This article appears in Summer Home & Garden 2018.

The best part of summer is bringing your life outside. Your front porch is the perfect place to gather the family, sip lemonade and enjoy life.

If you’re lucky enough to have a front porch, give it a bit of attention. You’re less likely to spend time on it if it’s tired, outdated or simply needs a good cleaning, said lifestyle blogger Adrienne Hubbard of Crafty Little Gnome. The first step is to clear out the dust and spiderwebs as well as any junk that’s accumulated over the cold-weather months.

Adding a new coat of paint to the front door can cheer up your home’s exterior with a pop of color, said Hubbard, who updated her front porch last summer with a navy blue door with granite grey trim. She upped the appeal with a floral wreath and a sophisticated brass knocker and placed a grey Adirondack chair nearby with a pillow and throw.

“I love the way it turned out,” she said, adding that she’s interested in adding a new outdoor carpet.

Define the space

A good outdoor rug can transform the front porch and is one of the biggest trends in front porch design, said Los Angeles-based interior designer Mark Cutler.

“Almost all outdoor spaces have them; they make the porch feel more like a room and help to define the space,” Cutler said.

Go for something fun and eye-catching to create a boundary for your space. Choose a good all-weather indoor/outdoor carpet that will not only feel good underfoot, but can also resist the sun, rain and other elements.

Add welcoming features

“Don’t forget about the small features that can have a big impact,” said Rhianna Miller, a trend forecaster and in-house home and garden design expert at RubberMulch.com. “Nothing says ‘welcome home’ like a stylish porch mat and an inviting natural wreath hanging on your front door. You can also add containers to your outdoor entry area and fill them with small trees, boxwood plants or beautiful calla lilies.”

Mix it up

Mixing up colors and furniture pieces gives a front porch a more personalized look.

“Gone are the days of buying a whole matching suite of outdoor furniture. Now it is more likely that you will change it up a bit just as you have on the inside of your home for years now,” Cutler said. “So we are seeing mixes of patterns and textures and even styles of furniture.”

Bring some unity to the design through color, material or design style.

Bring the indoors out

“If it’s a covered porch it’s not a crazy idea to bring out table lamps and even pillows to develop a more layered look,” Cutler said. “While I wouldn’t leave those out in a big storm, for a few weeks at a time they would be totally fine.”

Add a drapery effect

“The rooms in your house have it, so why not the porch?,” Cutler said. “Choose a very light sheer to create a space that is light and airy. The sheers can even act to create a sort of screened-in porch protected from bugs. A heavier-weight drape may be used for effect or if sun penetration is a real issue. Think of a west-facing deck with the sun beating in during the late afternoon.”