September 15, 2022 | Updated: September 19, 2022
For UK residential properties nothing says home like a garden path leading to a front door with beautiful porch tiles. The front porch, if done well, has kerb appeal in spades. A space of transition, an embellishment to the street frontage and a way of celebrating the main entrance. With this article, we’ll provide some tips and inspiration for making the most of your front porch. We include everything from the best porch tile ideas to practical recommendations.
First of all, it’s important to distinguish between front and back porches: the public face and the private face of our houses. Both represent a transition from outdoor to indoor. However, while the back porch is more intimate and looks over the rear garden, the front porch is accessed from the public way. Therefore, the front porch is how we present our homes to the world. The porch tiles and other materials should reflect these differences.
Credits: 1. Front porch from @mkpleasantdesign, using Oxford Acero (Available in-store) / 2. Back porch from @paulatomisaki using Metropolitan Caliza 59.6×59.6 / 3. Mudroom from @poppyrobin, using Minnesota Ash 25×150
The way our homes are designed is often a function of local traditions, climate and availability of materials. In this regard, the popularity of the front porch that signals the entrance for most UK homes is a good example. It might be just an overhanging canopy. Alternatively, it might be a more substantial setback contained within the building volume; or perhaps a space with its own dedicated roof. Regardless of how the porch is planned, it performs several vital roles which we will examine below.
Because of climate and other cultural considerations, the front porch is an integral part of homes in the United Kingdom. It not only serves as a practical way of protecting the front door but also adds visual interest. For all these reasons adding, extending or improving your home’s front porch makes sense.
The front porch is the ultimate draught excluder. Most heat is lost through external doors. By simply adding another layer the enclosed porch (depending on its scale) will pay for itself in energy savings.
A well-designed front façade can differentiate your home from the neighbours. The front porch is a critical element that helps identify the main entrance. It also adds a valuable area to the home. Auctioneers and Real Estate agents recommend adding a front porch to the home if it doesn’t already have one.
The front porch helps to keep the hallway free of clutter and protects internal floors and walls. The porch (back and front) is a practical space for storing umbrellas, coats and overshoes. That’s why its finishes must be especially hard-wearing and resistant.
If the home’s front façade is somewhat nondescript the front porch can transform an entire property. Choose a style that compliments your home’s architecture. And if you want to radically alter a not-very-attractive façade, then, refurbishing the front porch is the perfect way to transform the frontage.
Extra space is always good, not just for hats and coats but also an area for utility meters and post boxes; for signage like the number (and name) of the house; and security elements like cameras and doorbells.
Orientation is everything when it comes to enjoying the garden. The front porch is ideal for sitting and contemplating the outside world for south- or south-west-facing homes in the UK.
The front porch should be a welcoming space. Nothing establishes a warm welcome like plants and flowers. Not just inside but on a trellis outside, with potted plants and as a support for hanging baskets.
Nothing says welcome home like a light over the front door in the winter and the darker months of the year. The porch, enclosed or open, becomes a beacon and signals the way to family and visitors.
The front porch frames the main door to the home. The porch colour scheme should be sympathetic to the door and overall external colour scheme.
Nowadays for new builds, the front porch must be accessible to all. Even for older properties, it’s just good manners to make sure everyone can easily be welcomed to your home. Instead of steps, provide a ramp and add a handrail in case of steps.
▶ Note: Building a small front porch will generally not require planning permission. The permitted square area should not exceed 3 sq.m. when measured externally. And should not exceed 3m in height.
No matter what style porch you have, making sure the finishes are safe and resistant is first and foremost. As far as finishes are concerned, flooring is undoubtedly the most crucial consideration. The following recommendations are divided into enclosed and open porch designs.
Credits: 1. Mudroom from @fit_my_place using Antique Silver 59.6X59.6 (Available in-store) / 2. Hallway from @designedbyiman using Barcelona collection / 3. Open front porch from @highfields.plumbing
The front porch is where we shake off our umbrellas, straighten ourselves before entering the home and check for our keys. In the Victorian era, there would be a boot scrape. Luckily, today, with better public footpaths, we can make do with mats. Organising the front porch is all about creating a good (first) impression and preparing to enter.
These UK home designs illustrate how the choice of tile can help transform the front porch. From additional living areas to impressive entrances and protective home security.
#1 Minimalist monochrome porch tiles
This pared-back monochromatic colour scheme highlights the contrast between the ground and the sky. A large format black porcelain tile provides a neutral base against which the timber porch furniture and various accessories are visually more impacting.
#2 Classic veranda style porch tiles
The classical front porch protected by a ceiling with a painted soffit expresses the full potential of what the front porch can add to your home.
Open to the garden and views of the road. The wood style effect adds warmth and provides an almost maintenance-free finish.
#3 Living area style porch tiles
Seating transforms the porch and creates a space which can be enjoyed all year round. The grey porch tile colour scheme lends a modern aesthetic.
By adding a patio heater and some outdoor terrace furniture, the front porch is ideal as a seating area, an informal dining space or a games area for both summer and winter.