If you have a smaller house and are looking for some ideas of how to make the most of your porch, you’ll want to check out these pictures. We’re highlighting what others have done to spice up their front porches. You’ll see everything from architectural designs to smart landscaping choices to unique seating arrangements to floral and décor ideas.
We’re running the gamut from the more extreme and expensive to the very low-cost but with a big impact. Some of the houses you’ll see don’t really qualify as small houses, but what they’ve done to their front porch would look just as fitting on any size home.
Architectural Ideas for Porches on Small Houses
These pics show how people have enhanced their porch setting by either adding onto the area or framing it in a more stylish manner. If you have a little bit of a budget, let these ideas inspire you regarding what you can do to your front porch to make it more interesting.
Decorative Arch and Sitting Area
This porch was a simple concrete slab in front of the home. Since the overhang extended the full depth of the porch, the owners realized they could build a concrete wall in front of their sitting area to frame it. The archway really makes it seem like a separate area from the entrance to the home.
This idea works well on brick houses, stone, or stucco. It may not work as well on a house with siding. Also, notice how the landscaping doesn’t grow too far higher than the floor of the porch. Low porches need low-growing vegetation; otherwise, the area will look overgrown.
This could be a simple porch with wooden stairs and pillars, but the family has upgraded to brick and made the entrance to the porch and the front door arch-shaped. The front door makes the porch area seem more stylish. If you don’t want to go as fancy as this home, you could consider changing the color of your front door to make it pop.
The narrowing steps also add a lot to the look of this porch. If you’re working with wood, simply cut your stairs to be wider at the bottom and gradually narrower until you reach the porch landing. Railing on the stairs will also make the porch look more intentional.
Simple Front Porch with Pillars
Do you see the white pillars on this porch? They’re not necessary to hold up the porch’s roof. Their only function is to look nice and further frame the front door. Setting up a couple of wooden pillars can add interest to your front porch at a very low cost. If you do this, be intentional about the color of your pillars.
Notice how the pillars match the color of the doorframe. This is like placing multi-border frames around a picture to make the picture stand out even more. The effect it gives is adding depth to the focal point. In this case, the multiple layers of framing make the door seem further back, which makes the porch seem larger than it actually is.
The entire front of this home is symmetrical, and the front porch capitalizes on that structure by placing mirroring seating, flags, and hanging baskets on each side.
The one thing that breaks the symmetrical effect is that the right flowerbed is deeper than the one on the left. Your home may not be the same on both sides, but think about how your front porch can highlight the structure of your house.
French Door Porch
Again, you’ll notice the railing and pillars on this recessed porch, but what sets it apart is the French double doors. They aren’t necessary.
You could always walk out the front door onto the porch. But what the French doors do is make the porch a separate area from the landing in front of the door. It becomes its own “room.”
This front porch isn’t much. In fact, there’s not even room for a chair. But they’ve made the most of this small space by using natural wood.
The decking and railing mirror the ceiling of this porch, and the white pillar matches the rest of the trim while coordinating with the natural wood. The key here is a contrast to make the porch stand out. You can see the same theme in the darker paneling under the chair rail trim.
This porch has a small seating area and railing, but the distinguishing feature is the large trim piece connecting the two pillars. The rectangle this forms frames the front porch and makes it seem like more of an intentional space. The idea is to make your porch its own area, not just an afterthought leading up to the door.
The recess on this porch also helps distinguish the sitting area from the walkway. You might create the same effect by placing visual walls marking the walkway apart from the rest of the porch. Placing a flower pot or squaring your furniture can create these “walls.”
This house already had a porch. You can see it to the right side. It’s simply a set of steps leading up to a landing with an overhang. They painted the front door a bright color and added a hanging light, but they couldn’t do much more with such limited space. That’s why they decided to extend their porch.
But instead of taking on the cost of extending their roof, they built a separate roofing system. And instead of building a complete roof, they made it look more like a pergola. They can either leave this open to let the sunshine through or plant vining flowers and let it fill in the slats. They could also hang baskets or other decorating items from the slats.
Another feature of this porch is the multiple floor levels. The lowest area is actually below ground level and features a covered seating area. The ground level holds the pillars. Then, of course, are the steps and the even higher landing for the front door. It all makes this porch very interesting to look at.
