America’s front porch may have seen a decline since the 1950s, but this iconic addition to homes across the country is finding its way back into our lifestyles.
Not only are we once again enjoying the pleasures of “porch sitting,” but by adding a front porch to our homes, we are also gaining additional living space and significant curb appeal.
We may have Andrew Jackson Downing to thank for the evolution of America’s front porch culture. In the early 1800’s Downing, the founder of American landscape architecture believed that interacting with nature had a healing effect on mankind, and that front porches brought us closer to nature’s influence and made us more social.
By giving us a place to sit, the porch got us out of the house and closer to the garden, made us visible to the neighbors, and connected us to the community.
Downing also believed that every American deserved a “good home” and planned residences – with porches – for people in every walk of life. As his ideas caught on so did the popularity of the front porch.
For more than a hundred and fifty years those welcome appendages – whether grand wrap-around verandas, second-floor galleries or simple covered sitting spaces – became the gathering place for families and friends across America.
Porches are America’s lost rooms.Barbara G. Harrison
These six facts about front porches might surprise you!
- Southerners didn’t invent the front porch although they may have perfected it by turning it into today’s welcoming extension of personal life and style.
- The front porch made its entrance in America during the early 1880s when families added them to their homes. In those early days back yards were places to stack refuse, grow vegetables, and locate the comfort station necessary to each home. A front porch offered families a place to relax together after the evening meal. It was also perfect for greeting neighbors as they strolled by.
- Technology almost eradicated the front porch. In the 1940s and 50s air conditioners, radios, televisions, and automobiles arrived. People moved off the porch and inside to be cool and entertained. And those cars in their driveways made getting out and driving around more fun than sitting on the porch. Modern homeowners built patios and decks in back yards for privacy and to escape the noise and fumes of automobiles.
- The front porch is making a comeback! It seems we missed that protected space where we could gather, welcome friends, and share our flair for comfort and conviviality. We’re becoming more social, especially as more of us embrace and enjoy our retirement years. And what sweeter social spot can there be than a cool shady front porch?
- Front porches are perfect venues for music lovers and traveling folk festivals. Someone noticed that a big front porch looked like a stage and a new musical movement was born. US and Canadian cities are enjoying Porchfest, a musical phenomenon that began with a single porch concert in 2007 and grew to over 100 in 2017.
- The porch has also maintained a prominent place in literature, films, and theatre where, for generations, dramas, intrigues, and romances have unfolded in this ‘room between the outside and the inside.’
Heaven is a house with porch lights.Ray Bradbury
Five signs you’re in love with your front porch
- You understand why your front porch is more of a feeling than a place. Maybe it’s where you curl up with your dog. Where you go to share a secret with a friend. Where you sit to watch the stars come out.
- You head out to the front porch when a thunderstorm is approaching – anticipating the rising wind, the sound of rain on leaves, the sweet fragrance of jasmine and honeysuckle in the stillness of the air before that first crack of thunder.
- Your porch memories are of late-night talks with a backdrop of crickets, or the squeak of a porch swing as you rocked gently to and fro, and of the riveting book you always put down, open to the page you were reading, while you went inside for a glass of lemonade.
- You’re always thinking of plants, pillows, comfy chairs, and flowers to adorn your porch and of new ways to make that space extra special.
- You can’t imagine living anywhere that doesn’t have a front porch. You just can’t.
It’s much easier for me to make major life, multi-million dollar decisions than it is to decide on a carpet for my front porch. That’s the truth.Oprah Winfrey
Look at the ways this iconic architectural gem is enjoying a revival!
As Celadon residents stroll through their beautiful community in Beaufort County South Carolina friendly greetings from neighbors enjoying their lovely front porches are common occurrences.
Each of the many stunning lowcountry home designs available at Celadon has a porch – and sometimes two or more! Open front porches, screened side and rear porches, and second floor balcony porches are also offered.
Celadon’s community is about life simplified, and brings back that sense of home as a feeling and not just a place.
It includes a diverse mix of single-family homes that create an inviting streetscape unified by the charm of Lowcountry architecture. Complementing the neighborhood are carefully preserved open spaces, designated for community use as parks, ponds, walking trails, and other amenities. Completed homes and customizable home and homesite packages are available from the mid-$300’s, homesites from the $70’s, and condominiums from the $300’s.
Celadon is located on Lady’s Island, only two miles from historic downtown Beaufort in the South Carolina Sea Islands.