Side Table Salad
When it comes to iced tea, lemonade, or summer cocktails, nothing gives a finishing touch to a beverage better than fresh herbs! And the freshest herbs are the ones you grab and place right into your glass. This clever hack drops a window box-style planter right into the center of a coffee table—and right within arm’s reach. The best thing: Since they'll be sitting on a covered porch, your herbs will be better protected from the elements than your typical outdoor plants.
Wood may be the go-to flooring option for many a front porch, but it’s certainly not the only one out there. Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles require little upkeep, feel cool underfoot—especially in warmer climates—and give the space a modern feel. Look for large-format tiles like these to match the scale of the porch.
Add a pergola above your porch area to get gorgeous, filtered light and create a structure for plants to climb. As you can buy a stand-alone pergola at the big home improvement stores, this is also a way to retrofit a porch area onto your home without incurring major construction costs. Paint the pergola the same color as the trim on your home for a built-in look. The result: A shady spot to relax under.
Zillow Digs home in Pasadena, CA
Instead of painting your porch ceiling the same color as the rest of the space, try staining the wooden planks in a rich, natural hue. Letting the natural grain show through, especially in contrast with painted trim, is a smart way to add interest and texture to the porch without introducing a new color. This is a great option for people who love neutral spaces—or want a flexible canvas that lets them get wild with colorful textiles on their furniture.
Zillow Digs home in Chattanooga, TN
This is about as romantic as it gets: Curl up next to a fire and enjoy an amazing ocean view by day or a starlit sky at night. Built into one side of the porch, a stone fireplace keeps things toasty on chilly evenings so you can still use the porch in the cooler seasons. Plus, it gives a new-build porch a rustic lodge feel, the perfect ambience for snuggling with your partner.
Zillow Digs home in Harbor Springs, MI
Get the benefits of porch seating without losing floor space with this smart idea. A built-in bench along the side of the porch takes up less space than stand-alone furniture and, because it blends in seamlessly with the railings, doesn’t add visual bulk. This inconspicuous seating gives you plenty of space to entertain a crew—or just comfortably take off your shoes on your way in.
Zillow Digs home in Jacksonville, FL
Shut Out Prying Eyes
White wooden shutters are a warm-weather staple that create shade while still letting a breeze through. These oversize shutters are a great way to turn a porch into a true outdoor room: They can block wind or rain, filter the sun, and give you privacy from the neighbors too.
Zillow Digs home in Mount Pleasant, SC
A gentle breeze makes sitting on the porch in the summer a lot more comfortable—so if the wind isn’t blowing, why not create a little cool air? These large matching fans with wide blades also provide a decorative flourish. Finished in the same wood tones as the ceiling and floor, with great-looking oil-rubbed brass accents, they do double duty as both focal points and functional elements.
Zillow Digs home in Key West, FL
This space by Rowland + Broughton is made for entertaining! Outfitted with a pro-level grill and plenty of space to prep and serve a BBQ, plus generous seating near a modern fire pit, it’s the perfect party space. The finishing touch: Instead of filling the small yard with grass, which can be tricky to maintain in some regions, it’s been filled with gravel to create a ready-for-play bocce court.
Part safety feature, part decor, the trellis-style panels that line this porch are an attractive architectural detail. The open woodwork provides partial privacy and a support for future plants to climb, and it encloses the space without making it feel closed in. Yet one more benefit: The panels let air move freely through the space, creating the ideal environment for napping!
Zillow Digs home in Woodinville, WA
Painted a perky periwinkle—but any other bold pastel would be just as fun—this brightly hued floor gives the porch a playful personality. Using the same color on the floor, door, and other accents creates a cohesive palette that's great for a beach house.
Zillow Digs home in Tybee Island, GA
Forget window boxes—set your planters at ground level if you want to grow a wall of greenery. A staple at venerable universities and wineries alike, climbing vines can give your home a sense of heritage, even if it’s new construction. And all those leaves make a porch feel like an extension of the outdoors, because you’ve invited nature right inside the room's four walls.
Zillow Digs home in Bridgehampton, NY
Sheer curtains are frequently seen inside, but rarely outside. Yet hanging a few long, lightweight curtains can transform a humble porch into an elegant retreat. Plus, fabric panels can block bright sunlight and light rain to keep the porch comfortable even when the weather beyond is not. Bonus: These panels are fairly easy to install using regular curtain hardware.
Zillow Digs home in Gates Mills, OH
Front Porch Gallery
The outside of your home is a wall, right? So why not hang art on it? This decorating technique shows off your personality and sets the tone before anyone even sets foot inside the house. Plus, hanging art can be a quick, inexpensive way to give the space a big style boost without any construction or permanent changes, which makes this idea great for renters!
Zillow Digs home in Portland, OR
Create a Welcoming Space
Make your porch everybody's favorite "room" at your house.
Each week from now through New Year's Eve, receive around-the-house tips, DIY project inspiration, and clever gift ideas to help make this your best-ever holiday season—subscribe now!