HGTV's Erin Napier Proves How One Small Detail Can Tie A Front Porch Together

Your front porch is the first impression of your home, so when you are looking to spruce up your house, don't skip this entrance. If you are lucky enough to have a front porch, you already have a gorgeous entryway into your abode, but there are little things you can do to make it that much better. Erin Napier of "Home Town" knows a thing or two about enhancing front porches. She likes to add a porch swing for added character, but she also includes one small detail that makes a big difference: a custom rail.

During one "Home Town" reno, Napier created an "X" design for the front porch railing to mirror the dining room window, which had the same design. "I think that will be a nice moment of connection between what we are doing that's new and what's original to the house so then hopefully, it feels like that handrail has always been there," she said during the episode (via YouTube). This added touch created a porch that not only stood out, but that was also personal to the home and the homeowners themselves.

How to make your handrail unique

Your deck railing is a great way to add personality to your home before you step inside. Simple horizontal slats are always a solid option, but if you want to create cohesion with the home like Erin Napier did with her "X" design, you'll need to do a bit more work. To figure out what design is best for your railing, look around your home. Napier used a window design to find her motif, but you can look at your flooring, archways, or other elements of the home to inspire you. Once you have your design idea, you'll need to get out your drill and start working. 

Napier and her team cut the wood slats to size and placed the horizontal wood pieces on the bottom first. They then worked on the "X" design by drilling the smaller pieces of wood together at the top. Before they presented the finished work to the homeowners, they painted the rail a shade of white to match the rest of the home, creating a beautiful front entryway that looks like it had always been there. "The thing about the railing is it made it feel finished," Napier said at the final reveal. "It ties the whole front of the house together," said the homeowners.

More ideas for handrails

If you are ready to take out your power tools (or hire a professional), the options for handrails expand. When we think of a front porch, we often think of grandma's house and picture an old cottage with a porch swing or rocking chair. But if that isn't your aesthetic, change things up by opting for different materials for the handrail, like glass. Glass is a great option for a more modern home, and can be easily toned down by adding wood trim. Opting for a more geometric handrail is also a great way to keep things more modern.

If you have views outside of your porch that you don't want obstructed by a heavy handrail, consider adding a cable porch railing. These are made up of very thin stainless steel cables that allow you to see through your railing while also giving your home a more contemporary vibe. Opt for a black trim for a modern look or a wood trim for something a bit more rustic.