The front porch is an American "invention" or idea. I don't think it is established anywhere else in the world, but certainly started and adapted to the American way of life.
I think most of us think of the front porch pretty much like the one in the picture above - cozy, lots of wicker or wrought iron with cushions or, at least, comfy furniture. Sipping a glass of lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. Maybe sandwiches or cookies on a plate. Then we'd certainly have the requisite flowers adorning the area. Perhaps geraniums, wisteria, climbing roses. Most likely there would be white posts and columns with a colored ceiling or floor. Maybe your dog or cat lazing around. Aaaaah, I can picture it now. Pillows and throws on chairs or settees along with a favorite book. If you're very lucky you'd have a porch swing to rock back and forth on while lazing on during this warm afternoon.
Front porches can be different things to different people, but to all of us it is just a nostalgic part of our lives growning up . Mine now happens to have a concrete floor but I do have railings and a beautiful birdhouse chime hanging out there. I have a red wood bench that will probably get another coat of paint soon - maybe white. I have 2 adirondack chairs, an outdoor rug and some pictures hanging on a wall. There are a couple of urns filled with (oh, horrors!) silk hydrangeas in them. (That way they can stay out all year round and still add a bit of color in this dry and cold climate in the winter desert.) I even have a little plaque hanging on the wall out there that says "I only count the sunny days." All in all, it is a peaceful area and a reminder of the great American invention called "The Front Porch."
It also "calls" to passersby who wave and say "hi" to us when we are out there. The front porch seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur in some areas but I believe it is coming back. That way perhaps it'll bring a little graciousness and civility into our lives once more as families and friends and soon-to-be-friends congregate there.
Happy Front Porching!! :-)