If you take an evening stroll around your neighborhood, you might just see more people on their front porch than in years past. This “front porch revival” is, in large part, due to the pandemic. As stay-at-home mandates became the norm in 2020, more and more homebound homeowners craved opportunities for fresh air and (socially distanced) connection with others. The perfect solution? Turning to the previously underutilized space known as the front porch. 

But — we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we dive into the resurgence of the front porch — and ideas to best utilize your own — we’ll set the stage with a brief history lesson. Drumroll please . . .

Front Porches: A Brief History

The front porch has been a staple in the South for over a hundred years; it was historically used as a multifunctional space designed for relaxing and socializing with friends, family, and neighbors.

“Even as people began to settle in towns more and more, with houses close together and closer to the street, people still sat on their front porches,” says Harry Watson, a professor in Southern Culture at the University of North Carolina.  “There might be sidewalks and, as people walked by, they could talk to you from the street,” he continues in an article for UNC’s publication The Well.

However, with the advent of air conditioning during the latter half of the 20th century, the allure of the front porch faded. At the same time, backyard decks and screened porches rose in popularity, as homeowners began to place more emphasis on privacy. 

“The front porch is still there, and people often have chairs or a rocking chair or a swing, but that seems to be more for decoration than for active use,” recounts Watson of the shift.

Front Porches: A COVID-Born Resurgence

As news of COVID-19 and stay-at-home mandates broke in spring of 2020, everything changed. The pandemic meant more free time at home, along with a decline in face-to-face social interaction.

While the front porch had been largely neglected in the years leading up to the pandemic, it suddenly became a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy time: a place for social distancing-friendly interactions. 

“There’s something about the current time that makes people want to reach out to others. It’s a rare luxury that you can do that instead of trying to escape something,” says Watson.

Making the Most of Your Front Porch

Have a front porch that could use a little love? Just imagine the potential! We’re making the most of our front porches with sets that can fit a smaller space — like our Sidney 3-Piece Recliner Set and Collins 3-Piece Chair Set — and we invite you to do the same.

Have a Spacious Front Yard? Take Advantage of That Too!

If you’re lucky enough to have a front yard, you have even more options: the additional space can accommodate larger, or even multiple, furniture sets.  

Since the pandemic, we’ve been seeing more and more people invest in home upgrades — things like adding front courtyards and pergolas to maximize more of their available space. 

Our larger sets look as good in the front yard as they do in the backyard. Here are some of our top picks to show off in front of your home:

One thing the pandemic has taught us is to never take social connections for granted — whether they be with family, friends, or neighbors. We’re excited by the potential of the front porch (and front yard!) to continue its role in bringing us all closer.