Any outdoor living area is valuable curb appeal real estate. Even if you have limited space, a small front porch can be a place of inspiration and relaxation, allowing you to make the most of the good weather in spring, summer, and autumn. If you just haven’t had a chance yet to dress up your porch or buy new outdoor furniture, spring is the perfect time to plan a makeover.
Make a big deal of the entrance to your home.
The entrance to your home is an obvious focal point as visitors walk up the steps. The front door should be eye-catching, yet inviting. Cracks in the trim, dull hardware, or a broken pane of glass that still needs fixing detracts from a welcoming atmosphere a porch should have.
Ideas to make the front door the focal point of the porch and to boost curb appeal include:
- Wash the front door
- Repaint the door in a brighter colour
- Replace the front door with one that is better suited to the architectural style of your home
- Replace outdoor lights with new, larger fixtures
- Polish or upgrade tired-looking hardware
- Hang a wreath and change it with the seasons
- Place a welcome mat in front of the door
Maximize the existing space.
Because the porch is small plan to use every available square inch. If you need to buy new furniture for the porch, take measurements so that you will have some idea of what will fit into the space. It’s not just height, width, and length – make note of the shape of the porch. The size of the area and its shape will determine the size of the outdoor furniture.
Select dual-purpose outdoor furniture pieces such as chairs or a sofa with hidden storage; stools that can be used as side tables; and benches that include planters.
Choose lightweight furniture that can be easily moved around to create different seating and entertaining options.
Use what you already have.
When you don’t have room for a standard outdoor dining table, hang a compact table from the railing.
While there might not be a space for a sofa or chairs, don’t forget about useful architectural elements. Turn the porch railings into a seat back by placing a short bench or square ottoman and adding enough cushions to make it comfy.
Go “shopping” in your house. Repurpose items such as a bakers’ rack, an unused wine rack, or cubbies. They can be used to display plants or provide storage for items you want to keep on the porch.
Is your porch too close to the neighbour’s house? Create a hanging gutter garden privacy screen from old gutters. Hanging clay pots is another great vertical garden idea for more distance from prying eyes.
Accessorize the porch with curb appeal in mind.
Pull all the elements in the space together with an outdoor rug that has a unique design or will add some colour.
Rethink the house numbers – replace them with large, shiny numerals that will be easily seen from the street.
Hang baskets of a mix of perennials and annuals to make the area more appealing. Fill a repurposed rack with pots of the same size, colour, and material, but choose a variety of plants (different colours and textures) to put in them.
A small water feature or table fountain brings a sense of calm to a semi-enclosed outdoor living space.
Decorative touches such as wind chimes, fairy lights, and using collectibles like Mason jars or vintage food tins as planters add charm and personality to your small porch.