by Anna Varnell
on Monday, July 11th, 2022 at 2:04pm.
Summer time is the perfect time to plant a beautiful garden, entertain family and friends, or just relax outside. Our front porch is the first thing we see when we home and truly sets the tone for guests entering our house. Updating your curb appeal with a few simple fixes can make all of the difference to your house. Here are our top 5 tips for updating your front porch.
1. Define Your Focal Point
Chattanooga is lucky enough to have a lot of unique styles of houses throughout. From historic to modern homes, the exterior of each home will have a different focal point. For example, if you have a beautiful staircase leading directly up to your front door, your focal point will most likely be your stairs or front door. Or maybe your front porch is a bit smaller or there are no steps to lead you, you might want your focal point to be the landscape. Think about what specifically you want your guests to focus on as they walk towards your home. It doesn’t have to be something so small that you miss the entire exterior of the home. Here in the South, we are known for a great wrap around porch which is also a great focal point. It is best to take cues from your home's architecture as every house will be a little bit different.
Each home will have its own unique flow based on the layout of the front exterior. Whether you have concrete, gravel, brick, or even a dirt walkway, this is the path that will leads you and your guests inside. Start with defining the best way flow for your path leading to your door. Sometimes this will be dictated by the topography. Here in Chattanooga, we often run into hills that, unless we want to lay down the big bucks, allows for minimal options on the walkway. The walkway is also a great area to add some texture with a herringbone pattern in bricks or strategically placed stepping stones. Regardless of if your walkway is long or short, it is a great opportunity to create a welcome home feeling for you and your guests.
3. Outdoor Lighting
One easy way to define your space and add some fun to your front porch is outdoor lighting. Changing the front porch light fixture is a very simple change, but can make a huge difference to the design. One thing to also think about is how bright the light is and where is the best place to put lights. For example, a bright flood light is probably not best for above your front door as you don’t want to be blinded by the bright light as you try to enter your home. Instead, softer lights placed along the walkway and any stairs would be ideal as you can see where you’re going and the lights can guide you along the path to the door. You can also add a fun pendant light hanging on your porch which would also make a great focal point or a string of lights to create a more relaxed vibe.
Here is where function meets style! First and foremost, this front porch needs to be functional. You don’t want to have to climb through a jungle of plants just to get to the front door. Start with deciding what is the function of your front porch? Are you looking for a cozy place to entertain? The perfect spot for your morning coffee? Is the goal to set the tone as your guests arrive? Once you’ve decided what the overall function of your front porch is, let your personality express itself! Add the items that help make it functional. Tables, chairs, plants, art, rugs, and, of course, your welcome mat. Don't forget fun seasonal items like pumpkins and holiday decor that can be easily changed throughout the seasons.
5. Color & Texture
Now that you know your focal point and the function of your front porch. Don’t forget to add colors and textures. Plants are the easiest way to add both color and texture whether they’re planted in the ground or in a pot or hanging from your front porch. You can choose flowers with complementary colors, lovely, green plants with fun textures, or both. Depending on the color of the exterior of your home, another way to add a pop of color is by painting your front door. If you’re looking to add furniture to your front porch, wood or metals are a great choice to add a bit of texture. Just make sure that the colors and textures don’t take away from your focal point. Don't forget to put your style on it by adding fabrics with rugs, curtains, cushions, and pillows!