Unless one lives in an apartment building or a residential complex in the heart of a busy city, most family homes in the suburbs are usually accompanied with a front porch and sometimes even a sprawling grass lawn leading up to it. The front porch and the garden are the first impressions your house makes on a guest, and it is thus vital that your guests feel welcome when they step on to your porch, especially if they have been invited for the first time and have never before seen your home. Besides that, a front porch can be useful in a lot of other ways too, so it is vital that the porch is kept pristine, clean and clutter free all the time so that an excellent first impression is made.
What is a front porch?
A front porch is the portion of the house which flanks the primary entrance and is usually seen as a continuation of the front door. It is often a built structure and is a direct part of the building, and generally consists of a balcony like an area, complete with small fences. Sometimes people even convert their front porches into small sitting areas, by including some lawn chairs and a small table if sorts. People often like to sit in their front porches and talk to neighbors, or just read the morning paper. Sometimes, front porches are even seen to have a small swing, so that the children of the house can have a fun time without going too far from home.
Difference between a Front Porch and other structures
The primary difference between a front porch and a driveway is that, although both of them lead up to the house, the path is paved and barren and used for parking cars in the absence of a garage, or it leads up to the garage entrance. A driveway is not necessarily in need of beautification.
More importantly, the primary way in which a front porch differs from a front lawn, is that a front lawn is not a built structure like a porch, but a sort of natural garden with grass and shrubs. A front yard does not always lead up to the main door, but is, in fact, a separate entity, and can be used for various purposes like gardening or as a children's play area.
How to make your front porch attractive?
With today's fast-paced life, most people do not have enough time for leisurely activities or even basic things like proper housekeeping or gardening. Although the front porch is supposed to be a zone for people to relax and look out onto their neighborhood and enjoy a good time in a peaceful setting. But due to lack of time, most people who are blessed enough to own a home with an overlooking front porch fail to maintain its beauty and make it suitable for relaxing. But what most of the people fail to realize is that with minimal effort and just a few hours of their time, an untidy front porch can be completely transformed.
Proper upkeep of a front porch may not be as daunting or expensive as it seems. Some quick tips are given below, following which anyone can transform their front porch from a dirty, unkempt area into something that is worthy to be on the cover of a lifestyle magazine.
Switching to artificial decorations
The primary reason that some homeowners do not out the effort to tidy up their front porch is the fear of the constant maintenance of the area. Natural plants and shrubs require timely maintenance and regular watering and tending. Unless a person is committed to its maintenance or is passionate about gardening, most people fail to provide the necessary upkeep of these plants, and with time, the plants wilt off and die, giving rise to an even dirtier and grim front porch.
But, with the recent availability of a large number of artificial plants and trees in the market, decorating your porch and giving it fresh yet naturally, the appealing look has never been more comfortable. The key to a right porch is often a minimalistic and clean, yet beautiful arrangement of flowers and small trees, and most importantly, a well-defined and clear pathway to the front door from the street. Care should be taken that unnecessary decorations do not obstruct the brief walk from the road to your main door; instead, a few small fake flower arrangements would do the trick correctly. And the best outcome of opting to decorate your entrance with these artificial decorations is that you are saved the headache of regular maintenance like gardening and landscaping. A quick clean periodically with water would rejuvenate these decorations and make them last for a long time, giving a fresh look to your porch and making it beautiful again.
Mixing things up for a new look
If the idea of entirely artificial decorations does not appeal to you, one can try a mixture of faux plants, accentuated with some original, natural palm leaves, which, when they begin to dry out, can be easily replaced from time to time, to give a natural look to your front porch.
Gardening enthusiasts can even opt for small pots hanging from the banisters of the front porch, to give a more natural look to their front entrance. These require less maintenance than plants directly rooted to the ground.
The easiest trick to maintain a natural look in the front porch is to use plants which require very little maintenance, like cacti or bonsai plants.
Whatever be the chosen way to decorate a front porch, it is very easy and cheap to maintain a neat and clean, yet aesthetically appealing look for your main home entrance. Following the steps outlined above, one can easily decorate and manage the porch, all by themselves, without any need for professional help or specialist equipment.