Styling your porch in line with the seasons is a lovely way to greet guests and set the tone for the rest of your home. And, while fabulously festive decorations have their time and place, it's a good idea to give your entranceway a bit of a refresh once the holidays come to a close.
It's probably best to bid Santa, his reindeer, and some of your other Christmas porch decor adieu at this point. However, other wintry accessories can be used to brighten the transitional period between the new year and spring.
After all, there are still a few cold and dark weeks to get through – and keeping your front porch as inviting as possible can help to beat those winter blues.
6 ways to bring your front porch to life this season
'Winter porch decor is an art – and it's one I've perfected season after season,' says real estate expert Joy Aumann. 'To me, a porch is more than just an entryway; it's a magic portal transporting you from the dreariness of January to a pine-scented winter wonderland.'
Joy Aumann is a licensed realtor (CIPS) and co-founder of LUXURYSOCALREALTY. She has two decades of luxury real estate and design experience staging homes, and has also been cited in influential publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc.
1. Embrace natural decor
'Incorporating natural elements is always a great starting point,' says Joy. She suggests using items such as pinecones, berries, dried leaves, and cinnamon sticks, which look lovely in a wreath or small arrangement. She also likes to use fresh pine or eucalyptus sprigs for their scents.
For longer-lasting displays, opt for faux or dried foliage, flowers, and seedheads. If you're feeling creative, you could decorate a grapevine wreath (available from Amazon) yourself, but there are plenty of beautiful, pre-made creations available to buy.
Remember, wreaths aren't just for Christmas. But, once the holidays are over, you may wish to swap yours out with something a little more minimal. Alternatively, give a DIY design a refresh: remove any parts that are looking past their best, add a few extra sprigs, and swap out red or gold ribbons to introduce a different color – perhaps navy or white.
Featuring poppy pods, quail brush twigs, eucalyptus, and more, this handmade wreath is perfect for brightening the winter months beyond the festive season.
2. Give your entrance a glow-up
Adding warm lighting is going to set the right atmosphere to make your porch cozy and attractive, says Joy. 'I usually start with string lights wrapped around the railings or beams.'
Adding a lantern beside your front door, such as this rounded dome-top design from Anthropologie, is another enchanting way to combat the gray winter gloom. Use LED faux candles for peace of mind.
If you're looking for something more permanent to light up your front porch, now could be a good time to invest in a new pendant or wall light. 'You can integrate porch lights that have smart timers, smart bulbs, or smart switches, or even consider motion-based lights for added convenience,' says Dara Greaney, the CEO of LED Light Expert. 'The strategic use of these not only provides an automated and efficient way to brighten up your porch but also contributes to the overall ambiance.'
This modern metal wall light can be paired with a dimmer switch and comes in three sizes. Consider opting for one on either side of your front door for a strong impression.
3. Curate winter displays with potted plants
There are lots of pretty winter flowers that are perfect for porch pots.
'If you live in an area that experiences warmer winters, ornamental vegetables like kale or cabbage can make for conversation-starting porch decor,' says Rebecca Sears, a gardening expert from Ferry-Morse. 'These plants can add both color and texture to your porch with their frilly green and pink leaves. Plant them in decorative containers with hardy flowers like pansies surrounding them for an eye-catching arrangement.'
You could also opt for low-maintenance shrubs, such as boxwood, Rebecca suggests. These are ideal if you're looking for something to fill a larger container.
Plant expert Autumn Hilliard-Knapp recommends the 'Spring Bouquet' viburnum (available from Perfect Plants Nursery). Its evergreen foliage and scented flowers make it a charming option for porch decoration during the first months of the year, she says.
Small potted trees, such as bay or olive, can also work well.
As CMO and resident green thumb for the Green Garden family of brands, Rebecca Sears nurtures the company's heritage but also looks to develop new products and solutions to help gardeners of all skill levels fuel their passion and become more successful in the garden. Rebecca has been gardening from coast to coast, first realizing her passion while living in Portland, Oregon, inspired by the public gardens throughout the city. When she relocated to the northeast, she built upon her knowledge and craft, and now her backyard garden grows larger each year.