Finally, notice the colors of the stone, tile, pillars, and planks. They all match the home’s existing exterior. Your porch colors don’t have to match the house, but be intentional about what colors you choose. They should match, coordinate with, or provide a pleasant contrast to the rest of the house. Think about the rooms in your house. They don’t all need to be the same color, but they do need to flow one from another.
Landscaping Ideas for a Porch on a Small House
More than any other part of your home’s exterior, your landscaping has a huge effect on your open-air porch. We’ll talk about adding floral décor to your porch further down. This section is more about the landscaping around and in front of your porch.
Whereas this porch has arches and pillars worth mentioning, what I really want to highlight is the tall landscaping in front of the porch. This gives you a private place to sit outside, even if your front porch faces the road.
Outdoor Seating and Landscaping
I like the wooden door and wood ceiling overhang. I like the wicker furniture and potted plants. What I like more is the sculpted landscaping to the side of the porch.
If you have room to add a flower bed around your porch, think about the shape of your porch and how your flowerbed can conform to that shape. Taller shrubs go well against well, while shorter flowers and plants should surround the stairs and base of the porch. If you have a high porch, your landscaping in front can reach up to the height of the porch’s floor.
This is the perfect example of using the landscaping around the porch to make the porch stand out even more. The floor of the porch is raised from the ground level already, but the tall landscape in front makes the porch seem to be sitting even higher. Without the little trees in front, you’d see how low the porch actually is.
The height of the porch would actually look out of place if the flower bed in front had only short flowers in it. The idea here is to capitalize on any feature your porch already has. If it’s raised, make it seem even higher. If it has a certain shape, frame that shape to accentuate it. You want your porch to stand out as a distinct area.
Styling Ideas for a Porch on a Small House
These porches stand out for their color or material choices. Think about what fits well with your property and makes the porch stand out from the rest of the home.
This family built an overhang and railing for their porch. What I like is that they didn’t overly finish it.
Because their home is set further back from the road with lots of trees in the front of the house and lining the driveway, they decided to keep things looking natural. The wide-spaced railing and natural hanging baskets complete the look.
The green color in this picture isn’t my favorite, but it shows how well this family uses contrast. The white around the door contrasts well with the red floor and door. The green contrasts well with the white trim and red floor. The white swing with the green throw pillow pulls it all together.
You’ll also notice the while pillar and trellis behind the swing. Think about what colors you can use on all the areas of your porch to make it stand out. Pretend you’re painting a room inside the house. That’s how intentional and creative you should be on the porch. Painting or carpeting the floor of the porch is one of the biggest things people overlook. Just to make sure to choose an exterior paint or floor covering that stands up well to foot traffic.
This porch doesn’t have an overhang. Instead, it’s an open-air deck with a small seating area. But because the home sits in a wooded area, they’ve kept the natural wood look for their deck, bench, and railing.
The cross railing is especially stylish because it differs from the skinny spindle baluster railing you see on most front porches, as well as from the wood slats on a closed porch railing. If you build a railing for your porch, think about how you can make it stand out. It might be your porch’s most notable feature.
Seating Ideas for a Porch on a Small House
Your front porch is more than just the entrance to your house; it’s a place to sit and relax in the shade while still enjoying the fresh air. Make your open-air porch as comfortable as it can be with these seating ideas.
Recliners under Overhang
Not only is this porch stylish with its pillar, shutters, and flower bed, but it’s also a relaxing place to sit with a couple of wooden recliners.
Keep these chairs clean and dry with an overhang, and they’ll provide a comfy place to sit and read for years to come. Add a wooden table between to set some lemonade, and you’d be all set to spend a relaxing hour outside.
Comfy Porch Swing
This porch isn’t very large, but it has enough room for one or two people to sit comfortably on the bench swing and enjoy the breeze. If your overhang covers the porch, you don’t need to worry about your cushions or fabric getting too wet.
Your porch doesn’t have to be large to provide you a nice place to sit and enjoy your morning coffee or take in the afternoon breeze. This family has placed a wrought-iron bench to the side of the door. It fits perfectly under the window.
Stools and Hammock
Instead of chairs, this family has made the most of their small porch with small seating choices.
