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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Even if you've got your heart set on hardwood flooring, it's worth considering the alternatives. Sometimes, materials that only look like wood can be just as good as—or even better than—the real thing. Explore your options now!