America has had a love affair with porches that goes back centuries. Although few of the earliest Dutch and English colonial homes had porches, it wasn’t long until they were added to the beautiful stone and wood structures. Like most of the country, there were few homes built from the mid nineteenth century until after World War II in the northeast that didn’t have a porch. From Greek Revival farm houses scattered through Connecticut to Gothic revival cottages [...]
Every autumn as leaves and temperatures fall, I anticipate the first fire in the fireplace. I continue to build fires well through the cool spring nights. Each new fire is a personal test of my log selection and arranging skills-some of which I fail; my father-in-law and I have a running contest to see who’s fire will smoke and go out the fastest. When my home (and his) was built in the late eighteenth century, building fires was [...]
A covered entry to a home makes sense. Believe me, on a cold rainy day when I cannot find my keys, my covered entry is worth it’s weight in gold. Shelter is not the only reason to love a covered entry. In addition to protecting whomever is standing in front of the door, a roof above also protects the entry itself. Even if those two great features were not important, a covered entry announces the front door, accentuates a side [...]
As I sat down to dinner on our porch the other night, I knew something was wrong. The kids were already scratching. I turned on the ceiling fan, which normally blows away all but the most determined bugs and it barely had any effect. The next thing I knew, the kids were going for the bug spray. We made it through dinner, but until this crop of mosquitoes has gone south, we will be eating indoors. It dawned [...]
With summer in full swing, my family and I take every opportunity we can to eat outside on our porch or on a patio off the kitchen. Somehow with the flowers blooming and the birds singing, alfresco dining feels to me, less like an average meal, and more like a celebration. Some of the homes we design have incredible views, and while we do everything we can to take advantage of those views from inside, what better place [...]
In a completely unscientific review of past and current projects, I find that five types of additions are requested more than all the others combined. The reason may be that homeowners value these five additions the most or it could be that most homes lack or only have poor examples of these spaces. While I never try to predict real estate trends or future markets, it stands to reason that a home, which includes fine examples one or more of [...]
I have renovated and added to my own home for many reasons, including the fact I hated the existing kitchen. I added a porch and a bedroom because I love porches and my oldest daughter needed a room of her own. Many people renovate a home because no one thought to incorporate light or views in the original design. Sometimes the existing home is outdated, dark, too small, poorly laid out, or all of the above. In any case, some [...]
There are few things I enjoy more than relaxing on my own porch after work.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...
Older homes have a character that often is impossible to replicate. A 200 year old home has traces of daily life so different from our world today.
I have always been a fan of porches. When I was little I would spend hours on my front porch watching the world move by. Now that I have kids, summer hours are often spent sitting, swinging, eating and entertaining on our porch. The wonderful thing about being out on a porch is that you are physically neither inside nor completely exposed to the elements on the outside. Psychologically I almost feel as though I am on vacation when I [...]