At first thought, porch railings serve a strictly utilitarian purpose. After all, nobody wants to tumble off of their porch and have all their outdoor furniture go right down with them. But, in reality, style matters when it comes to your porch's railing.
Not only does it act as that perfect finishing touch to that small, outdoor space that's right next to your front door, but it can also set the tone for your interior design style. But, with so many materials and styles to choose from, finding the right porch railing for your home can feel a tad overwhelming.
To help, we're sharing 20 beautiful porch railing ideas. Thanks to these examples, you'll be able to take your outdoor space to the next level.
Build Sawn Baluster Railings
Want to give your front porch a historical edge? Add a set of sawn baluster railings. Originally designed for Victorian homes, this porch railing style features a decorative pattern that repeats.
While sawn baluster railings could look good with just about any color palette, we particularly love how Jackie Hempel of Finding Lovely paired hers with a cheery teal door. The candy-coated scheme and old-fashioned railings style harken back to those classic Queen Anne abodes.
Go Versatile With Vertical Railings
If you're looking for a porch railing style that can withstand time and trends, you can't go wrong with a classic vertical wooden style. Not only can it make your porch appear larger and airier, but it can also act as a blank canvas so it won't upstage your plants and outdoor furniture. Don't believe us? Just take a look at this idyllic iteration from Farmhouse on Boone.
Try a Turn Baluster Style
Looking for a subtler trip down memory lane? Consider adding a turn baluster style to your porch. At first glance, this style looks incredibly similar to that traditional, vertical railing type—however, the slight ornamentation gives this option something extra.
Another perk: it's surprisingly versatile. Check out this space from Liz Marie Galvan, who regularly decks out her porch with seasonal decorations.
Get Creative With Chippendale Railing
For an innovative option that bridges the gap between old and new, check out Chippendale porch railings. Named after a famous furniture maker called Thomas Chippendale, this style prides itself on a cool, geometric repetition—and, more times than not, Chippendale porch railings create a cool, X-shaped pattern.
While this type of porch railings can be used with any type of architecture, they deftly juxtapose a colonial space. Let this home from 3 North show you how it's done.
Gretchen Black of Greyhouse Design found the perfect Chippendale railing style that's classic and modern in equal measure. The geometrical pattern hits a sweet spot between modern farmhouse and Art Deco glamour.
Round out your porch as seen here with a suspended sofa, colorful area rug, and plenty of throw pillows.
Clever Criss-Cross Style
When in doubt, X marks the spot. Designer Bria Hammel offers plenty of Southern hospitality, thanks to this criss-cross railing style.
"A front porch is the first impression guests have of your home," she explains. "We wanted to make sure that ours drew our family, friends, and neighbors in so that they felt comfortable to sit, chat, and even enjoy a glass of lemonade or a cocktail. I’m always drawn to the Southern style and aesthetic, so we wanted to keep that in mind when designing this outdoor extension of our home. It’s everything functional and beautiful."
Keep a Wraparound Classic
A vertical porch railing might be undeniably classic, but it can slip into ubiquitous territory quite easily. If you're looking for a way to offset this traditional type, pair it with a larger porch. For example, this wraparound porch from White Sands Design strikes a happy medium between subtle and statement.
Create a Cable Railing
Anyone whose design taste falls on the subtler end of the spectrum will find a lot to love about a cable porch railing. This style—as seen in A Small Life's One Room Challenge—is slim, but will pop against your home's facade. For a rustic take on this classic style, take a cue from Melanie Gnau, who paired the cable with tonal slabs of wood.
Build a Bohemian Porch
Or, if your style skews more minimalist, a cable porch railing can still deliver. In this space from Livvy Land, a light wood perimeter and cable weave are paired with woven furniture, plants, and plenty of twinkle lights.
Mix and Match
Why settle for one porch railing style when you can enjoy a few? At her former Georgia home, Paper & Stitch blogger Brittni Mehlhoff selected a wood and metal porch railing. "It was one of our favorite spots to sit in the late afternoon with my son and listen to music," she explains. "The footprint was small, so we kept things minimal with the furniture and plants. But, the railings let in a lot of light that made the space feel much bigger than it was."
Best of all? With a little bit of wood and some piping metal, this idea is DIY-friendly, too.
Go Big With Glass
Calling all modernists: you're going to fall in love with glass porch railings. Though glass does require some upkeep—for starters, this material is prone to smudges and scratches—this is a surefire way to give your entryway a modern edge. For Bluebird Kisses' Toronto condo, the glass acts as a blank canvas, letting the slotted wood and brick details do all the talking.
Go Back to Nature
Another way to rework your traditional porch railing is by experimenting with its finish. White is often the go-to shade for porches, however, raw wood will give your outdoor space a rustic, earthy vibe. Decked out with a dark walnut stain, Jenna Sue's setup takes porch living to the next level.
Opt for Asymmetry
We don't know who needs to hear this, but your porch railings don't have to be perfectly symmetrical. Case in point: this stylish space from Kay of Once Upon a 1912.
Since one side porch shares a wall with the home's facade, the blogger adorned only one side with a traditional railing. But, she offsets the asymmetrical railings with matching loveseats, sconces, and topiaries. The result? A porch that packs on the visual intrigue.
Want to take your porch railing style to the next level? The magic lies in your décor. A few personal touches can transform even the most traditional railing idea into a personal oasis. Ursula Carmona of House Made by Carmona took her porch to the next level with throw pillows and plants. We also love how she used her railing as a back for her bench.
Get Crafty With Craftsman
A porch railing style has the power to bring your home's design front and center. Take this home by Marie Flanigan, for example. Here, the designer used a mix of vertical wooden railings and brick pillars to emphasize its Craftsman attitude.
Make Way For Metal
If you're looking for a classic porch railing style that isn't as ubiquitous as typical slabs of wood, give metal a try. Not only can metal be treated to hold up nicely against the elements—a must when dealing with anything that belongs outside—but it can also be reimagined in a handful of styles. In this space from Decorilla Affordable Interior Design, the twisted railings offer a villa-esque vibe.
Opt for Enclosed
For many, an enclosed front porch is the best of both worlds. The home's adjacent walls define the porch—and take on the role of the railings in the process. This Napa-based farmhouse by Mindy Gayer is the perfect example, proving that less can oftentimes be more.
Add a Pop of Color
Embrace your bold streak with a set of colorful porch railings. Designer Kelly Shan reimagined this turn baluster style into an inky blue hue. The color of the railings matches the home's facade, offering a dash of drama without upstaging the rest of the property.
Try a Stately Style
Consider a column-clad porch a happy medium between full-on railing and a bare space. Not only can this style transform your front door into a wow factor, but it also draws the eye upward, creating the allusion of a stately estate. Want to recreate this idea for yourself? Check out this front yard, courtesy of Calimia Home.
Dare to Go Bare
Do you need to have porch railings? Not necessarily. Sometimes, the boldest design move you can make is forgoing the railings altogether. But, just because your porch is bare doesn't mean it has to be boring. Rashmi of RushMeHome decked out her railing-free porch with potted plants, an evergreen wreath, and a charming welcome mat.