Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

​Spring is finally upon us, which means it's time to give your front porch a little love.

​You can transform your front porch into a favorite room for relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. It can be one of the most fun spots to decorate.

​We've got the tips you need to help your porch become your outdoor oasis!

Front Porch With Two Chairs

Make the Most of Your Front Porch Space

​Take a moment to think through all the ways you'd like to use your porch to get the most out of it:

  • Entertaining neighbors with fresh, homemade lemonade and chocolate chip cookies
  • Getting lost in a great novel on a slow weekend afternoon
  • Laughing with friends over wine late into the evening on a warm summer night

​​Whether it’s just a space for you or you plan to share it with others, you'll probably want to build your porch design around comfortable chairs and small couches.

​For that classic front porch vibe, opt for a swing for two, a hammock if you have room, or a chair with an ottoman to create a cozy nook where you can put up your feet and relax.

Front Porch With Swing

​​A side table or two in wood, rattan, or a retro metal design nearby can provide just the right spot for a pitcher and cool drinks, as well as lend texture to your space.

​​Even small front porches can become an appealing hideaway with a comfy seat to lounge in, a throw for your shoulders on chilly days, and a view of your beautiful surroundings.

Coordinate Your Outdoor Colors

​​One strategy is to focus on neutrals for your chair and couch cushions, using pillows for bursts of pattern and color. Changing your pillows with the seasons is an inexpensive and low-risk way to get a new look and experiment with your style.

Or, liven up your front porch design with bold pops of color to turn heads in your neighborhood!

Front Porch With Colorful Furniture

Decorate With Outdoor Lighting

​​Lighting is a practical and atmospheric addition for evening hours. Just as inside the house, there are lots of options for outdoor lights, too.

Outdoor lighting options:

  • Flush mount lights
  • Hanging pendants
  • Sconces
  • Lantern-style lights and even string lights for a festive flair

Add a Statement Outdoor Rug

Outdoor rugs are an unexpectedly affordable way to pull a design together, and they impart a sense of presence and show off a pattern that makes you smile.

Remember, an outdoor rug has to withstand everyday foot traffic, plus sunshine and rain. Read online reviews before purchasing a rug to judge its quality and durability.

​Thinking of adding something more permanent? Outdoor floor tile in terra cotta, slate, or other tones can be beautiful. Check with your installer to be sure the tile is appropriate and safe for your porch.

Personalize Your Porch With Accessories

Though you'll want to keep your design simple, a few smart accessories can make your porch truly your own:

  • Stylish planters and pots
  • Hanging bird feeder
  • Weatherproof art
Couple Playing With Cat on Front Porch With Antique Décor

One homeowner decorated the walls of her screened-in porch with a few puzzles of famous artworks. Preserve a puzzle with puzzle glue, get it shrink-wrapped at a framing store, and it's ready to hang.

Upgrade Your View

What do you see from your porch? This could be the year to start that flower garden you've always wanted or improve your landscape in other ways—maybe with a little decorative mulch or some new shrubs.

​Flowers also provide a fun seasonal backdrop to your porch hangouts: think petunias in the summer and mums in the fall!

Bucket With Flowers

Control Your Porch's Temperature for Year-Round Enjoyment

An outdoor ceiling fan can boost your enjoyment through the hottest days. Another obstacle to blissful contentment is mosquitoes. Use citronella candles get rid of them, and make sure to drain any standing water on your property where the bugs can breed and thrive.

Whether you have a covered front porch, a small front porch, or a screened-in version, we can't wait to see what you've done with your space!


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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