Homeowners Britt and Christopher Dougall bought their 1902 home in 1993, and since then they’ve repainted the exterior and rebuilt the porch. “Now they’re two of our favorite things about it, ” they say.
A cast aluminum mailbox, like this one, is rust-proof, so it will always look new. Detailing on the flap is a nice touch. Special Lite Products Horizon horizontal mailbox in black, $50, amazon.com
Terra-cotta pots are filled with, clockwise from top left, sweet potato vine, merlot coleus, and electric lime coleus. Merlot coleus grows in the flowerbeds, too.
To give their flower beds some color, the Dougalls planted pink and red New Guinea impatiens.
Guests often tell the Dougalls they’ve never seen a doorbell like theirs—it’s a reproduction of a preelectric one. Bronze Ship’s Bell 5"-diameter doorbell, $83, everythingnautical.com
Numbers with a simple, classic design look great on any home. Baldwin Hardware 4 3/4"-tall house numbers in oil-rubbed bronze finish, $14 each, myknobs.com
The porch ceiling is painted blue! Siding: Sweet Chamomile by Behr; Porch ceiling: Fountain Spout by Behr; Trim: Ultra Pure White by Behr
Columns and Railing
When the Dougalls renovated their porch, they added white fluted columns and railings with turned-wood balusters, which gave the Queen Anne–style house even more Victorian charm.
A porch lattice skirt is an easy addition to a house on a pier-and-beam foundation that’s raised off the ground. Nail it onto the wooden beam of the foundation, or to the siding itself. White traditional vinyl lattice, 8'W x 1/4"D x 2'H, $13, lowes.com
Homeowners Katherine and Scott Kovarik say “we love how cozy our Cape Cod looks from the outside. The yard and white exterior remind us of an English cottage.” Built in 1950, they bought the home in 2010.
Adirondack chairs aren’t just for beach houses. The Kovariks added a pair behind the flower beds to the left of the steps. Atlantic Outdoor painted simple Adirondack chair, $127, wayfair.com
The Kovariks planted purple and white flowers (alyssum, Supertunia, and petunias) in black urns. Grecian Urn 18"-diameter planter in black, $13, bedbathandbeyond.com
Boston ivy, a popular clinging vine, climbs up the brick house. You could also let it crawl up a trellis set against the house or up a fence.
Shutters + Flower Beds
The Kovariks’ blue shutters pretty up the narrow front windows on the right side and add color against the white. These are called combination shutters, louvered on the top with a raised panel on the bottom. The landscaping was fixed up with plenty of green plants, like hostas, and hits of color, like pink phlox.
Extra-large numbers look great hung vertically, too. Premium Brass 6"-tall house numbers in oil-rubbed bronze finish, $9.50 each, houseofantiquehardware.com
Multipaned windows are characteristic of Cape Cod–style homes. A row of three floor-to-ceiling ones on the left—with 36 panes total—lets in plenty of sunlight.
Brick: Polo Mallet White by Ralph Lauren; Shutters: Sandoval Blue by Ralph Lauren
The Selling Point
Kathy Spraitz and Mike Swanson bought their 1899 home in 1999, but it was the one element that really caught their eye. “We bought this porch, and the house came with it. It’s still our favorite feature, ” they say.
An electric-green door brightens up the dark corner of the porch. Exterior Traditional 2010 wood panel door, from $400, simpsondoor.com, painted Buckingham Gardens by Benjamin Moore
A shiny brass knocker looks terrific against the bright green front door. The house numbers and doorknob are the same finish. Acorn Manufacturing Victorian large door knocker, $53, atgstores.com
Hanging and Standing Plants
The coconut-fiber-lined baskets on the porch are full of sweet potato vine, variegated coleus, and spike plants. The coleus responds well to the afternoon sunlight that hits the porch.
Siding: Amherst Gray by Benjamin Moore; Trim: Superwhite by Sherwin-Williams; Front door: Buckingham Gardens by Benjamin Moore
The front flower bed is mostly green with a few bursts of white hydrangea and blue-violet balloon flowers.
Moldings and Trim
The detailed trim work on this American foursquare-style home gives it oodles of character. So does the dentil molding along the roofline.
Spraitz and Swanson put lots of white wicker seating on their spacious porch. It’s all-weather furniture, so they don’t need to move it inside for the winter. White Wicker Patio love seat, $300, zestavenue.com
Stand Out on the Block
Jennifer Post and Murray Snyder bought their 1903 home in 2007, and say “the circular window on the second floor is one of our favorite details, along with the swing.”
Swap out a simple square or rectangular light for something unexpected, like this hexagonal shape. It’s still classic enough to fit in with any style. Home Solutions by Feiss Martinsville 3-light outdoor sconce in black finish, $147, atgstores.com
Siding: Kale Green by Sherwin-Williams; Trim: Lily by Sherwin-Williams and Mature Grape by Sherwin-Williams
The house has lots of painted wood trim and brick accents. Intricate metal railings add another interesting material to the front porch.
A wood swing looks homey and rustic. The rope chain ties in with the nautical look of the circular windows. International Caravan Balau porch swing, $189.50, wayfair.com
The urns and baskets are overflowing with bluish-purple and white petunias, giving the walkway a lush look.
The front beds are filled with pink polka-dot plants, far left, and varieties of coleus, like red coat coleus, known for its flashy red leaves with yellow-green borders.