The natural wood stools go well with the wood planking and raw wood pillars and railing. A hammock is also an excellent idea. Orient it where it will be the most out of the way, then climb in for a relaxing reading session.
Small Table and Chairs
You want to keep furniture and dangling feet out of the way of the walkway of the porch. No one wants to step around the furniture getting to the door, and no one wants to move to let someone through.
That’s why I like the seating arrangement for this porch. Instead of choosing large chairs that might get in the way, they’re using small folding chairs and a little table. It makes a nice place for two people to take their lunch on.
Floral Décor Ideas for a Porch on a Small House
Adding some color or greenery to a porch makes it so much more inviting and lively. Plus, flowers and other plants aren’t very expensive. Go a little for a more subdued, sophisticated look, or go big for a more interesting aesthetic.
Railing and Flowers
This home took advantage of the climbing plants on the side of the house and continued the row by adding overhanging flower baskets on the railing.
The different varieties of flowers make this relatively simple idea more interesting. The key is integrating your porch into the landscaping around the rest of your home.
There isn’t much of a porch to this home at all. It’s more of a series of steps and a small landing.
But that’s okay because they’ve decorated the walkway to be as colorful and as inviting as possible. Potted plants lining the steps are more effective here than flowers growing on either side of the walkway would be.
I like the outdoor lights framing this door, but what makes a bigger impression are the large potted plants.
You don’t need a lot of flowers to make your front porch look nice. A large plant on a small porch makes a big impact, especially if you place it where it will be most noticed.
Hanging Baskets and Trellis
This recessed porch features railing and pillars, but what I want to highlight is the hanging baskets and trellis on the side.
This family has left the trellis clear for now, but you could do the same thing and plant climbing flowers or vines to the side of the porch and train them to climb the trellis. Before long, you’d have a wall of fresh greenery.
Colorful Floral Garden
Instead of providing a place to sit outside, this family has focused on making their front porch as lively and as inviting as possible. The colorful flowers and bright greenery contrasts phenomenally well with the white and black house.
Other Decorating Ideas for a Front Porch on a Small House
If flowers and landscaping aren’t your things, try these ideas on for size. You can really bring your personality out with decorating style. You don’t need to keep your decorations all inside if you have an overhanging porch to keep them protected from the weather.
Change your front porch décor to celebrate seasons, holidays, or religious festivals. More decorations or less is up to you, but notice how this family uses the entire porch – from décor sitting on the floor to tied around the pillar to hanging from the wall and off the railing.
Patriotic and Relaxed
This distressed porch features a nice seating area with both floral and patriotic themes. You can also tell the homeowner worked for the local fire department. You could decorate your porch in patriotic décor or celebrate your profession.
This is a very simple but stylish front porch. It has a little bit of everything – from the railing to landscaping to flower décor to a rocking chair to a hanging flag on the right side. Your decorating doesn’t have to be over the top to make a statement; just make sure all the subtle elements coordinate well together.
While this family obviously loves landscaping and flowers, they’ve chosen to keep it off the front porch. Instead, they’ve hung a series of vintage oil lamps for a rustic look. If you want to mimic the vintage appeal, think about what you would hang or set on your porch. Horseshoes? Old hand tools? Tea tins? Brainstorm a little, and I’m sure you’ll come up with your own theme.
Welcome Sign and Clock
You might have a welcome mate in front of your door, but what about something more visible from the road? And how about a way to tell guests whether they’re on time or not? These are a couple of unique ideas to inspire you to branch out away from the more common décor you might see.
The flowers and slatted roof over this pergola porch are exquisite, but what I want to show you is the string lights. You can add any style of outdoor string lights to your porch to provide not only light but also a lot of style. The nice thing about string lights is you don’t need to install any additional electrical panels or fixtures.
Hopefully, you already have an exterior power outlet you can use, and you stick Command hooks around the walls of the porch to hang the lights on to avoid driving nails into the paneling. If a light string goes bad, simply replace it for a relatively low cost. You can also replace individual light bulbs in string lights like this.
Yes, these baskets have flowers in them, but notice how the baskets outshine the flowers in terms of color. This shows that you can have a lot of color on your porch without adding flowers.
What sort of colorful decoration do you want to add? Colorful lawn decorations or painted rocks are a couple of ideas. Painted wood carvings are another popular option.