The Colonial Porch

There are many design details that distinguish the Colonial-style porch. Here are ten that will help you get the look.

  1. Classic Colonial

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    Symmetrical two-story homes with porches—whether mere porticos or full-width wonders—are the norm for the Colonial style. Let’s take a look at the design elements that create this distinguished style, the most Classical of our featured porch aesthetics.

  2. Double Hung Windows

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    When choosing windows, pay attention to type. Double hung windows are better for traditional home styles like Colonials, and the grille patterns are also an important detail to get right. Andersen A-Series windows are available with a six-over-six grille pattern virtually guaranteed to match your Colonial.

  3. Colonial-Style Spindles

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    Trex Transcend Colonial spindles are available through The Home Depot and combine with any Trex top and bottom rail kit to give your porch traditional styling at relatively low cost.

  4. Fretwork-Pattern Railings

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    Front Porch Ideas and More

    Railings with herringbone and Chippendale (shown) fretwork are hallmarks of Colonial architecture. Try Walpole Woodworkers for long-lasting PVC Chippendale railings. 

  5. Fan Lights

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    Florence Griswold Museum

    Fan lights—wedges of glass separated by radiating glazing bars that create an overall semi-circular shape—typically adorn the entry doors on Colonial homes. Half chord, elliptical, or semi-circlular fixed windows from Pella can help you achieve the look.

  6. Colonial Colors

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    Country Living

    Colonial paint palettes include surprisingly upbeat yellows, blues, and reds. California Paints suggests many historical colors popular for Colonial architecture, such as Georgian Yellow, Meetinghouse Blue, and Shaker Red, all great options for the body of your Colonial home.

  7. Blue Ceilings

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    Sharon Barrett Interiors

    Rumor has it that painting the porch ceiling a light aqua blue will not only keep insects from nesting (since the blue looks like a continuation of the sky), but will also keeps spirits, or "haints", away. Take a look at Sherwin-Williams’ Atmospheric and Pool Blue, two solid options for the porch ceiling.

  8. Lanterns

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    Shades of Light

    Lantern-style lighting fits in well on Colonial porches, especially modest and Early American designs. This Glass Bell Outdoor Lantern from Shades of Light ($325) is a perfect example. 

  9. Chippendale Bench

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    Vermont Woods Studios

    To match existing Chippendale fretwork, try a bench with a similar pattern. These 48" outdoor benches in natural and painted finishes are from Vermont Woods Studios.

  10. Door Knobs

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    The front porch ushers visitors to your entry door, so be sure to make a good impression with hardware, like the Durham door set, available in six finishes from Rejuvenation.

  11. More on Colonial Style?

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    Classic Colonial Homes

    To learn more about the history and architectural elements that distinguish the Colonial-style home, click here. For more porch styles, consider:

    The Queen Anne Porch

    The Bungalow Porch

    The Farmhouse Porch

  12. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!