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 chatting about school. 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.