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Summer Front Porch Refresh on a Budget: Easy Ideas for Big Impact

Do you want to update your front porch? Look no further…I’ve got some simple and affordable updates to refresh your summer front porch.

This post was originally published in (July 2020) and was updated and republished in (March 2024)

I love big front porches, but mine is more of a small front porch.

It’s not tiny, it’s bigger than just a stoop, or an entry!

But it’s not a huge long front porch.

And that’s ok because I’m going to show you how to create a welcoming entrance no matter how big…or small your front porch is!

Summertime is the perfect time of year to do some serious porch sittin’ with a nice cold beverage in hand.

Your front porch is also the first thing people notice when they enter your home.

So let’s make it extra special and boost that curb appeal.

I’ll show you how to make a big impact with easy and affordable ideas so you can enjoy your front porch all summer long.

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How to Refresh a Small Front Porch

before photo of small front porch decorated for summer with bench and plants

Here’s a look at my front porch last year.

Looks okay but it needed some sprucing up this year.

My favorite feature of our home is the pretty stone surrounding the bottom of the house.

That stone is the backdrop for my small front porch so I wanted to highlight it and give my front door a little transformation.

How to Give Your Front Door Makeover

after photo of small front porch  with black front door and silver hardware decorated for summer

The first thing I did was give my front door a makeover and you can read all about that process here.

After 12 years it was time to repaint our door because it was looking pretty scuffed up.

I still liked the look of the black door with white sidelights and trim so it was just a matter of picking the right color black.

But who knew there were so many different black colors to choose from?

I painted my front door “Black” by Benjamin Moore.

Looks so much better, right?!

Not only did I paint the door but I also removed the chrome kickplate to give the door a cleaner look.

I explained how to fill the holes from the kickplate in the metal door in this blog post.

I just love how the door looks now without the kickplate.

close up of door knocker on front door

I also hung a new door knocker…well new as in…I finally took it out of the box…but I may have had it for a while.

You will have to read about that story here.

What a difference these small inexpensive changes made.

It’s like I have a brand-new door!!

What Style Outdoor Rug Should You Use on a Front Porch?

front porch with flowers in pots and bench

Sources: Tall Black Planter / Galvanized Metal Flower Pots / Door Knocker / Black and White Plaid Pillows / Black and White Throw Pillow / Garden Bench / Front Door / Black Lantern

If you follow us on Instagram you may remember the drama I had last year with my layered rug.

I mean don’t get me wrong… layered rugs look so pretty when you add a coir doormat on top of a pretty patterned outdoor rug.

But…umm…I may have ruined mine last year. Oops!!!

When I would water my flowers and plants the water would drain out of the bottom of the planters and run under the rugs so the pretty decorative buffalo plaid rug got all moldy.

Ewww! It was really gross.

You’ll just have to trust me on this one because I didn’t take any before pictures for you…you’re welcome.

I know I could just move the plants to water but I’m kinda lazy…I mean I’m lucky I even remember to water the flowers daily.

So this year I went with a simple outdoor rug.

Although not as pretty as my layered rugs, it’s a much better option for me!

Sometimes you just have to do what’s more convenient, am I right?

How to Add a Seating Area on a Small Front Porch

close up of bench with pillows on side of small front porch

I never thought my front porch was large enough for a seating area but I carried an old wood bench from my deck to the front porch to see if it would work.

I moved some planters around and slid the bench to the side of the door and it fit!

We lived with that old bench on the porch for a while before I invested in a new one.

Once I decided we definitely wanted a bench for our front porch refresh I started searching online for the perfect one.

I didn’t want to spend a fortune but I was lucky to find some great bench options under $300.

Who knew our small front porch could have a cozy seating area?!

I wasn’t sure about not having two matching planters on either side of the door as I always have.

I’m all about things being symmetrical….so I was a little hesitant.

full view of front porch with flower post and bench

But having the bench on one side is so convenient and I’m embracing the lack of symmetry.

Now we have a great place to sit on our front porch and watch the neighbors.

You know Anne lives across the street right…lol.

With the new bench on one side of the porch, I still have the other side of the porch for flowers and seasonal decor.

side view of front porch refresh

Shop the Post

Tall Black Planter / Galvanized Metal Flower Pots / Door Knocker / Black and White Plaid Pillows / Black and White Throw Pillow / Garden Bench / Front Door / Black Lantern

What Type of Plants and Flowers to Use on a Front Porch

close up of summer flowers and plants with black outdoor lantern

I’ve always struggled with flowers and plants on our front porch because it gets so darn hot in the afternoons on the porch.

A few years ago I discovered a variety of ferns that are drought tolerant called Queen Anne.

What a game-changer!

No longer do my ferns look awful halfway through the summer (as long as I remember to water them daily).

These beauties are the perfect plant for the hot afternoon sun my front porch gets.

Geraniums also do fairly well on the porch so I added them to a decorative container for a pop of color.

Want to hear about another failure from last summer?

You know we’re all about keeping it real here at S2M!

I had outdoor battery-operated candles in my lanterns…so pretty, right?

Well, you’d think so but…

…can you believe the plastic candles melted from the hot sun?

Yup, just my luck!

And then at Christmas time, I added greenery to the lanterns which looked great but they tipped over in the wind and the glass broke.


I still wanted to use the large lantern so I just removed all the glass panels and added a little potted flower.

So cute, right?!

Check out how to upcycle an old lantern here.

vertical view of front porch refresh for summer

I hope you got some easy and affordable ideas to refresh your front porch or entry for summer.

Do you redecorate your porch for each season? I’d love to hear about it!

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us or leave a comment below.

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