Arranging a cozy front porch to your home provides a great first impression for guests. Family members will enjoy the opportunity of sitting outside in an attractive setting that is inviting and comfortable.
Your porch is a prelude to your home and an overview of the hospitality that awaits guests inside. Don’t neglect this important opportunity of welcoming visitors and nurturing family members. Spend a little time creating the best possible arrangement. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make sure the porch is swept clean at least once a week. Dust, dried mud, dead leaves, and grass clippings picked up by the kids’ shoes can leave a trail of debris up the steps and through the door. In the winter, it is very important to have the porch, steps, and walkway shoveled, not only for aesthetic purposes, but for safety as well. You don’t want anyone to slip and fall on an icy patch. Keep rock salt handy for sprinkling over the snow-covered areas that lead to the driveway where cars may be parked.
- Keep up with the upkeep. Have your porch painted every couple of years or as needed. Peeling or faded paint portrays an unattractive image of neglect stemming from an uncaring attitude. If there are window shutters in your porch area, have these painted along with the other shutters to keep the entire area looking neat and attractive. This goes for railings and steps, too. If you have concrete or brick steps, take care of cracks or chips and pull weeds. Check the front door for peeling or splintering and get it in tip-top shape, as the entrance to your home is the first thing to greet your guests.
- Consider porch furniture. Even a couple of lawn chairs or hard plastic seats, as well as a bench, offers a place to sit for those who want to relax or enjoy the surrounding view. A porch swing or a glider is especially restful for those who enjoy being outdoors. A small side table provides a place for refreshing drinks, like summer lemonade or fall hot chocolate.
- Add decorator items. A window box for seasonal flowers, potted or hanging plants, and a wreath on the door add a lovely touch to the overall impression created by your porch. A door sign with the family name or a few yard pieces in front of or beside the porch provide a visual enhancement that completes the overall effect.
- Accent the seasons in your family’s personal style. Artificial fall leaves in the windows, a string of Christmas lights or bows in winter, and fresh daisies in a planter, or a scarecrow on a bale of hay in fall help to celebrate the annual seasons in a neighborly show of good cheer. You may want to keep an eye on the houses on your street to see what they do, as some neighbors coordinate porch decorations for a similar effect.
Your porch may not provide the same daily usage as another room in your house, but it does offer the opportunity to showcase your decorating talents and to welcome those who come to see you. Browse a craft store or plant nursery for more decorating ideas. And take time from a busy schedule to sit outdoors a spell.