What says Southern style more than anything else? Many would say it’s a classic front porch gracing the entryway. And we agree.
After all, we may endure a couple months of sultry summer heat, but it’s worth it when we’re relaxing outside come fall; the start of when the front porch becomes our mainstay. That’s why you’ll find front porches on many of our floor plan designs.
But front porches aren’t something you should include as an afterthought. In fact, there are many must-have elements you should think about long before you finalize your plans. With this much potential in your forever home, the last thing you want is to wish you would have spent more time designing.
So, what should you consider now before you build?
Open or Closed?
Picture your dream home. What does it look like as you drive up to your porch? Do you see a farmhouse design or are you more of a classic Charleston kind of family? Do you see Southern details or prefer a modern twist with nature-inspired plans? Do you want it screened-in to offer protection as you spend a lazy afternoon dozing in the shade? Or do you prefer wide open space?
Many people will tell you that the kitchen is one of the most intimate rooms in the home when it comes to designing. And we concur. There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into a perfect design. But we also think there’s as much thought process that goes into a front porch plan. After all, you may cook in your kitchen, but we bet you’ll spend almost as much time on your front porch.
If you enclose your porch, there is the added cost of screens, along with the maintenance to keep them in top shape. And adding a screen can obstruct some of your view. But screens can also create a more inviting atmosphere to chase away the things you don’t want – like mosquitos and flies. Because a home with a screened in porch often has more structure, it can also keep away things like raccoons and skunks.
What Color Should You Choose?
Front porches are extensions of the home you build. Which means the style, the theme, even the color will most likely extend from what you choose for your home.
But when you think of a front porch, we’re willing to bet a picture pops to mind. Do you see baskets of greenery hanging between the columns of your traditional home? Do you see buckets of colorful flower arrangements scattered up and down the stairs?
While the front of your home may set the stage for your front porch, there are many things you can do to enhance it. Whitewashing the floorboards can lighten up your front porch space and create a light, airy environment. Leaving it in natural wood tones can make it blend in with your surroundings.
While you can always choose to add color with pillows you throw onto the chair or porch swing, or by changing out the flowers you keep on the dining table, the overall look and feel will depend on the colors you select to enhance the front of your home.
The ceiling of your front porch painted white will create a light, bright environment. Painting it a darker color to match the colors of your home will add visual intensity and complement the mood of the surrounding area. And a favorite is to paint it a light blue, like the sky — a personal favorite.
Condition The Air
Many front porch plans come with an elevated ceiling that gives plenty of space to include a ceiling fan or two. Just a little air movement can change a balmy day into a pleasant place to relax for an hour or two. And with all the options available with today’s ceiling fans, you can create any look you desire.
But what about those cool evenings when even a blanket is not quite enough?
Maybe the perfect front porch plan should include a fireplace as a focal point. It will not only add a heat source, but it can also visually link the porch with the rest of the structure of your home.
Fireplaces are a practical addition to any home. And frankly, they are also one of the most stunning additions you can add.
Spend some time searching online through design sites to get a few ideas for your outside fireplace. We can make some suggestions too.
How about one made of stone that complements the design elements of your home? You can even build in wood storage alongside the fireplace for visual stimulation and added convenience.
Whether you keep it simple or build extravagantly, by thinking about how you’ll use your front porch before you build, you can accommodate any desires you have into the final design.
Do you want a cozy place to chat about your day with your spouse? Do you desire a place where friends and family gather?
Think about your lifestyle. You may love the look of a large space for family and friends. But if your lifestyle is almost always about the two of you, you’re better off creating an intimate space you can share.
The good news is your decor can change on a regular basis. You can switch out furniture you use in winter and summer, even add in new fixtures along the way.
But chances are you have ideas in mind. You may have even done a few searches online for inspiration. Do you prefer a clean, minimalist look? Or are you country cozy all the way?
If you see yourself sprinkling all kinds of decor in your final front porch design, make sure you have the room for overstuffed chairs and potted plants tucked into the corner. And ensure you have enough height for the drop ceiling fan you have your eye on.
Because nothing says “welcome home” quite like a perfectly designed front porch, planned out to your specifications.
How can we help you design the perfect front porch?