Life's a Porch: Great Porch Transformations from HGTV's 'Home Town'

HGTV's Home Town is quintessentially Southern, and there's essentially nothing more Southern than a classic porch. Here's a collection of some of Erin and Ben's finest porch creations and transformations.

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Verbatim

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Verbatim

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Verbatim

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

All About the Porch

Everybody loves a porch ...
Because porches are magical.
—Erin Napier

Heaven's a julep on the porch.
—The Punch Brothers

An Artist in Residence

The Matthews Project. Ben and Erin help an artist, with a penchant for front porches, find and create a picture-perfect home. Amanda Matthews is a calligrapher who had been living in San Antonio for seven years but was now ready to move back home to Mississippi. She was looking for a vintage home with room for a studio and — perhaps most importantly — a really nice front porch.

Porch Dreams, Before

The Matthews Project. The Polk House, built in 1934 and has three bedrooms, two baths and is 1700 square feet —some of the aspects that Amanda was looking for. But it was lacking one main ingredient: a front porch.

Porch Dreams, After

The Matthews Project. With Amanda's renovation budget of $65,000, Ben and Erin were able to make Amanda's porch dreams come true with an all-new new facade that included a full, deep porch with new columns and railing.

Before

A front stoop, some cement stairs and an iron railing does not a front-porch make.

After

The Matthews Project. Ben and Erin added on a new front porch with a gabled roof and an area spacious enough for outdoor dining and entertaining. The exterior trim is painted in muted green and paired with a front door in vibrant "Coral Spice" for a bold statement.

See the full renovation gallery for this Home Town makeover:
Porch Dreams for a Returning Artist.

From Nashville to Laurel

The Hayes Project. Erin and Ben helped Nashville singer-songwriter Amber Hayes update a vintage home, creating a vibrant, bohemian vibe, a great front porch — and something extra-special in the backyard.

Sanctuary Porch

The Hayes Project. "I really want a great front porch," said Amber at the outset of her home search. "Someplace where I can sit with my dog and drink my coffee." She got her wish in this Craftsman bungalow with a generous front porch that spans the width of the house. Erin decorated the space with rattan chairs, linen covered cushions and a dhurrie rug in rich, subdued tones, creating a perfect spot to relax and enjoy morning coffee or afternoon sunsets.

Before

The Hayes Project. The Lenoir House, a 1920s Craftsman, was in close proximity to downtown and came with three bedrooms, two baths, 1500 square feet, a nice front porch and a beautiful magnolia tree in the front yard. Drawbacks included a plain, unspectacular exterior and a backyard that had essentially become an overgrown brush thicket.

After

The Hayes Project. Among the notable changes to the exterior is the color — a soft salmon that's certain to make the home stand out in the neighborhood. The front porch gets dressed up with new seating and dining areas.

After

The Hayes Project. Erin staged the front porch with a small dining table and chairs, lots of live plants and this cozy seating area that's perfect for reading or relaxing.

And Around Back

Not a porch per se, but more of an outdoor venue. Amber was searching specifically for a home and backyard that would lend themselves to entertaining and potentially even accommodate house concerts that she might host. Erin and Ben were able to deliver, completely re-landscaping the backyard to include this impressive pergola and deck.

Before

The Hayes Project. Prior to the renovations, visualizing this backyard as a space for outdoor entertaining required serious imagination.

After

The Hayes Project. Where there was once just a tangle of underbrush, a deck and pergola is added with outdoor seating, dining space and cypress wood benches custom built by Ben. In addition to being a great place for outdoor dining and entertaining, the raised deck can double as a stage for performing musicians.

See the full renovation gallery from this Home Town project:
A 1920s Craftsman for a Nashville Songwriter.

Re-Creating the Consummate Craftsman

The Burk Project. Erin and Ben bring period authenticity and charm back to this home for a young couple, Caroline and Corey Burk, who had a genuine appreciation for vintage homes. "The house is a mash-up of a lot of architectural styles," said Erin prior to the renovation, "and in some places, you're afforded to play with that." This renovation refocuses the look and feel of the home with a purposeful concentration on Craftsman style attributes and a dramatic reworking of the front porch.

Before

The Burk Project. The Ratliff House was built in 1906, the home came with 2600 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths and was listed at $65,000. "Right now, it's a wash of white," said Erin. "I just wish it had more contrast."

After

The Burk Project. The door is off-center, and there are three upper windows on the left and two on the right, but Erin's vision embraces the asymmetry and makes the most of the home's existing profile, providing contrast to the fresh white exterior with sea-glass green and rich, neutral grays for the porch floor, front stairs wood trim and front door.

Before: Dull, Gray and Ordinary

The Burk Project. The front porch, though spacious, was plain and unspectacular, and the full-span screens obscured the home's visual lines.

After: Sharp, Southern and Classic

The Burk Project. The screens were removed from the left side of the front porch, creating a more open feel and providing a more distinct look for enhanced curb appeal. On the right, the screens were retained and spruced up, and new partition added to create a single screened enclosure — for enjoying summer evenings insect-free.

After: Fresh, Serene and Breezy

The Burk Project. Updated exterior lighting and ceiling fans, ceramic planter and outdoor seating area create a functional and inviting outdoor space.

A Forever Home and a Fine Southern Porch

The Hogue Project. Erin and Ben help a couple relocating from Arizona fashion a traditional Southern home – with a great front porch and some casually comfortable features – in one of Laurel's oldest houses.

Before

The Hogue Project. The Redd House was the former residence of Roscoe and Lucille Redd who lived in the house for around 40 years. It is located on one of the most appealing streets in Laurel, with lots of old, historic homes. It was built in 1890 and is likely one of the oldest surviving homes in Laurel. It has four bedrooms, 3300 square feet and many of the attributes that the Hogues are looking for — except for the one big one: a stately front porch. The existing one is rather modest, disproportionate and functionally awkward.

Erin's Vision

The Hogue Project. Fortunately, Erin has a design and a game plan that will take care of the home's one big deficit. "This new front porch," says Erin "gives it this this big, lofty, grand, classic Southern architecture that it was lacking."

After

The Hogue Project. The exterior renovation included a new porch frame around the existing columns, adding new railing and staircase entry. Raising the porch to the level of the front door creates a more proportional look for the front of the home. The renovation also includes an added architectural feature at the center of the top floor helping add balance and visual interest.

After: Elegant and Stately

For the Hogues, "Southern living" could essentially be encapsulated in one word, and that word is "porch." Bill and Julie were wanting to find a home with traditional, stately Southern architecture, including a great front porch. Ben and Erin's renovation helped them get precisely what they were looking for.

See the full renovation gallery from this Home Town Project:
A Forever Home and a Fine Southern Porch

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