How to create a welcoming porch

I don’t know about you, but I want my home to feel welcoming to guests. A welcoming home means that friends and family will feel more comfortable during a visit and may even mean that they will be anticipating their next stay! While every room in the home can be decorated to feel inviting, the best place to start is actually outside, since the front porch is the first “room” guests will see. Here are some of my favorite ideas for welcoming guests into a home:

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Offer a seat

I like to think of the front porch as being an outdoor living room, where you can socialize with close friends and family while enjoying the nice weather. A porch swing is a popular choice for kids and adults alike, but if your space isn’t big enough you can also seat guests on a smaller patio chair.

 

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Make it cozy with a rug

A rug instantly makes any room I’m in feel more cozy. You probably use a rug to cozy up the living room, so why not do the same for the front porch? A welcome mat can also look inviting, especially if you’re working with limited space.

 

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Add light for nighttime

It’s hard to create a welcoming vibe when your front porch is completely dark. Plus, evenings are often the best time to enjoy a front porch – when the weather isn’t so hot. Try using a couple of outdoor wall lights to invite guests outdoors.

 

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Paint the door

You don’t have to paint the front door to make it welcoming, but I love the idea of a a bright-colored door! If you have a small front porch, this can be an easy way to add color and style without cluttering the area.

 

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Complete the look with a few final touches

A couple of potted plants, a few accent pillows on your swinging chair and a hanging sign on the door – these types of finishing touches are perfect for tying the welcoming look together.

Does your front porch invite people into your home? If not, try out a few of these welcoming ideas!

By Wendy Weinert

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Furniture and rugs: The key elements to making outdoor spaces as comfortable as indoors

Whether your style is restrained and modern or classic and ornate, furniture and rugs often provide the central inspiration for the rest of your room – and the same can be said of outdoor spaces. In fact, those two décor elements can help make your outdoor “rooms” as comfortable, welcoming and livable as your indoor spaces.

If the idea of a carpet outdoors gives you pause, think again. This décor-defining accessory is available in weather-resistant materials, woven into inspiring patterns, from botanical to geometric and even intricate textile motifs like paisley. Just as they do indoors, outdoor rugs provide a central point of focus between seating, but can also be placed under outdoor dining furniture to bring a more formal feel to al fresco meals.90005 6113 063094_ex01

The style of your furniture can also define your space, as it would in your home’s living room, den or other rooms. Outdoor furniture manufacturers have gotten wise to the fact that people of all tastes want patio furniture that exactly matches their preferences, just as they would expect for interior furniture. So the great news is that no matter the style you’re seeking, you’ll find it. Sleek, euro-style tables and benches are just as accessible as classic American styles, from colonial to Cape Cod. As an added benefit, modern upgrades in materials mean that your outdoor furniture will be able to withstand unpredictable weather and maintain its looks and comfort.Club-4

Once you’ve chosen your furniture and rug, you’ve laid the foundation for your outdoor décor style, providing the feel of an outdoor room, rather than just a patio. Keep in mind that you can mix and match carpet and furniture styles; minimalist furniture can let an ornate carpet shine, while more traditional furniture can bring a sense of comfort to a contemporary carpet