Design the Perfect Front Porch for Your Home: A Guide to 3 Classic Styles

When it comes to making a stellar first impression, your home’s front porch plays a starring role. The right porch can transform an ordinary house into a welcoming oasis, while also boosting curb appeal. But with so many options, from sprawling wraparound porches to quaint porticos, how do you choose the porch style that’s best for your place?

We’ll explore the distinct features of each type, see examples in real homes, and gather tips to help you design your dream front porch. Let’s dive in!

Portico Porch

We’ll start our porch tour with the elegant portico. As one of the most popular front porch styles, the portico distinguishes many colonial and neoclassical homes.

What is a Portico Porch?

A portico porch is a small, covered entryway leading up to a home’s front door. It typically has a pediment roof supported by columns, sheltering a set of steps below. While diminutive in size, porticos make up for it with striking visual appeal. Their grand architectural style immediately grabs attention.

Unlike sprawling porches, porticos only cover the entry area, not wrapping around the home. But their petite footprint comes with advantages – they can fit small city lots and complement modern minimalist styles.

types of front porches

Unique Features

Let’s explore some signature features that define the portico’s sophisticated style:

  • Pediment roof – Often triangular or curved, it provides shelter over the entry
  • Columns – Usually two to four columns support the pediment roof
  • Steps – A small set of steps leads up to the home’s door
  • Ornate accents – Look for decorative molding, ironwork, and arched openings

Portico Porch Ideas

To help inspire your portico design, here are a few examples from lovely homes:

– A gleaming white portico with black shutters and potted trees makes a refined statement.

– Try a curved roof and brick columns for traditional Southern charm.

– Black trimmed posts and railings give modern porticos a punch of drama.

– Stacked stone bases on the columns and steps create organic texture.

– Wrought iron or wooden balustrades along the steps add safety with vintage flair.

Now that we’ve toured the refined portico porch, let’s move on to another icon of American architecture – the sprawling farmer’s porch.

Farmer’s Porch

If small and stately porticos aren’t your speed, the farmer’s porch may be your match. This porch style developed practicality into an art form.

What is a Farmer’s Porch?

Also called a wraparound porch, the farmer’s porch extends across the entire front and often part of the sides of a home. It’s an iconic feature of rustic farmhouses. The signature wrap creates a large, covered outdoor living area perfect for relaxing.

Farmer’s porches typically have a gabled roof, exposed rafters, and rows of columns supporting the roof. You’ll also see stairs, railings, and decorative woodwork. Their inviting, wide-open layout promotes serene countryside living.

Unique Features

Here are some standout qualities of the farmer’s porch:

  • Wraparound layout covers a large area, including the front and sides of homes
  • Gabled roofline matches many farmhouses
  • Railing lined perimeter for safety and style
  • Pillars, posts or columns support the roof
  • Rocking chairs, swings, and benches for full relaxation

Farmer’s Porch Ideas

If you’re inspired to create a wraparound porch, these tips can help it feel fresh:

– Try a modern standing seam metal roof for contemporary rustic charm.

– Paint or stain your porch in a dark dramatic hue to make it pop.

– Incorporate reclaimed barn wood as an eco-friendly material with character.

– Include a corner sitting area with a fireplace or firepit for cozy evenings.

– Plant trailing greenery along the porch perimeter to soften the edges.

With its inviting expansive layout, the farmer’s porch creates an oasis for unwinding. If you love its vibe but have a smaller home, check out our next porch style, the bungalow porch.

Bungalow Porch

Our final stop is the front porch style beloved by craftsman bungalows – the aptly named bungalow porch. This porch fits smaller homes without sacrificing presence.

What is a Bungalow Porch?

A bungalow porch extends across the front of Arts and Crafts style bungalow homes. It’s an integral part of the curb appeal on these charming low-slung houses. The roofline typically slopes from the house as a front gable.

Under the gable, you’ll find thick square columns in groups of two to six. The columns often taper toward the ground. Other signature details include exposed beams, decorative braces, and rustic stone accents. The materials exude natural texture and craftsmanship.

Unique Features

Here are some quintessential bungalow porch elements to incorporate:

  • Front-gabled roof extends from the house
  • Thick tapered columns in groups support the roof
  • Exposed rafter tails and beams
  • Braces and brackets under the gable
  • Low-profile stone accents

Bungalow Porch Ideas

For a standout bungalow porch, we suggest:

– Painting your porch floor in a fun bright color for whimsical contrast

– Adding decorative details like lattice along the sides or railings

– Incorporating natural elements like woven willow benches

– Hanging a wooden porch swing for quintessential charm

– Planting vibrant flowers like geraniums in galvanized metal buckets

Now that we’ve explored the main front porch types, how do you choose the right one for your home?

How to Choose the Best Porch Style for Your Home

When deciding which porch suits your place, consider these factors:

Home Style

Select a porch style that complements your home’s architecture. For example, porticos suit colonial homes, while bungalow porches match craftsman style.


Make sure the scale fits your home’s proportions. Grand wraparound porches may overwhelm a small cottage.


How will you use the space? Hosting parties may call for a sprawling farmer’s porch. But a portico works if you just need a welcoming entry.


Larger porch types typically cost more. Prioritize must-have features if your budget is tight.

At the end of the day, choose the porch style that brings you joy. Your porch represents your home’s personality.

Designing Your Dream Front Porch

Once you’ve picked the perfect porch style, it’s time for the fun part – bringing your design to life! Here are some key steps.


First, map out the footprint and shape. Common layouts include:

  • Rectangle – Simple, versatile standard shape
  • L-shape – Wraps partly around a corner
  • U-shape – Wraparound porch with a gap for steps
  • Front-facing – Directly faces the street


Make sure your porch dimensions suit your home’s scale. Aim for around 10% as wide as your home. Allow at least 6 feet depth for moving around.


Standard height is 1-2 feet above ground level. But raise it higher for more privacy, or lower for easier access.


Natural wood and stone promote cozy farmhouse charm. Or go for sleek painted columns, metal railings and concrete flooring for contemporary flair.


Personalize with accents like: – Ceiling beams – Decorative brackets – Lighting – Planter boxes – Seating areas – Wind chimes

Integrating accents that reflect your style infuses personality into your porch.

Boost Curb Appeal With a Showstopping Porch

Now that you’re a front porch expert, you can give your home’s curb appeal an instant facelift. A stunning front porch makes a phenomenal first impression and creates an inviting entry. Here are some more curb appeal tips:

  • Add potted plants and flowers by the stairs
  • Paint or stain the front door a bold, complementary color
  • Install stylish front door hardware like an eye-catching knocker
  • Flank the entry with elegant outdoor sconces
  • Include a welcome mat for finishing touch of charm

With the right porch and thoughtful details, you can transform your home into a showstopper. Now flaunt your house envy-worthy style and invite every guest to stay a while in your new favorite relaxation zone.

We’ve toured three of the top front porch styles – the portico, the farmer’s porch, and the bungalow porch. Each has distinct features and suits different homes.

The key is choosing the porch that fits your style, needs, and budget. Make sure to weigh your purpose, home architecture, size, and materials. Then have fun designing a porch that showcases your personal flair. And get ready to kick back with a cool drink surrounded by all that porch perfection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *