In days gone by, the porch was the center of activity and served to connect a neighborhood. The action all took place at the front of the house, rather than at the back, where a word of greeting could be exchanged with a neighbor, where a summer punch could be sipped or a good book enjoyed. Revamping your porch is a way to channel those less stressful days. 

Many years ago when I lived in Cyprus in the Mediterranean, all the houses had a sitting porch or veranda at the front of the house fronting onto the street. At first I found this a little strange but soon grew to love the way the Cypriots interact with their neighbors. There were frequent conversations from one veranda to another, with much laughter and camaraderie. Come siesta time, everyone honored that this was a quiet time with no loud chatting, no playing children and no noisy appliances running. It was rather peaceful and lovely. 


If you are looking to extend or elaborate on your existing porch, the size and type you choose will be very dependent on space, style and of course budget. Wraparound porches add an extra dimension and shade as well as additional sitting areas. They do however take up quite a bit of yard space. Since they are being added to not just one side, but several sides of your house, there may be changes required to multiple areas of your home. The simplest addition is usually a sun porch at the rear of the house. Adding a front stoop can add instant curb appeal and creates a mini room that can be decorated with pots and plants. 


Porches traditionally have railings and the type of balustrade you choose will set the tone of your design. You can’t go wrong with traditional turned railings or fresh white balustrades. For modern homes you may want to choose metal for a more industrial look. If you are lucky enough to enjoy a view, glass is the best option. 


This is the fun part! There are no formal rules but think of your porch as an extension of your home so that the overall design has the same feel. Adirondack and rocking chairs are perfect for reading and sipping. Hammocks and swings are perfect for napping. A small bistro table and chairs will provide a spot for a quick snack. Just remember to choose fabrics that will not fade in the sun or mold in the moisture. Add rugs and throws for color and comfort. Finish off the space with wall art and plants. Don’t clutter the space but keep it simple and serene.