One of the best spots in your home may not actually be in your home. In fact, it’s just outside your front door—your porch! Living in the heart of the South, a front porch is a must in a home. And it’s become one of my favorite places to not only kick back and relax but also gather for some quality time with friends and family.  Check out a few things you can do to make your front porch a cozy, intimate space for entertaining and unwinding.

Plenty of seating. If you want your front porch to be inviting to your guests, you’ve got to make sure you have plenty of seats. Mix up your seating options to offer a variety of stylish seating options. Consider cushioned wicker or adirondack chairs for your porch. Or go with a comfortable and classic front porch swing—a staple of any Southern front porch!  

Pile on the pillows. Pillows are great accessories for any space, but especially your front porch. Not only will they give your porch some pops of color or complementary fabrics, they’ll also provide some simple comfort for your guests. Choose small pillows to accessorize your space or go with bigger, cozier pillows to be used as additional seating when you need it. Consider weather resistant fabrics to avoid letting the rain ruin your décor.

Mix and match materials. Your front porch is the perfect space to mix and match. Rather than creating a perfectly curated and matched environment, mix it up to give your space some character. This rule can be applied to everything from the materials you incorporate (like wickers, woods, and metals) to color schemes (fabrics, patterns, and variety). While you want the pieces and colors to compliment one another, you don’t want to make the space so perfectly put together that it loses its charm.

Light it up. If you want to cozy up on your front porch on a rainy day or sit out with friends on a starry night, you’ll need a little light to give your porch a glow. Incorporate some fun lighting fixtures to finish off the space. You can go with traditional sconces to frame your front door or a statement chandelier over your seating area. Make it a little magical by incorporating some soft string or twinkle lights overhead or around the railing.

Finishing touches. While it’s important to focus on the main features of your front porch, you don’t want to forget the little ins and outs that really finish off the space. Give your front door a vibrant color to make it a rich accent to your porch. Stain the floor or throw on a fresh coat of paint to give the space some texture. And add a few pieces of simple décor to the walls to really complete the look.