Growing up in the Bronx we did not have porches but we had stoops! We always sat on the front stoop to visit with friends and neighbors, watch what was going on in the neighborhood and it was also a means of relaxation. Today the porch on my house is my place to relax, connect and entertain friends and family. Porches were originally designed to create a nicer living space for rest and cool breezes. The front porch an be viewed as another room of the house and can be used in many ways therefore how you design it should be specific to your needs.
A covered front porch creates a comfortable space and shelter, a ceiling height of 8′-9′ tends feel best. Keeping the porch raised up off the ground gives a nicer presence while allowing for better sense of security . By code however more than 30″ requires guard rails for safety. By creating an inviting walkway to the front door you you add curb appeal to your home. Path lighting dramatically changes any walkway and creates great appeal. The landscaping of that walkway or in front of the porch is also important to creating the whole overall style and design. Creating a a garden of easy care plants in pretty pots adds to the ambiance.
The size of the porch is dictated by the size of the house, but keep in mind you want enough room to circulate on the porch and be able to put comfortable furniture in place. You should treat it as an additional room to the house. I find having at least an 8 ‘-9 ‘ depth allows for chairs and room move to around. Even if the porch is small you can probably still add a smaller chair and garden stool to have place to sit and read or enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the evening after working. Who wouldn’t like to sit on this great swing/daybed and have some fun with friends on a nice summer evening? So if you are lucky enough to have a porch, make it inviting and get outside and enjoy!