How to create a functional and stylish front porch

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
MARK ASTON, THE WHITE HOUSE american dream homes gmbh THE WHITE HOUSE american dream homes gmbh Country style house
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Summer in Canada is about savouring every second. Sunshine, warmth, long days – we want to soak it all in. Spending time outside is the best way to enjoy summer in Canada. And the best place to do it? A porch. Today, we're sharing our porch decor essentials. And we'd love to hear from you.

Do you have a porch? Want a porch? What makes the perfect summer porch for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Balance form and function

There's so much to love in this farmhouse front porch. The white railing, simple pickets and well-proportioned posts pop against the wood decking, brick path and green gardens. But let's take a look at function as well as form.

This porch is super deep. This gives you lots of flexibility for furniture arrangements and also space to walk around the porch without feeling like you're in an obstacle course. Another eminently functional element of this porch is the roof, which provides shade from the hot sun or shelter from those mid-summer thunderstorms. Hearing the rain on the roof and watching storms roll in from the safety of a porch is one of my favourite summer pastimes.

Take a seat

From a comfy couch where you can curl up with a good book to a cozy conversation area to connect with friends, seating is essential to create the ideal porch.

If your space is on the smaller side, consider just a single chair where you can enjoy your morning coffee. Taking a moment to relax outside can set you up for whatever challenges you'll face in the day ahead.

Sold on seats? This ideabook has tips on adding seating to your bedroom.

Find space for furniture

In addition to seating, there are lots of other furniture options to enhance the style, comfort and use of your porch if you have the space.

This dining area is like adding another room to the house. With a large table set under the generous overhang, and just outside the main living area of the house, this porch provides the perfect spot for al fresco breakfasts, lunches and dinners all summer long.

Beyond the conventional tables and chairs, consider adding a daybed or even that front porch staple, a swing. 

Afternoon nap on the porch? Don't mind if I do.

Light it up

There's nothing more welcoming than coming home late at night and seeing a light burning on the front porch. Lighting adds style and also extends the amount of time you can spend on your porch. Evening visits with neighbours or late night card games with family take on a different feel when they happen outside lit by a warm glow.

Don't have electricity on your porch? Lanterns – whether candles, battery, propane or oil – can give much of the same style and light as hardwired options.

Fan it

While we want to soak up every second of summer, sometimes things can get a bit sweltering here in Canada. Heat is a hallmark of summer – and in some areas of the country it's accompanied by some pretty intense humidity. To extend your enjoyment of your porch, consider adding some fans to help move the air around and keep you cool.

Ceiling fans have come a long way, and there are some very stylish options available now. Or, keep it simple with a retro table fan.

Go green

Inside or out, plants and flowers are an essential part of home decor. Depending on your space, the options for adding plants to your porch are pretty much limitless. Small pots of succulents, large urns of annuals or posts covered with climbing vines--may we suggest some roses?--all add beauty, personality and nature.

Don't have a green thumb? Rain and sunlight can make caring for outdoor plants easier than indoors. But be warned, potted plants like these ones tend to dry out more quickly that those rooted in the ground, so be prepared to water every few days.

How do you savour summer in Canada? What's essential for your perfect summer porch? Check out more inspiration for your porch, balcony or terrace.

What makes the perfect summer porch for you?

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