Maximize Style in Minimal Space: Small Front Porch Decorating Ideas

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Do you have a small front porch and are puzzled over how to make it more appealing? You aren’t alone. It can be a challenge, but with the right approach, you can transform your tiny porch into a charming and inviting entryway.

small front porch on white house with black shutters and window boxes with a green front door flanked by pots of flowersPin

Don’t assume that because your porch is a small one there isn’t enough room to decorate or make it pretty. That’s so not true and can lead to a missed opportunity of creating a potentially fantastic space.

I wish that I had a picture of the tiny porch that was on the front of my first house. It was truly pitiful. What was supposed to pass for a front porch was little more than a concrete slab covered in chipped paint with several steps leading up to it. 

There was no railing, no exterior light, no room, and absolutely no charm and no curb appeal. The most interesting thing on the whole porch was the rusted mailbox that hung on the side of the house. I was scared to death that someone was going to fall off of that thing.

I had the same question that I bet a lot of you have, “What can I put on a small front porch?’. I literally had no clue what to do or where to start.

*sigh* If only I had known what I know now. That tiny little spot would have added valuable curb appeal and out-shown every other house in the neighborhood!

Even with limited space to work with, using these front porch decor ideas will result in an entrance where you’ll be proud to welcome guests and will add to your home’s curb appeal.

Start with a Clean Slate

Clearing out any existing clutter can immediately make your small front porch appear larger and more welcoming.

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But it goes beyond that. You need to actually clean your outdoor space.

Dust and clean those light fixtures, sweep away cobwebs and debris. Clean any glass on your door or windows, polish any tarnished brass, replace that worn welcome mat.

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No porch, no matter how well it’s decorated, will be appealing if it’s dirty. 

Selecting Appropriate Furniture

A frequent mistake is choosing oversized outdoor furniture for a porch. 

Whether it’s a rocking chair, accent table, bench, or other items, be sure to choose pieces that are scaled appropriately for the space to maintain an open, uncluttered area.

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STONE GABLE

What if your porch is so small that it won’t hold any furniture at all? That’s when it’s time to focus on details. 

For instance, I faced that exact dilemma with the front porch at my second house. It was so small, there wasn’t even room enough for a potted plant.

To compensate for what seemed like a hopeless situation, I focused on adding details.

I replaced the plain railing with Chippendale style railing, painted the front door an accent color pulled from my interior color scheme, chose a tailored doormat, and hung a simple, not fussy, seasonal wreath on the door.

Use the lack of floor space to your advantage. Consider adding something fun like a pair of swinging chairs instead.

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JESSICA WELLING INTERIORS

On their own, these changes don’t seem like much, but collectively they gave me one of the prettiest porches on my street.

Embrace Symmetry

Symmetry is not just aesthetically pleasing; it can also make a small space appear more organized and intentional. 

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By mirroring chairs, side tables, or planters on each side of your door, you create a visual balance that enhances the overall look of your porch without adding clutter.

Keep it Simple

It’s easy to assume that more is better. However, for small front porches, that approach actually creates a cluttered and cramped appearance.

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It’s true – a very simply decorated front porch can be just as charming and have just as much curb appeal as a very elaborately decorated one.

Often times, less is more. It all depends upon what your desires are and what your style is.

Keeping the decor simple is key in a small space. By choosing a few well-selected items instead of many smaller pieces, you can avoid overwhelming the area and keep the focus on thoughtful, impactful design. 

Taking a simple approach not only ensures your porch looks tidy and spacious but also highlights your key decor pieces.

Lighting Matters

I’m willing to bet that you’ve experienced approaching someone’s front door that’s located on a dark, shadow-filled front porch. 

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@andreascharfflandscape

No one likes the foreboding, uninviting, and even scary feeling of a dark entry like that!

Effective lighting is crucial. It enhances the porch’s ambiance and extends its usability into the evening.

The problem could be that your porch is enclosed, that the house is painted a dark color, or that trees or a roof prevent the sun from shining in.

One easy fix is to paint your front door a brighter or lighter, eye-catching color that is different from the rest of the exterior of your home. Be sure to use a color on your door that compliments the body of your home and doesn’t clash with it.

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You can go bold or you can go soft with the paint color that you choose.

Add Unexpected Details

Front porches can be very basic (and therefore boring) spaces with nothing to make them interesting. That definitely applied to the front porch on my first house!

Window boxes work wonders for adding presence to a small porch.

