A porch that says “go away”

One of the nice-to-haves we listed when we were house hunting was a front porch. Silently we wished for a wraparound porch, but we didn’t want to be too demanding. Still, having a bit of shelter from the elements while you wait for someone to come to the door was a nice thing to think about. And, finding our home, we were delighted by the presence of two porches. Today, let’s take a minute to look at the front porch.

Maybe it strikes you as welcoming. Maybe not.

What we know is that this porch is not original to the house. It was included in part of the small addition that now houses a foyer and basically extended the entryway of the house out a bit. It’s nice to have the space to accommodate guests – when the space is not full of projects in process – and the shelter for anyone waiting at the door is welcome.

Otherwise, it’s tough to say there’s much that feels welcoming about the porch. And that’s why, over the winter months, I want to set aside a little time to really think about simple ways to bring a more inviting feel to this space.

Already jumped to execution in one area, planting a few perennials that won’t hide the porch but should help soften the approach a bit.

Within the first year of owning the house we purchased a couple of rocking chairs for the space. But it is narrow, and the color of the chairs blends in with the porch railings and really hides more than it invites. We also added a couple of flower pots that we fill with annuals every spring.

This year, it’s dianthus.

There’s more we could do. Like, I don’t know, install a doorbell. (We’ve lived here less than 10 years, but are feeling like we’ll stay for a bit.)

I’m not saying this looks unwelcoming. Mostly because I think it says so all on its’ own.

And when we first moved in, the porch was all white. That felt a little too washed out to me, so we tried some color variations. That sort of worked, but sort of don’t.

I thought the floor color would help the space feel larger. Hasn’t quite done that. And, can you tell we’re due for a re-paint soon? Or maybe a little bit past due?

The front door is very much a standard builder-issue sort of door, but mostly does the job of keeping the elements out of the house. But I wonder if we’ve got the best color combination, and whether changing out the storm door would be wise.

The storm door is definitely showing wear. The sidelights could use a little TLC.

The top problem with these colors? This is the only place on the entire exterior where you see them. Now I don’t mind a little contrast, but I also can’t help but feel that the color choice is calling out the differences of this spot of the exterior instead of acting like some natural draw to the space.

But, as you can tell from the images above, the former owners didn’t exactly go wild and crazy with their choice of exterior colors. Using the Color Finder app from Benjamin Moore, here’s a quick and dirty little palate.

Kind of builder blah. But, in an effort to find an upside, it could also be a nice foil for a variety of other colors that may not scream, but speak just quietly enough to have you leaning in to hear what that porch is saying. But where to pull a palate from? I looked to the least inspirational part of our buildings. The blocks that make up our garage:

A bit unimpressive at first, until you squint and lean in real close while watering the containers of flowers around the patio.

Amidst all the pebbles that make the aggregate in this block, there’s actually some impressive little pops of color in there. Using that Color Finder app, here’s what I matched:

That was enough to get my mind playing with ideas. Like, what if we went for a bolder color on the porch floor?

What if, instead of a paint pattern on the door, we kept a crisp white trim around the windows and door frame, and used a solid color?

And then, what if we played up some of those colors on the skirt boards of the porch?

These are just the first round of ideas. I’m not completely sold on sticking to this palate. I may still follow part of the theme we played with first, just on a different level of intensity.

Lots to think about. And more to plot. That’s why I’m starting the thought process now, at the end of one porch season, so I can play with ideas, think a little more about what should live on that porch, and create the right-size honey-do list that will motivate without totally depleting America’s Favorite Husband.

Do any of you out there like to plot and scheme during an off-season?


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