A front porch is the wide, inviting space that draws visitors to your door. It conjures visions of grandma's old farmhouse or the hubbub of a narrow, city roughhouse on a summer's night.
If you're looking for one architectural element that will bring nostalgia to your new house, then a front porch is the answer. There are many porch styles that bring an old-fashioned sense of community to a new house and give visitors that warm, comfortable feeling.
The term "front porch" commonly is associated with a large, traditional Victorian or Four Square home built between the 1800s and early1900s. These homes often had a wooden porch that expanded across the front façade and perhaps wrapped around the side. Wooden columns – some more ornate than others – supported the porch and provided added architectural interest.
There are many ways to take an old porch style and blend it into a new house. The key is to examine your home's architecture and marry the lines, materials and textures of the home with the front porch.
- Building materials – it is important to carry through the same brick, stone or other materials to your front porch. Bricks can be added around the base of the porch columns and used for the stairs, for example.
- Doors and windows – The same panel design on your front door can be used on the porch columns. A rectangular porch can mirror the lines of the windows.
- Colors – Paint or stains should complement the main house.
A front porch can add a wonderful touch of nostalgia to any home. When properly designed, it will gracefully invite visitors inside and function as your outdoor living room for many months of the year.
About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is an avid old house enthusiast who has been renovating houses and writing about them for more than 10 years. She contributes regularly to national newspaper, magazines, and web sites. She lives in an 1888 Victorian era home.
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