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This is where your local big box building store can come to the rescue! You can find lots of inspiration for adding architectural details to your front porch design by strolling through the trim department.

Whether on the exterior or interior of your home, using architectural trim pieces is a look that is always on trend and will make your porch and whole house look more expensive!

Bring on the Charm

A small front porch is an ideal spot for adding small doses of charm to the exterior of your home. 

At the home of My Wee Abode, three pieces of wood tied together with rope not only look great tucked into a corner, but does double duty as a plant stand.

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If you don’t happen to have any wood lying around, a 4×4 or 6×6 pole from the big box store, cut into three different-sized pieces, would work just as well.

When it comes to adding charm, you just can’t beat a porch swing! Even though the space on the porch at Stacy Living is tight, she was able to find a swing that is small enough to fit.

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The creative idea to use a vintage stroller to hold greenery really ramps up the charm! Consider also, the charm that is added by the sweet bird throw pillow and the vintage-look rug.

Adding textiles such as throw pillows, an outdoor rug, and throw blankets turn it into a relaxing seating area. This front entry just oozes with charm!

Don’t Waste Your Front Door Real Estate

Your front door is the perfect place to make a small front porch really stand out.

Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles played up her small area with a fun ginger jar door hanging and a fun leopard print welcome mat. Pay special attention to how you arrange the accessories on your porch.

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The front door at This Is Our Bliss has a pretty wreath on it, but take notice of the way the planters and lanterns are arranged in a pathway that gives the illusion of more space and leads your eye right to the door.

small front porch filled with pots of flowers on a white brick house with a black doorPin

As if all this eye candy alone isn’t enough to convince you of the importance and desirability of a decorated and styled front porch, here’s what my trusted realtor, has to say: 

“I encourage sellers to always make the best first impression possible. After all, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. By giving the front porch, door or entry to the home extra charm, character or a pop of color you welcome visitors (and potential buyers) and create excitement for what they will find inside! 

So don’t underestimate the potential of your small front porch! With strategic choices in decor and furniture, and a focus on style over size, you can create a welcoming, beautiful space that makes coming home a joy. 

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44 Comments

  1. KATHY MILLIKEN says:

    Thank you for the great “small porch” ideas that really are for SMALL porches. So many other posts define “small porches” as much larger than mine.

  2. Great front porch ideas. So ready for summer,

  3. I’d found you in Pinterest and I love your blog. I already subscribe to it! I’m from Argentina I’ll read your articles and news!

    1. Welcome! So nice to have you here!

  4. Rhonda Bonds says:

    I need ideas for plants for my two planters on each side of my front door that thrive in shade. My porch is 10 ft wide so there’s no direct sunlight. I love ferns but would also love some herbs and trailing plant ideas.
    Thanks!

    1. My front porch is also about that deep and gets zero sun. I’ve had good luck with impatiens and ivy or asparagus ferns (for trailing). For me, here in NC, the ivy survives year round on my porch, so no need to remove it if I don’t want to.

      1. I’m from Mississippi so our climates are similar so maybe it will last all winter

  5. kay donbrock says:

    how do you decorate an l- shaped porch.?9 ft blank wall and a wall with a door and bay window. need help . thank you . kay

  6. what is the name of the turquoise paint on the door. And brand?
    Thank Kate

    1. Hi Kate. This door isn’t on my house, so I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the name of the paint.

  7. Suzy what a great post!!! I really appreciate you sharing my front porch! I am totally enjoying this outdoor living space and am grateful for the feature. Have the best day! xo

  8. Jennifer Howard | Cottage On Bunker Hill says:

    Suzy, Just wanted to say thanks again for featuring my porch…I just saw in my analytics that I’m getting traffic from this again. I guess everyone has Spring fever!

  9. Suzy, they’re all so beautiful, personal and welcoming. Thanks for sharing. Also I love the cushion fabrics on your opening photo, in particular the green, leafy one. Do you know where the fabric came from?

  10. Julia King says:

    Thanks for all the great advice! I’m looking for a front door color update and I found it!!!!

  11. Irene Madrid says:

    Wish I could send phoptosof my newly remodeled/redecorated French Normandy home. While the house is big, the front ‘porch’ is quite small. I added two wicker chairs, one beige and one blue, that ties into my soft blue door. In fact, it is the exact color of the first photo you displayed! And the wreath has similar colors as well. Being by the ocean, I don’t get to sit out there as much as I’d like, but it is welcoming. I added a ‘vintage’ mail box and filled it with fake peonies for color as well.