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6 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget to Add Curb Appeal

6 ways to add instant curb appeal in a day with these DIY small front porch ideas on a budget with paint, plants, and decor.

A few weeks ago, I pulled up into our driveway, glanced at our small front porch, and went, “Woah. Holy winter hangover mode, Batman.” 

If you have an outdoor space needing a quick perk up, here are the best ways to decorate a beautiful front porch easily.

small front porch before

6 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget to Add Instant Curb Appeal

The January through March timeframe was not kind to the front of our house, and since we had not-so-fun foundation repair work done to our front facade last fall (old houses are super fun, ya know), our flower bed was destroyed alongside the porch. 

So Robert busted out the trusty power washer, and I busted out the usual bucket of limewash to make our front door feel welcoming again in the warmer months using planters and flowers.

The flower beds still need a lot of love, and the patchy grass in the front yard is still a little worse for wear, but just these 6 small front porch ideas on a budget made a huge difference. 

And it most definitely can be achieved on one sunny Saturday to bring a gloomy winter porch back to life (or help add curb appeal when selling a house) as an inviting first impression. 

Sometimes all you need to give small porches a fresh look is a splash of color, a fresh coat of paint, an outdoor rug, and some natural elements to make it the perfect place to great visitors.

small front porch ideas on a budget
urn planter with boxwood topiary on porch steps

1. Choose Large Planters

A great way to create a welcoming front porch is to frame the front door with planters.

Opt for just a few large or oversized planters instead of multiple small planters to help a small porch seem stately without adding clutter. 

I love the look of these traditional urn planters that I never would have guessed were only $30. An affordable way to fake the upscale look is to use resin pots instead of terracotta or ceramic.

Use it as a chance to express your personal style with a pop of color for a big impact. Keep an eye out for them at the thrift store. An easy way to change the look of your planters is with some spray paint and spray polyurethane. 

I also found these fluted resin planter sets to attempt a faux DIY concrete planter look with leftover cans of spray paint.

fluted resin terra cotta planters

They totally look like the more expensive designer versions I’ve seen! 

Doesn’t it look like concrete? I can’t even believe that’s just spray paint (see the faux DIY concrete planter tutorial here). 

faux concrete planters on a front porch with purple hydrangeas

2. Make It Symmetrical

Especially if your house’s architecture is symmetrical, mimic the symmetry with your decor to make a small porch feel extra inviting. 

It’s hard to go wrong with a planter on each side of the steps, a planter on either side of the door, and a simple wreath.

If you have room, flank the front door with a porch swing, rocking chair, or seating area on either side of the door for a cozy space that invites visitors. 

colonial small front porch on a limewashed brick house with boxwood topiaries and hydrangeas in planters

3. Use Plants That Add Height And Color

I like to add 1 type of plant that adds height and one type of potted plants or flowers that adds a punch of color. Boxwoods, cedar trees, and topiaries draw the eye upward. 

Add a bright pop of seasonal potted flowers like these hydrangeas, begonias, geraniums, or azaleas to highlight the front door.

It’s a good idea to ask your local nursery for the best flower suggestions for you based on the direction the front of the house faces. (Our porch faces north, so plants that prefer shade work best.)  

Style tip: If you don’t have a green thumb or you live in a drought-prone area, use UV treated faux plants instead of real plants. It’s an inexpensive way to extend your plants for several seasons/years ahead. 

Guide: 40 Best Faux Outdoor Plants for Planters on a Porch

boxwood topiary in an urn planter and fluted concrete planter with purple hydrangeas on a small front porch stoop
purple hydrangeas in a fluted concrete planter on a painted stenciled porch floor

4. Add an Extra Wide Welcome Mat

Just like the right sized rug can make or break a room, I swear by using an extra large welcome mat to make a standard sized front door feel a little more grand.

If you have enough space, layer your welcome mat over a larger outdoor rug. Use a color scheme that complements your planters. 

black front door with white columns on a small front porch with magnolia wreath and purple hydrangeas and an extra wide welcome mat

5. Limewash Steps or Paint a Worn Porch Floor

I refresh our limewashed steps every couple of years, but that one simple change makes such a huge impact to brighten up our porch. 

You can add some personality and pattern with a stencil using this DIY painted porch floor tutorial too. 

Or if you’re a minimalist, stick with plain. But in either case, painting a porch floor that looks old and worn out is an easy update. 

limewash brick steps on a colonial house with small porch decor using symmetrical planters

6. Avoid Clutter and Keep It Simple

Less is more. As fun as it is to put small ornamental outdoor decor on a front porch, it can start to feel junky really quickly. And when viewed from the road, that porch decor can often just look like a heap of stuff instead of boosting your home’s curb appeal.

Going oversized and using less instead of using more of smaller sized items always pays off to make a front porch’s decor feel intentional. 

limewashed brick colonial house with boxwood topiaries in urn planters and fluted concrete planters with purple hydrangeas on a small front porch with a dog

By the way, Lola totally poses herself when I’m taking pictures and I’m not making this up at all. Haha! Our extended family and friends have witnessed her in action any time we pull out a camera, and it’s hilarious watching her try to photo bomb us.

She just turned 13 years-old, and after 10 years of being a “blog dog”, I’d say she’s far beyond figuring out her job description at this point. 😉

Got any other small front porch ideas on a budget you’d add to the list?

Have you pulled your porch out of winter hangover mode yet? The next outdoor project definitely needs to be the grass and the flower beds now that contractors are finished plowing it over.

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24 Comments

  1. I love your porch transformation. The diy faux concrete pots are impressive and I may be hooked on that look. Enjoy the blessings of warmer weather.

  2. The porch looks great, (Miss Lola too!) . Can you tell us where you bought the topiaries please? Thanks!

  3. Hello!
    Would you ever consider faux plants/flowers in porch urns? I don’t want to fool myself into thinking β€œit looks good!” Haha.
    (Ps: I’m new and really enjoying your posts)

  4. I love your front porch! Very pretty. Not overdone but just right!
    On a trip to Walmart in the spring and summer, I’m in the garden center browsing around!
    I love the topiaries flanking your porch. Are they real/live or artificial?
    Also, what keeps them from blowing down from the wind? These were also bought from Walmart?
    I love following your blog and get so many ideas!! Thank you and Happy Spring!