Front porch ideas: making the perfect entrance
The Checkatrade guarantee
When you contact a trade through Checkatrade, our guarantee could cover you for up to 12 months. You can claim up to £1,000. Exclusions and T&Cs apply.
Our front porches are the welcome centres of our homes. These entrances frame our doors and offer clues about the kind of people we are, so it’s important that they look just right.
However, it doesn’t just have to be about looks. If you play your cards right, you can ensure your front porch comes with a ton of other benefits too – from reduced energy bills to much-needed extra storage.
There are various front porch designs on the market and a range of aesthetics to choose from. Hence why we’ve put together these inspiring front porch ideas. Take a look and hopefully, it will help you to work out exactly what you want and need when it comes to installing, renovating or decorating your front porch.
Front porch extension types
First things first, if you’re installing a new front porch, you’ll need to select a front porch extension type.
Front porches in the UK differ from those in the US. In the UK, they are typically smaller and less extravagant – but that doesn’t mean they’re any less characterful or practical! Here are the most common types of front porch and their differences.
Open porches are built without solid fronts or sides. Instead, they usually feature a triangular or lean-to roof, pillars, open beams and balustrades.
Although open porches have no walls, they’re still very practical as they shield your front door from the elements. Plus, they’re full of character – a classic example of a UK front porch is the timber frame, which puts beautiful timber beams on display.
Commonly known as enclosed porches, these incorporate walls, front doors and sometimes even windows – unlike their open counterparts.
Similar in structure to open porches, they’re used as initial indoor entrances and offer an extra storage solution. They’re also a place people can take off their shoes before coming into the main house.
An overhang porch features a porch roof without any of the surrounding structure that you’d find on open or enclosed porches. The overhang is the part of the roof that juts out over the edge of a house – so, an overhang porch occurs where the front door is nestled beneath its own section of roof.
Although overhang porches don’t provide the same protection as enclosed porches, the overhang does help to shield your entrance from the elements, as well as serving to provide shade during sunny periods.
Unless you live in a detached house in the countryside (in which case, lucky you!), you don’t see many wraparound porches in the UK. These elaborate designs are true to their namesake and wrap around a large portion of your house, if not all of it.
Also known as verandas or colonnades, these striking and versatile porches often double up as a seating area that overlooks the front of the house. They can also be used for decorative effect, a safety feature, or structural support.
A popular choice in the UK, screened porches are similar to closed porches. However, instead of small windows or opaque doors, transparent screens are used.
In this way, they can help maximise light coming into the house, which is especially useful if you live in a low-light area or the front of your house isn’t south-facing. Screened porches can also help improve heat retention and insulation.
Note: All porches come in a variety of materials, such as uPVC, brick, aluminium and various woods. If you’re building on a budget, compare the costs with our dedicated front porch cost guide.
Front porch design ideas
Now that you understand the different types of porches you can choose from, let’s take a look at some front porch design inspiration.
1. Open covered porches
If you can’t decide between an open porch and a covered porch, why not opt for something that sits somewhere in the middle? Although this is technically an open porch as it lacks doors and windows, its enclosed design makes it feel like an extra room of the house. In this way, the homeowners have created a cosy, sheltered space that’s not quite indoors but not quite outdoors either!
2. Traditional porch designs
An excellent example of a traditional porch, this quintessential English home shows how much character and charm a porch can bring to period properties. It’s also a fantastic demonstration of how well a porch can be blended in with the rest of the house. A small brick wall matches the facade of the property, while wooden black pillars extend into a decorative triangular slated roof.
3. Stone porch design
The porch below is an interesting example of how materials can be used to make a statement with your porch design. The homeowners have opted to combine wood cladding and gorgeous stone to create a porch with a strong wow factor, without the need for added decorations (other than the essential doormat, of course!). Cladding options to keep in mind for your front porch include render, stone, timber, flint and metal – just be sure to consider maintenance when picking the right one for you.
4. Integral Georgian style porch
The Georgians certainly knew how to design a porch! This elegant open porch features classic pillars and a curved roof that’s echoed by the window directly beneath it. Although we’re certainly not all lucky enough to own homes that boast authentic Georgian porches, we can learn a lot from their soft lines and symmetrical designs that would be perfect for any city or townhouse.
5. Large front veranda
If you’re looking for somewhere to sit and watch the world go by, a large front porch could be just what you’re after. These offer a lot more freedom when it comes to furniture. The homeowners here have impressively managed to fit in a table, chairs and bench, although swing chairs such as outdoor hanging egg chairs could be a more modern alternative.
6. Contemporary porches
Want a porch that lives up to the latest fashions? We recommend matching your front porch to your house and the area you live in, for obvious reasons. However, there’s no harm in bearing in mind the latest trends – contemporary front porches are all about modern living, space-saving solutions, and attractive features. Gable roofs, full-height glass and intricate latticework are all 2023 trends that offer an elegant and timeless style.
Porch decorating ideas
Looking for a low-cost way to give your front porch a spruce, as opposed to a complete design overhaul? Then the chances are you’re looking for some decorating inspo.
Here are some fabulous porch decorating ideas to get you started.
1. Neutral colours for porches
This is a fantastic example of how using a neutral colour pallet can elevate your front porch. Here, the homeowners have opted for light greys with charcoal pops, spanning everything from the house’s facade and shutters to the rocking chairs and cushions.
It’s a neutral and soothing scheme that contrasts nicely with the rich colours of the surrounding natural landscape.
2. Seasonal porch decorating ideas
Picking out seasonal decorations is a fantastic way to make sure that your front porch looks the part throughout the year. An autumn wreath adorns the front door in this pic, with pumpkins and yellow flowers arranged below to match.
3. Minimalistic porch decorating ideas
When it comes to porch decorating, sometimes less is more. This porch is flanked by two simple yet elegant terracotta pots, with neat hedges below. Perfectly symmetrical with a traditional wooden door and hanging lantern as the focal point, it’s all about quality over quantity.
4. Modern porch decor
If you live in a modern house, you can afford to be brave with colours and contrasts. In the image below, the homeowners have taken the colour black and run with it, opting for a black front door, a black bench, black lanterns and even a black plant pot to blend in seamlessly with the black wall behind.
Although it might sound risky, the effect is strong and confident, providing an excellent contrast with the natural wooden ceiling above and the rolling landscape beyond.
5. Natural porch decorating ideas
While porch decorating mostly involves adding some semblance of order, there can be beauty to be found in chaos too – particularly when it comes to the natural world.
Here, the Cotswold stone of this breathtaking period property is complemented by a whole host of colours that can be found in the vegetation around. Rather than attempting to carefully harness this natural beauty, the homeowners have allowed the plants to take over, adding to the property’s romance and charm.
6. Porch decorating accessories
If you’re looking for a quick and low-cost way to revamp your front porch, accessorising is the way to go. This porch boasts a cushioned bench, a wreath on the door, a potted plant, and a welcoming doormat. Together, these accessories give off a homely and inviting feeling that’s ideal for greeting visitors.
7. Front door porch decorating ideas
Finally, don’t forget about your front door! While our porches are the welcome centres of our homes, the front door is the threshold and acts as the main focal point. The homeowners here have painted their porch a uniform white, except for the door, which they’ve painted a bright turquoise. Reserving all the colour for the front door in this way really makes it pop.
Front porch ideas key takeaways
- There are many different styles and materials to choose from for your front porch
- Try to match your front porch in with the rest of your house
- Painting, adding accessories or growing plants are all effective porch decorating ideas