Whether you’re trying to make visitors feel welcome or boosting your home’s curb appeal for an upcoming sale, the most logical place to start is the front porch.
Your front porch is the first point of contact for anyone who comes to your home. If your front porch is bare, cluttered, colorless, or badly lit, visitors may not feel positively about your home. That impression can linger even after they enter a welcoming interior.
On the other hand, a vibrant, attractive, properly furnished front porch can impart a positive first impression that makes people feel good right away.
How do you make your front porch into a place with welcoming vibes? Here are six of our best tips.
1. Give Your Front Door a Makeover
Your front door plays a big part in how your front porch — and the rest of your home — appears to visitors. That’s why people who are selling their houses themselves often spruce up their front door before they start showing their home.
There are a ton of stylish doors to choose from: rustic wood-paneled doors, frosted glass doors, ornate cast iron doors, classic Craftsman doors, steel doors, or Old World-style barn doors where the top half opens independently from the bottom half.
Think about using an eye-catching color, such as bright red, yellow, or turquoise to make your home look warm and unique.
2. Use Furniture
One of the most effective ways to make your front porch more welcoming is to treat it just as you would an indoor space. Invest in some nice furniture. You can get outdoor furniture that’s upholstered with sun-resistant fabric that won’t fade and arrange it to create a cozy conversation space.
You may also have extra furniture that you could repurpose as porch furniture. Perhaps you have a pair of chairs you were going to put in storage or a sofa you don’t know how to get rid of. Don’t forget, small tables, lamps, and even a rug pull everything together.
Even if you don’t want a second living room on your porch, you can still put out deck chairs or Adirondack chairs. Accessorize them with blankets, cushions, or accent pillows so they don’t look too bare.
3. Consider a Welcome Mat
This is a classic suggestion for a reason — because it works. A high-quality welcome mat can make your front porch look less sterile and feel, well, much more welcoming.
If you think the classic mat exhibiting the word “Welcome” is a little too literal or cliche, there are a lot of other options. Consider a stylish jute mat, patterned or unconventionally shaped mats, or something practical such as a wooden-slat mat with mud-cleaning bristles.
4. A Classic Porch Swing
There are few things more satisfying to a homeowner than watching the sunset from a gently swinging porch swing.
A swing will make your front porch look more welcoming to passersby, but it can also do a lot to promote neighborliness and community. If you sit on your porch regularly, you’ll be much more likely to see and talk to your neighbors
5. Novel Lighting
Your porch’s lighting plays a huge role in how it looks and feels. The standard overhead bulb may be effective in terms of warding off intruders, but the lighting it gives off can be harsh and forbidding. You can get the same level of security from your lighting with something a lot warmer.
Consider stylish alternatives, such as pendant lights, hanging lanterns, sconces, string lighting, LED strip lighting, or track lighting. You could also consider small, strategically placed spotlights to highlight architectural or landscaping features, as well as other areas you want to draw attention to, such as the front door, stairs, or walkway.
Make sure to match the lighting to your home’s style. If you live in a country-style cottage, consider farmhouse sconces. If you live in a more modern home, lean toward recessed or LED lighting.
Your lighting can also extend to your porch stairs. Consider installing recessed stair lights, LED strips, or bollard lights to make your porch stairs extra safe and welcoming.
6. Plants and Planters
A garden can add some much-needed warmth and visual interest to your front porch. Think about hanging baskets with plants and flowers, urns full of flowers, or flower boxes on windowsills and railings.
Another fun option is to have a number of planters arranged on the porch, perhaps holding various plants and flowers. Just make sure the planters are of various sizes and shapes, so they don’t appear too monotonous.
Don’t overdo it. A cluttered front porch is the opposite of welcoming.
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