How to Style a Front Porch

-by Kym Kelly

As we come and go in our busy daily lives, we often stop seeing our surroundings through other’s eyes. A neglected front porch that accumulates miscellaneous odds and ends may not seem like a big deal, but to a new visitor or potential buyer it can be a real turn off. Even on a budget, some small touches, such as a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint on the front door, can really boost a first impression. And, with the addition of a few furnishings, your porch can add real value; creating a welcoming transitional space between the outdoors and indoors.

How to style a front porch

Even a small porch can be made to feel welcoming by updating the light fixture, adding a fun little sign, and a well placed chair, as seen in this picture.

After a good freshening up, consider the size of your porch and your home’s architectural details. You want to make sure people can easily access the steps and front door and not feel crowded with too much furniture or accessories. You will also want to create a style that compliments the exterior of the home, as well as reflects the personality of the home’s interior.

For those lucky enough to have a big front porch, making it into additional usable living space can be a challenge. For years, the porch at our house was left totally blank, other than a seasonal wreath on the door and a welcome mat. I had this idea in my head that it needed to be accessorized with beautiful rocking chairs, wicker love seats and tables, fantastic carpets, lush ferns and gorgeous potted plants just like in the magazines. I wanted it all, but wasn’t ready to pay the $2,000+ to create that style.  Finally, I began to look at items I already owned and scoured second hand stores to find items in my budget that would turn my porch from a boring entry to a bonus living area for our home. Now, our front porch has become my favorite room and I look forward to freshening it up each season by changing the plants and other accessories.

front porch

A customer of ours in Florida sent us this picture to let us know how amazing the
custom stained Western Red Cedar Shingles we provided look on her home (p.s. we love
customer photos!). I adore the sweet style she created on her porch with the vintage day bed and loads of pillows. She lives close to the ocean, so the simple addition of some “beachy” accessories completes this outdoor space perfectly. Note how the color palette of accessories complements the shingles, which we custom coated with a semi-transparent stain called Water Lily. So inviting!

Western Red Cedar Shingles

So, when you go home tonight, take a good, hard look at your entry and begin to think of items you already own that you might be able to add to bring a little personality and style to your front porch. Scour garage sales or thrift stores for a fun piece of furniture and maybe add a fresh coat of paint to the piece to bring additional color to your porch. Next, add some softness with pillows, candles (I buy the inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store), seasonal flowers and accessories.

A well styled porch welcomes you home every day!

Before your next project, be sure to visit us! We ship nationwide ~ Specializing in Premium Forest Products in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Douglas Fir , as well as other exotic and domestic hard and soft woods.

www.CedarCountryLumber.com

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA

360.757.6343

Cedar Shingle Grades and Definitions

Old Growth Western Red Cedar being harvested to be made into Shingles

In North America shingles and shakes are typically made from California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and in some cases, Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis); while in Scandinavia and Central Europe they are more commonly made from Pine (Pinus sylvestris).  Shingles are made from blocks that have been edge cut using a circular saw, where as shakes are split. Shingles can be used on roofs, as well as sidewalls.

Shingles are manufactured by clamping blocks of wood into a carriage that slides back and forth across a blade, tilting and moving the block closer to the blade with each pass to automatically form a tapered cut that is thin on one end and thicker on the other. The thickness at the“butt” (the thicker end of the shingle) is generally about 3/8”, but does vary. The final correct thickness for shingles is based using a stack of shingles, rather than a single piece.

Western Red Cedar Shingles
At Cedar Country Lumber, we offer a wide selection of shingles made from Western Red Cedar, as well as Alaskan Yellow Cedar, that will help you achieve the look you desire in a wide range of price points; from custom cut, dried and colored shingles to utility grade shingles that are much easier on the pocketbook, but perform admirably in any climate.

In today’s market place, Western Red and Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles are available in 3 common lengths

  • 16” ~ Also known as “Fivex”
  • 18” ~ Also known as “Perfection”
  • 24” ~ Also known as “Royals”

After the shingles are cut, when using the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau’s Certi-label grading system, they are graded into three main categories

  • Number 1 ~ Also known as “Blue Label”
  • Number 2 ~ Also known as “Red Label”
  • Number 3 ~ Also known as “Black Label”

Number 1 ~ the highest grade of shingles are 100% heartwood, 100% clear and 100% edge grain. Western Red Cedar Shingles in this grade are sometimes referred to as “Blue Label”, which is a Registered Certi-label trademark. These are available in 16”, 18” and 24” lengths in either Western Red Cedar or Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Our No. 1 Shingles are also available with a pressure impregnated fire retardant or preservative treatment.

Number 2 ~ a perfectly acceptable grade for many applications. Some flat grain and limited sapwood are permitted, however, there is not less than 10” clear on 16” shingles, 11” on 18’ shingles and 16” on 24” shingles. Western Red Cedar Shingles within this grade are sometimes referred to as “Red Label”.

Number 3 ~ a utility grade for economy applications; commonly used on sheds and utilitarian buildings or for starter courses for higher grades. Within this grade, there is not less than 6”clear on 16” and 18” shingles, 10” clear on 24” shingles. This grade of Western Red Cedar Shingles are sometimes referred to as “Black Label” due to the grading system put into place  by the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau.

Sidewall Cedar Shingles

Rebutted & Rejoined Cedar Shingles ~ Shingles that are sawn and re-manufactured on all four sides to ensure square butts and parallel edges for superior appearance on sidewall applications. Rebutted and Rejoined Shingles are available in Number 1 and Number 2 grades and are available in all three lengths (16”, 18” and 24”). These Shingles are commonly referred to as “R&R’s” and are predominately provided Kiln Dried and packaged in cartons, rather than bundles.

#1 R&R Western Red Cedar Sidewall Shingles

craftsmanship by Ravenhill Construction

 

Pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles

 

If desired, Western Red Cedar R&R Shingles can be provided with a sanded or machine grooved face, as well as pre-primed or pre-stained in nearly every color and hue imaginable.  There are also 6 “off the shelf” colors of pre-stained shingles that you can choose from.

 

Pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles

craftsmanship by Impel Construction

 

Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingles ~ manufactured from #1 Western Red Cedar shingles into a variety of shapes that are 3” & 5” widths cut from 18” & 24” lengths; offered in 8 different shapes, with an endless variety of custom cuts and finishes available. These shingles add unique charm and character to gable ends, balconies, fences, entry ways, interior and exterior walls. To find out more, please click HERE

Western Red Cedar Fancy Cut Shingles

 

Because Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is only grown in the Pacific Northwest where Cedar Country is located, we are YOUR premium source for Cedar Shingles and Shakes. We ship nationwide from one bundle or carton to full truck loads and extremely competitive pricing ~ even with freight.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

www.CedarCountryLumber.com

Toll Free 866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA