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Consider, if you will, the humble front porch.

If left unattended, the front porch can often become a dumping ground for unused lawn chairs, or if your front porch is fully enclosed it often becomes a second entryway, a place where backpacks go to hide away and grow dusty until the next school year starts.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Whether you’ve got a fully outdoor front porch, an interior porch/mudroom, or even a small deck, there’s a few things you can do to keep it easy on the eyes and well organized. Looking for some inspiration? Read on:

Work from the bottom up: A lot of porches start with a bare concrete floor, and while this is pretty good for being weather-resistant, it looks a little…bland. The first step to jazzing up your front porch would be to cover up that stark concrete with something a little more fun. Try adding some colorful throw rugs, or get some tile/simulated hardwood to lay over it to create a more cozy look that better matches any adjacent rooms.

Lay out some tables: Speaking of making things cozier, it’s going to be really hard to hang out on your porch without the right tables! Take some living room furniture you don’t need, like an extra coffee table, and move it outside to give everyone’s drinks and snacks a place to land while you’re outside enjoying the weather. It’ll go a long way towards making your porch more inviting than it was! 

Repaint the door: Odds are if you don’t use your porch too much, your door probably doesn’t get a lot of thought other than “the thing that gets you into your house”. Take some time to repaint your door with something a little brighter and more in-line with your other porch furniture, or any of the furniture closer to the porch to make everything match and help your whole home stand out a little more.

Keep it convenient: If you’re on your porch hanging out, there’s a chance the topic of adult beverages may come up. Set up a bar cart out on the porch to keep supplies and glasses close at hand, and make sure you’ve got a cooler or two handy for everything that might need a little ice.

Leave room for plants: Finally, after you’ve gotten your tables and furniture organized and ready to go, the best way to spice up what room is leftover is to add some potted plants. Find something fitting for your local climate (and take into account whether or not your porch is exposed to the elements or not) and set them in corners, on the center of your table, or even on some adjacent wood shelves and corner shelves depending on what you’re growing.

With these tips, hopefully your porch will be a little easier on the eyes – and easier to relax on, as well!

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