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

    Classic Colonial

    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 it.


  2. Double Hung Windows

    Double Hung Windows

    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

    Colonial-Style Spindles

    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

    Fretwork-Pattern Railings

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

    Front Porch Ideas and More

  5. Fan Lights

    Fan Lights

    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.

    Florence Griswold Museum

  6. Colonial Colors

    Colonial Colors

    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.

    Country Living

  7. Blue Ceilings

    Blue Ceilings

    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.

    Sharon Barrett Interiors

  8. Lanterns


    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. 

    Shades of Light

  9. Chippendale Bench

    Chippendale Bench

    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.

    Vermont Woods Studios

  10. Door Knobs

    Door Knobs

    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.


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