Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

Posted by: on April 14th, 2014 | 25 Comments
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Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

Amy Mikkelsen will tell you that, for the best front porch decorating ideas, you might want to look to the South.

She’s the author of a decorating and lifestyle blog called Your Southern Peach, so she should know. She gave her front porch a complete makeover for our Patio Style Challenge. We sent her a new patio furniture set, and challenged her to amaze us with her patio decorating ideas.

We love her new front porch, with its charm and comfort. Her ideas would apply to a back deck or a patio as much as a front porch. But we were a little surprised when we learned where her color inspiration came from. 

Read on for Amy’s front porch makeover.

The South is known for it’s hospitality and nothing welcomes guests like a gorgeous front porch! I also love sneaking away to the porch throughout the day for a glass of iced tea, to listen to a rain storm or simply catch my breath. It’s amazing what ten minutes under a porch fan can do for a busy mom!  Life seems to slow down on the front porch, doesn’t it?

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Functional, soothing, comfortable and Southern

Prior to this, we only had two wooden rocking chairs and a small side table so seating was limited, as was table space and style. When I envisioned my front porch for the Home Depot Style Challenge, I wanted it to be functional, soothing, comfortable and southern!

The Inspiration

The layout was challenging because of the long, narrow design of the porch. I also wanted to keep the decor simple without too much fuss. I was excited to receive the Martha Stewart Living Charlottetown Patio Set in white. The furniture has clean lines and that southern charm I had imagined for the space. The set arrived with Quarry Red cushions, an unexpected color from my original vision, but it presented an exciting challenge.

I found inspiration from my trip to the Greek island of Santorini and a day trip to the Red Beach, which is saturated in colors of deep terracotta and turquoise blue.

Red Beach of Santorini: Photo copyright Amy Mikkelsen

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Deep terracotta and turquoise blue

Painting the Porch Ceiling

To kick off the front porch makeover, I painted the porch ceiling Sparkling Spring blue by BEHR. Blue ceilings are a longtime southern tradition, and I couldn’t wait to transform my porch from the top down. My husband was a little hesitant about the idea but he quickly changed his mind once he saw how gorgeous it was.

We also replaced our porch fan, which is quite the luxury on a hot summer day in Georgia. There’s nothing better than watching the children chase fireflies at the end of the day while the adults enjoy an iced beverage under a spinning porch fan.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

Decorating the Front Door and Entrance

After the ceiling was finished, I tackled the front door and entrance, which was unsightly to say the least.

The first thing to be replaced was the porch light. We traded out the dated brass fixture for a Hampton Bay lantern. Then I carefully spray painted the handle set and sweep on the storm door black, which was an easy and inexpensive way to get a uniform look.

Next, I sanded the wooden door with my Black and Decker sander, removed dust particles and applied a fresh coat of Minwax gel stain in Mahogany. I chose gel stain because of its no-drip formulation which allowed me to stain the front door while still on it’s hinges. It was surprisingly easy and made a huge difference in the curb appeal of our home. And just a word to the wise, be sure to protect your hands and wear gloves when working with stain!

Once the stain cures, I’ll apply a coat of Minwax Helmsman in semigloss to protect the door from elements such as sun, rain and the Georgia heat.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Stained door with pineapple knocker

For the finishing touches and a dash of southern hospitality, I couldn’t resist adding a pineapple doorknocker and an oversized welcome mat to the front entrance.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Oversized welcome mat

Before styling and decorating the porch, I had to do a little more dirty work which consisted of cleaning my space. I cleared all plants and furniture and applied Mold Armor House Wash to the front porch. It works so fast and gets my white railings so bright and clean. Simply spray on, allow to sit a few minutes and rinse clean with water.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

Decorating the Front Porch

With my space finally cleaned and prepared, I moved in furniture, plants and decor. I did add a few custom pieces to my space. I found a Ming-style coffee table at my local salvage shop and brought it home for a quick coat of primer and glossy white paint.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A few custom pieces

My favorite creative piece for this project was the glamorous facelift I gave to an ordinary shelving unit I purchased from The Home Depot. With two cans of Rust-Oleum gold spray paint, I have the perfect place for serving drinks or housing plants. You can’t beat the $30 price tag on this little gem.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A glamorous facelift for an ordinary shelving unit

Last, I added bright pillows, collected seashells and my favorite plants.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: I added bright pillows, collected seashells and my favorite plants

After years of admiration, I finally added a Bonfire patio peach tree to my collection to greet visitors upon arrival.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Bonfire patio peach tree

A white hydrangea plant will brighten the darkest little corner of the front porch.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A white hydrangea plant

And last but not least, no southern porch is complete without ferns! I hung three huge Boston ferns which will be showered, spoiled and misted on a daily basis by yours truly.

Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Southern Charm with Mediterranean Color

From my home to yours, wishing you lots of leisurely front porch days filled with rest, relaxation and southern hospitality.

Front porch photos by Amy Mikkelsen, except the last photo, which was shot by her husband. 

Click over to Amy’s blog to see more photos of her gorgeous front porch makeover.

Amy is an Atlanta native and genuine Georgia peach. She’s the creative mind behind the southern lifestyle blog Your Southern Peach, where she shares recipes, entertaining tips and other domestic delights. She’s the mom of two young gents and is an avid yogi and gardener. She believes that southern hospitality has no boundaries.

To decorate her deck, Amy started with the Martha Stewart Living Charlottetown Patio Set from The Home Depot.

For more patio decorating ideas and inspiration, see other Patio Style Challenges as well as our Patio Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. And browse our online Outdoor Living Departmentfor everything you need for your patio, yard or garden. 

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using a single Home Depot product as a starting point. Amy received the Martha Stewart Living patio set from The Home Depot and a gift card. The opinions and ideas Amy expressed are her own.

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  1. Jane Cooper says:

    But what about the rug? I love the rug!!! Did I miss the info? Your porch is so beautiful!

  2. Rebecca C. says:

    This porch is so inviting and inspiring! I love the look and all the great tips. Thanks @yoursouthernpeach and Home Depot!

  3. Heather williams says:

    I LOVE it! You are too stinkin cute. The next project you tackle, let me know. I’ll have Don suit you with Milwaukee tools, so you can get it done quickly & easily! There are a couple hand tools that every woman needs for her toolbox… Or as we in the south call it: “the kitchen junk drawer.”

    • Amy says:

      Thank you so much Heather! I would LOVE for Don to suit me with some Milwaukee tools. I need to come shadow him on some of your projects and actually learn how to use them too!

  4. Nick Psaros says:

    Amy, the porch looks great! Thanks for sharing the information and keep up the great design tips for your design-challenged fans out here!

  5. What a great bright space, the white & blue is fabulous!

  6. This is absolutely beautiful! As a southern girl now living in Cali I absolutely miss a good front porch. This space is the perfect quintessential southern porch. I love all the details from the blue ceiling to the rich hued door. I think it’s so fabulous that you designed the space around the colors of Greece. I’m sure you and your family will enjoy it for years to come.

  7. Susanne M says:

    I love the contrasting warm/cool color scheme and the use of both light and dark plants to draw out different elements of the porch!

  8. Emily Mikkelsen says:

    Such a great job Amy. I love the painted ceiling and bright colors. Great looking boys! Of course I am just a little prejudice there! Look forward to sitting under the fan on Easter.

  9. katie says:

    What a fantastic space! And that bar cart is such a brilliant and perfect idea!

  10. Danielle Getman says:

    This is simply beautiful!! I love the colors you chose! I always loved a painted porch ceiling (or painted floor for that matter) and staining the door. Such an easy way to update the look of a house.
    My favorite idea – was spraying the black metal cart. My favorite decorating accessory is spray paint. That gave it a fabulous (and repurposed) look!
    Your porch… What a perfect place for a glass of sweet tea!!

  11. Carolyn Yurick says:

    Amy has great southern style. From the ceiling to the floor she has the details well thought and researched. I LOVE the bar cart painted in gold. Clever.

  12. This turned out gorgeous! Spray-painting that shelving unit and adding a tray to make a bar cart was genius — I might have to borrow that idea! Amazing job, Amy!

  13. love the color combo amy! it’s so beautiful and so you. gorgeous!!