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Farmhouse Porches

Some of my fondest memories took place on my grandparents’ farmhouse porch. I remember sitting upon a white wicker sofa as a young girl with my two cousins on either side of me staring at the chipping white columns and warped floor boards covered with an inch of paint layers - the last one gray in color. Last year I sat on that very same sofa on that very same porch blowing bubbles with my sons and my cousin’s daughter.

I’m not sure what it is, but there’s nothing better for making family summertime memories than a big old (or new!) farmhouse porch. Perhaps it’s the charm of the wood, the shade of the rooftop, the spaciousness that allows a whole family to sit together, or the proximity to nature mixed with the comforts of home. Whatever it is, it can be yours, too.

To add a farmhouse-style porch to your existing house, you need to come up with a floor plan and contact a contractor. It’s not as simple as building a deck; farmhouse porches require installing load-bearing pillars or posts that will support the roof and tying the roof of the porch into the roof of the house.

If you already have a porch in the front of your home, there are several things you can do to give it that good ol’ days farmhouse feeling.

First, you will very rarely ever see a farmhouse porch that comes in a natural wood hue. Maybe it comes from the old-fashioned spring cleaning whitewashing mind-set, but nearly all farmhouse porches are painted. They don’t have to be white, though, you can paint them with bold colors, but be careful, the porch should complement the house. Also keep in mind that your new and improved farmhouse porch will be the first impression most visitors will have of you and your home.

My grandparents’ porch was gray on the floor and white everywhere else, but other combinations work well, too. In most cases, everything from the floor up is white and the porch floor is a color that is pulled from the exterior of the house - perhaps the same color as the front door, trim moldings, or shutters. Great color options are hunter green, barn red, slate gray, or Air Force blue.

Next is the furniture. A porch swing isn’t a must to get that farmhouse feel, but it sure helps. Wicker furniture is great, too, but if you can’t find or afford it, a great eclectic mix of outdoor furniture can work. The key is white - you can pick up outdoor furniture (preferably wood) at yard sales or thrift stores and paint them white. To liven it up in true farmhouse manner, though, find some vivid cushions and tablecloths to go on the furniture.

The farmhouse porch is a fun, bright, whimsical place where anyone in the family can feel relaxed and energized at the same time. It’s a great place for making similar memories to the ones we all had from years ago. A bucket of white paint and a watermelon seed spitting contest can go a long way to turning a front porch into an oasis of endless summer fun.

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