Monday, May 19, 2008
The View From The Porch
Several years ago we added a screened front porch to our suburban ranch. Most folks would have added one to the back of their house....but not us! We decided that building a screened porch would change the look of the house. Boy, did we want to change the look, it's a boring ranch house! We didn't want to do a major renovation on our house, we really like the interior. So we opted for small changes that have had a nice impact. Like adding square wood columns and pillars to the side of the house and to
the carport. Don't you think that they give a sense of continuity to the design?
When we finished the flagstone sidewalk and small retaining walls last fall, we knew we were right to locate the porch up front. It has all begun to come together: porch, woodland and wildflower gardens and sidewalk. It feels right.
The porch really has altered our life...we hardly ever eat breakfast inside; we have coffee and read the newspaper out there most mornings. We read there in the evenings. We have conversations. We relax. We nap. Time on the porch with family and friends is the best gift we ever gave ourselves. We have hosted parties, brunches and dinners.... mosquito free (that's another gift). We have even camped out on the porch on a giant air mattress. Just like when we were kids.
The porch has brought us closer to the garden then ever before. We feel like we are in the garden. Dogwoods in bloom look wonderful from slightly above! It may be my favorite way to view them....from the porch, with a cup of coffee on a chilly spring day. (Just before I bundle up and head outside, jacket over my pjs, to have a better look.)
When the summer doldrums hit and it's too hot, muggy and uncomfortable to work outside the porch is my retreat. I can sit and view the garden; plan for fall plantings, order spring bulbs and dream about cooler weather. It's delightful on the porch and I love it.
It's a good basic porch that our friend Nancy designed and built...we added skylights and made sure there was plenty of electrical outlets and good lighting. One luxury that I recommend to anyone building a porch... cypress floors. Boy, are they easy to take care of...just hose them down when they get dirty. Which is a frequent occurrence with a screened porch!
The porch has three open sides
so it is plenty breezy even in the hottest weather. Two ceiling fans keep the air circulating and help on really hot humid summer days. I don't know about your city, but we have too many hot humid days in Nashville...and it's getting hotter.
It's been 5 years since we added the porch and we are just now thinking about investing in some good quality outdoor furniture. Both of us have our eye on a comfy couch...we have visions of reading and napping. Wait a minute, we may be heading for trouble here. Two people with napping on their minds and one couch!
I suspect we'll work it out!