Autumn is a horticulture specialist and marketing professional at Perfect Plants Nursery. With four years of experience in the horticulture industry, she has developed a passion for helping people create beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Her expertise in horticulture encompasses a broad range of activities, including plant care and selection, landscape design, and maintenance.
With its white, textured glaze finish and elegant shape, this small, stoneware urn has timeless appeal. Pair with hellebores for a sophisticated display.
4. Add color and coziness with an outdoor rug
An outdoor rug is an easy way to give a space a whole new look, and there are so many to choose from. For your front porch winter decor, consider a bold pattern in rich tones, or a more neutral look with woven textures in tan, black, or dark gray for a touch of Scandinavian chic. Remember to go for a design that won't show dirt and debris too obviously, and is easy to clean.
Alternatively, Ilia Mundut, the CEO of home and garden decor store HeftyBerry, recommends choosing a doormat with a winter-themed design to add a cheerful touch to your porch. This is a great option if you don't have the space for a full-sized rug.
If you're looking for something bright and bold – but not too festive – this pink plaid coir doormat from Terrain will add a fun pop of color.
Handcrafted from recycled polyester fibers, this luxurious outdoor rug with its on-trend pattern can be used to easily elevate a covered porchway.
5. Get organized with some new storage solutions
The beginning of the new year is prime time for having a good tidy and sort out, and what better place to start than the entrance of your home?
Sweep pavers from any fallen leaves and other debris, replant containers that are looking a little tired, and consider a new porch storage solution for getting boots, firewood, and other items in order. This log store shown above is not only neat and accessible, but it doubles up as an attractive, textural feature.
If you like to watch the world go by from your porch, consider updating your seating solution, too. Ilia suggests adding faux-fur-trimmed blankets and accent pillows featuring wintry designs to make the space more appealing.
With a powder-coated iron frame and a woven finish, this is a simple yet stylish storage solution for keeping your firewood tidy on your porch.
6. Decorate evergreen foliage with hanging ornaments
Whether your porch features an evergreen shrub or small tree in a container, or a bucket filled with sprigs of foliage or sculptural branches, outdoor-suitable string lights will offer extra sparkle. These Stargazer LED ones from Anthropologie have a warm and inviting glow.
If your porch is suitably sheltered, consider hanging seasonal ornaments from branches and stems, too. Keep the look simple: think pinecones attached with ribbon, ceramic snowflakes, clip-on birds, and wooden stars. That way, you can continue to enjoy the display even once the holidays are over – until it's time to decorate your porch for spring.
With a pared-back design, this set of three rustic hanging stars made from coconut twigs will add seasonal charm to a display of branches or a potted shrub.
Can you leave holiday decorations in your porch throughout January and February?
Once the holidays are over, you may not need to clear all your festive decor away. Instead, consider streamlining your display to create a more quietly luxurious look, and perhaps change up the color scheme.
Real estate expert Joy Aumann recommends leaving elements such as holly sprigs or white branches: 'The pops of green and white look lovely together and extend the winter wonderland feel.' Accents such as snowflakes or minimalist garlands also help capture the cozy feel of winter, she adds.
What other items can you use to decorate your porch in winter?
Ilia Mundut of HeftyBerry recommends using vintage items such as old skis, wooden sleds, or ice skates to create a nostalgic winter scene.
Wooden crates filled with pinecones, or antique milk churns containing sprigs of willow adorned with furry catkins, are other eye-catching ideas.
After you've got your porch looking winter-ready, consider turning your attention to the rest of your yard, too. There are lots of beautiful winter garden ideas that will lift the spirits, from cozy backyard fire pits to stunning shrubs with winter flowers.
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The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then; over the years, she's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator. Having worked for Gardeningetc.com for two years, Holly now regularly writes about plants and outdoor living for Homes & Gardens.
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