As homeowners look for new spaces to gather and enjoy the outdoors, without pesky insects or sun damage, screened porches are experiencing a surge in popularity. Air conditioning and the popularity of outdoor rooms pushed porches to the backseat of home design over the last few decades. This time around, though, as homeowners look for attractive and functional alternatives for creating special spaces in their own homes, porches are experiencing a big comeback.
The main attraction of a screened porch is the benefits of being outdoors, with all the convenience and protection of being indoors. Fresh breezes, comfortable seating, and a perfect place for connecting with family, friends and neighbors – without the danger of bugs, sun damage, rain or other situations that can damage the fun. Not to mention the sheer nostalgia that front porches bring of days gone by.
Porching gains in popularity
Here in Arlington, VA, we’re noticing a lot more porches as both additions and in new-home construction. The range of styles run from traditional to contemporary with a lot of room for customization in between. And the trend goes well beyond the Washington, D.C. area. Indeed, porches have become all the rage throughout the country, with “porching” taking over social media as it spotlights people’s activities and adoration of porch culture. (Do a quick search for porching on Pinterest – you’ll see what we mean!) Which all goes to show that no matter where people live, porches have a universal appeal.
Beyond nostalgia, comfort and community, porches also offer advantages that appeal to modern-day sensibilities. They serve as a buffer for the home, protecting windows from direct sun, keeping homes cool and A/C bills down. In areas that can experience harsh weather conditions they can also offset potential flooding, wind damage and other expensive issues.
Screened porches have come a long way from porch swings and rocking chairs. (Although, who doesn’t love those?) Outdoor furniture has become stylish, sophisticated and able to fit any budget. Outdoor rugs, fireplaces, portable heaters, and creative lighting are being used to customize porches to fit the home’s décor and create an atmosphere that fits homeowners’ tastes. In fact, chandeliers, framed artwork, and custom crafted screens are not uncommon in today’s porches.
As technology and modern conveniences can often pull friends and family into solitary activities, porches are providing an old-school solution that is easy to modernize and yet still provides the timeless benefits of comfort, nature and a place to gather, relax, recharge and just enjoy.