There are few things I enjoy more than relaxing on my own porch after work.  I sit down and before I know it,  the kids have joined me and are swinging on the porch swing or riding their scooters in circles.  Soon my wife arrives to complete the group and we have a family get together.  This would never happen, knowing my family, on an open deck or inside our home.  Inside we all have our tasks or diversions keeping us busy and outside in the yard, we lack a focus unless we are playing a game.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is something psychologically unique about a porch.  We are neither inside nor fully outside and exposed; we are surrounded by the sounds and smells of nature while maintaining the comfort of home.

Invariably when adults gather on our porch, the conversations are fun and intense.  At some point a family member will bring out a board game and our attention is equally consumed there.  When the din of conversation quiets, the focus turns to the tableaux parading across the yard-usually the kids chasing the dogs or vice versa.

Now I’m not claiming that porches are the cure for the common cold, but I always feel my tensions ease as I spend time  on a porch.  If architects could prescribe home remedies, I assure you my first prescription would be: build at least one porch and have fun.

By Published On: May 28th, 2010Categories: Additions, James Crisp, Porches11 CommentsTags: , ,

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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11 Comments

  1. Audry May 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I like the new look of the blog! And I totally agree about that special porch quality.

  2. James Crisp May 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks, I’m on my way there right now.

  3. Amy June 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I like the new look of the blog! And I totally agree about that special porch quality.

  4. Bonnie June 17, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Your porch assessment is right on. We feel like we can decompress immediately.
    It is truly our outdoor living room. Great website!

  5. Mary Douglas June 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Your porch is quite lovely. What shade of blue did you use on the ceiling? We are planning on building a home with porches, and one major requirement for me is a blue ceiling. My husband wants dark green shutters. I do not want them to “fight” with each other. Do you have suggestions? The house will be white.

  6. James Crisp June 20, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Honestly I’ll have to look that up. We call it porch ceiling blue, but that won’t help you.

  7. James Crisp June 20, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I wish someone would do a study of the psychology of porch sitting.

  8. James Crisp June 20, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Mary, I can tell you that we do not find that dark green shutters clash with blue ceilings at all. Both are so traditional, that they aways feel right together.

  9. James Crisp June 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Mary,
    The blue we used on that porch was Benjamin Moore cumulus cotton #2063-70. You could easily cut that with a little white. I always suggest to our clients that we put up large samples to help make the right choice.

  10. […] the least cost, is a porch.  I can’t wait for the spring when I can drink my morning coffee on my porch and sip a glass of wine in the evening with my wife,  listening to our favorite music while […]

  11. […] the least cost, is a porch.  I can’t wait for the spring when I can drink my morning coffee on my porch and sip a glass of wine in the evening with my wife,  listening to our favorite music while […]

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