12 Front Porch Ideas For Houses That Need Some Southern Charm

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12 Front Porch Ideas For Houses That Need Some Southern Charm

We've curated a list of front porch ideas for houses that will add comfort, style, and, of course, the charm that is as distinctly southern as iced tea and homemade biscuits.

Welcoming, comfortable, breezy, and hospitable, this indoors-goes-outdoors environment is the perfect place to express your creativity and personal style. We hope these front porch ideas will inspire you!

Your decorating choices are limited only by your imagination, the size of your porch, and yes, your budget. But if you’re looking for front porch ideas for your Lowcountry – designed home, you’ve come to the right place. 

Porches come in many styles and sizes. Most southern homes have porches – front and back porches, wrap around porches, screened, porches with rails and or columns, and porches that are open and unobstructed. Some even have stacked porches featuring a main level front porch and another directly above it on the second floor. Double the space and double the decorating fun.

No Porch at all yet? There are Front Porch Kits for Sale!

If you are starting from scratch or renovating to add a porch to your house, take a look at the variety of front porch kits, plans and parts for sale that will surely get you started. 

You can buy a porch kit for any design complete with the features you want: timbers, mantels, transoms, railings, columns, stairs, and screens.  If you purchase ready drawn plans for your porch, just choose the materials you prefer, to build it with.

Whatever you choose, get ready to have a porch for your house that will give you years of enjoyment, more space, and that classic southern look.

Let’s start with these 5 structural elements: 

1.    Railings: If your porch is raised, an enclosure will add safety. Railings come in a variety of materials – wood, metal, balustrade, spindle, and more. Your choice of whether or not to build a railing will be influenced by the design of your home and your desire for privacy. 

2.    Columns: Railings attach to columns, which can add another aesthetic to your home. Clean “modern” lines or Victorian-style charms are just two options to consider. Columns also act as roof supports and as stand-alone features (without a railing); they provide the feel of an old antebellum mansion.

3.    Floors and ceilings: Tongue in groove wood flooring is a traditional treatment for your porch ceiling, and wood, vinyl tiles, brickwork, ceramic, and stone are gorgeous options with a variety of benefits for your floor. A synthetic or natural fiber outdoor area rug offers a budget-friendly decorating choice that can pull together a seating area and add colorful interest.

4.    Awnings and hanging sun-proof fabric panels: Awnings add another level of shade as well as style and color to your outdoor living area, while fabric panels ensure privacy, especially if your home is close to a neighbor, or to the street. Pulling the curtains closed on a hot or rainy day will give your porch, and you, a layer of protection from the elements.

5.    Screens: Screened porches, a feature of many Celadon Lowcountry style homes, are often at the back or side of a house next to the kitchen and dining room, providing a breezy extension to a family’s dining experience. 

Historically, screened-in porches have been prime gathering places for families for taking meals, socializing or relaxing. Today they have evolved to include options such as flatscreen televisions and retractable screens which allow you to retract your screens with the push of a button. 

7 Ideas For Front Porch Décor

Porches are the perfect place to sit, relax and enjoy the view. 

They provide for socializing, but should also be a place to retreat to alone with a good book, a glass of tea, and your favourite music. Whatever kind of porch your house has, make the most of it with beautiful décor to create comfortable rooms outdoors. 

1.    Comfortable chairs - at least four if you plan on having friends over and since we are talking about southerners, just place those comfy chairs, and they will be filled with friends in no time.

If you’re aiming for a rustic look, you can’t go wrong with all-weather wicker chairs and big soft cushions in outdoor fabrics. The chair sizes you choose will depend on the width of your porch but do include a rocking chair or two. 

2.    A table to hold your drink, your book, or a vase of flowers. Tables come in wicker too, but it’s fun to mix up the styles. An old milk-painted trunk or a brightly colored coffee table – even a small bench, can give you the surface you need along with some panache!

3.    A porch swing is a standard feature of the southern front porch, and they come in all sizes and styles. If you have a big porch opt for a sizeable ceiling-hung swing with a broad seat and loads of pillows. There’s no better place for a cuddle or a nap. 

4.    A ceiling fan will keep the breezes moving on a warm day.  Depending on the size or length of your porch, you may want to have a few of these installed at intervals along the ceiling.

5.    An area rug in a bright or natural hue will pull a seating area together and give you somewhere nice to rest your bare feet.

6.    Gas wall-sconce lighting gives you candle-like ambient lighting with the advantage of staying lit during a power outage! 

7.    Potted plants and flowers bring the garden close and add beauty, colour, and texture to your décor. Whether your style is formal, contemporary, shabby chic or rustic, leafy dark green ferns, sky blue hydrangeas, fronds of palm or coral hibiscus will add that extra something every lovely environment needs.

Where to shop if you live in Beaufort:

Outdoor furniture and décor shopping options abound in Beaufort, South Carolina. Some establishments like M Interiors, Scout Market, Sweet Bay in Beaufort, and Octopuses and Bellavista in St. Helena carry a good selection of porch furnishings. Decorative items, antiques, fabrics, and curios can also be found at these great stores. 

Grayco carries hardware, screens, columns, shutters, stairs, rails and more for building or renovating your porch, as well as outdoor furnishings and décor.

Your new, renovated, or redecorated porch will add to the value and curb appeal of your home, but more important, it will give you and your family a place to relax and be together. 

When all the work is done, and the furniture is arranged just so, and the pillows are all plumped up, make a pitcher of iced tea and invite your neighbors over for a drink.