Anatomy of a Front Porch

As the weather turns warm and afternoons stretch into long, lovely evenings, the porch becomes the new living room.  We gravitate toward them to enjoy simple, beautiful things like a cool breeze on our face, the smell of jasmine wafting through the air, the sound of children laughing and playing, and to watch a beautiful sunset (or sunrise, whatever floats your boat).

I love a well-designed, comfortable porch, and that’s one reason I was so excited when a client asked me to give her front porch an update.  Makeover!!  I enjoyed this project because it involved a little bit of everything I love – I got my hands dirty (potting the urn), tapped into my inner Martha (creating the wreath), and did a little shopping (selecting the accessories).  As an added bonus, her jasmine was in full bloom and it was just heavenly to be working outside enjoying the fragrant blooms and humidity-free weather.

Here’s how I took this southern charmer to the next level – and five ideas you can try at home:

Upgrade your entrance mat to an area rug.  Who says your front porch entry has to have a standard floor mat – or be square or rectangular, for that matter?  Live on the edge and choose something unexpected like this navy & beige chevron stripe circular area rug.


Garden stools.  I can’t say enough about them, and I think that every household should have at least two of them.  They are classic and versatile, and beat the hell out of your standard wicker outdoor occasional table in the looks department!


Bright, colorful throw pillows.  This is your opportunity to take a risk!  Trust me, any fabric that seems a little too powerful compared to what you might normally choose will look toned down immediately when out in the open space and natural light.


A playful, celebratory wreath makes for an inviting front door.  My plan for this wreath is to keep the circular chartreuse reindeer moss wreath as a year-round base and simply change out the ribbon & accessories seasonally.  This combination of rattan stars, a sparkler, and red white, and blue ribbon is perfect for Memorial through Labor Day.


Last, but not least, live, vibrant plantings are a must.  I potted her gorgeous existing terracotta urn with aztec grass for height, white kalancho and impatiens for crisp, clean color, varieted mondo grass and hypoestes to balance out the center, and variegated english ivy as the trailing plant.


Okay, now it’s your turn!  What do you think?  I would love to hear your feedback!


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