TZR got the download on what exactly is worth putting on your porch and how to use those items right. Read on for their tips, and prepare for your outdoor entrance to be the belle of the block in no time.
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Rawes and Hillary Stamm, founder and head designer of HMS Interiors, both say that no front porch is complete without a welcome mat by the door. Essentially, it sets the foundation for the rest of the space.
“There are many gorgeous front porch mats that are cheeky and cute and give your home more of that curated feel, or even customize them with a family name,” Stamm tells TZR. “Pottery Barn does a great job of this.”
Rawes and Stamm also agree that layering plants is crucial to creating a more intentional area. “Put some outdoor pots of varying sizes and heights with sturdy leaves like olive branches” to make your space feel bigger, says Stamm. “It gives your space height and depth and looks more finished.”
Rawes echoes this advice, though she also explains that you can play with a variety of plant types as well. “You could keep the plants simple or [use] a nice mix of greenery and florals.”
Though it’s not always possible depending on the square footage of your porch, Rawes does share that incorporating a few comfortable spots for guests to kick back can have a big impact on the vibe. “If you have space, you could add a bench with some cushions or a pair of chairs and a table to invite guests to sit and stay a while.” Then it becomes not only intentional, but inviting, too.
While adding decor to your front porch is important in creating a welcoming atmosphere, it can backfire if you neglect to consider how it looks with the facade of your home.
“Always work with the style and architecture of your home,” advises Rawes. What does that mean, exactly? “If you have a classic house, pair it with classic lighting, pots, and decor. If your house is more modern use sleek lighting and planters with clean lines and simple foliage.” In fact, you should even take into account what’s surrounding your home as well. “Also think about the landscaping leading up to the porch and try to tie the porch and the landscaping together with a unifying thread like a color or texture,” she continues.
Want to really make your front porch seem considered? Take the time to curate your decor for different times of the year.
“I love the seasonal porch,” says Stamm. “There is so much you can do to make your home gorgeous for the various seasons.” That can include everything from pumpkins for fall, to ribbons and lights for holidays, to an array of flowers in pots for spring, she continues. “We [also] like to invest in beautiful wreaths for the various seasons that you can rotate to make the space more inviting!”
One of Rawes’ biggest pieces of advice is actually one of the simplest. According to the designer, not keeping the porch clean and letting plants die are big no-no’s she sees often. So, she says, “I would recommend to be honest with how much maintenance it will take to keep up with and if it’s too much, keep it as simple as possible. You can still create a beautiful welcoming front porch with just a few simple pretty items.”