Bungalow and Cottage Porch Improvements

Pick a theme

First, you should choose a theme for your porch. Current trends include farmhouse and minimalistic. This theme could match the interior of your house to give it a nice cohesive flow from outside to inside. Choosing a theme will narrow your focus for furniture styles, patterns, color, and decor. It will also save you from having a confusing porch that looks overcrowded or busy.

POP of Color

Choose your color scheme wisely. Take into consideration whether this color is evergreen (will be useful in all seasons) or if you’re willing to change out colors from winter to summer. Pops of color will draw guests’ eyes towards the porch immediately. Colors make all the difference in making a house feel welcoming. Popular colors include shades of blue, green, and yellow. All of these tend to last year-round and are more natural looking.

What are the best places to add these pops of color?

The door 

Decorative pillows

Area rugs


Don’t be afraid of brighter and bolder shades!

The front door

Often overlooked in decorating, the front door is a crucial place to impress guests and people passing by. The door is the heart of the home’s exterior. Put some personality into it! Paint your door a bold, bright color. In addition, decorate it with a seasonal wreath. A current trend is to put the number of your house on your front door or doorway arch in cursive or plain numbers. If that isn’t your cup of tea, you might also consider putting a monogram of your last name on the door or doorway arch. Little details make all the difference.


Depending on the space on your porch, consider adding furniture to it. For more spacious porches, a great and fun addition is a porch swing. It’s certainly both functional and pretty. For those quaint smaller porches, adding a bench that goes against the wall can improve the functionality of the space. Making it a storage bench is something to consider, as well. Store away your umbrellas and miscellaneous outdoor items for quick and easy access. Rocking chairs are another popular choice. They are fun, functional, and cute. Have old rocking chairs? Update them with a fresh color and cushions.

Speaking of cushions, make sure all your furniture pieces have them. These often–overlooked pieces, make a huge impact on the visual aesthetic of the space. Choose fun patterns and stray away from uncomfortable, cheap fabrics.


At night, you’ll want to still be able to highlight your great space. Adding string lights is a cheap and trendy way to give your porch a nice evening glow. Feeling bold? Wrap your string lights around your porch columns. When picking what string lights to use, go with your theme. For more industrial farmhouse porches, choose bigger chunky bulbs. For minimalist porches, choose smaller bulbs. Porch lights should typically be incandescent. LED lights can be a bit too harsh and less inviting for the front of the house. If you have a walkway up to your porch, purchase some solar-powered ground lights for your guest’s safety so they can see where they’re walking at night.


If you live in a warmer region, or it’s warming up for spring or summer, spruce up your porch with plants. If taking care of plants has proven to be a difficult task for you, buy some great fake plants, because no one will know the difference. With fake plants, you can reuse them each year as well. Choose taller plants to give the illusion that your porch ceiling is higher. Smaller trees, ferns, and grasses are good options. These tend to be a bit more calming and less busy than flowers. For decoration on tables, try succulents. They require very little water and are on trend.


Seasonal decorations are great. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween tend to be big for decorating. Find cheap, reusable signs and trinkets to place on your porch to get in holiday spirit. For more year-round decor, add a welcome sign. Purchase one or paint one yourself. Items that can handle the outdoor elements include lanterns, wreaths, and figurines.  

Use these tips and you’re sure to impress friends and family as they arrive to your home. No matter the size of your porch, just a little updating goes a long way! 


Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is the President and curator of Bungalows and Cottages LLC, Blog, and Networks. Mark's mission is to bring the design, history, and lifestyle of smaller comfortable iconic American bungalows and cottages to everyone. Mark is a real estate broker, manager, and coach, and industry executive who once ranked in the top 1% of agents worldwide for sales and has sold or managed over 6 Billion in U.S. real estate sales. Small Home, Big Life.

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