Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog

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Asheville's Abiding Remedy: The PORCH!

 

Capture Asheville's relax and rejuvenate spirit ....

THE PORCH. It's a wrap-around invitation to "set-a-spell" 
   ...be shaded from the heat of the day
beneath trellises laden with Jasmine
...be sheltered from the elements by that huge,
overhanging roof! It keeps
even  the worst rainstorms at bay. 
Here in Asheville, we like to take time to rock back-and-forth
watching the neighbors, waving hello, then gathering with our family to see lightning flash around us in the darkening night. 

   In my mind's eye, the porch  is the welcoming expression that signifies Home. Screened or unscreened, it matters not. It's purpose is clear...It's the living space created for family and  neighbors to enjoy good company.  

If asked, I could imagine a porch where one may not even yet be...
first I see  steps where the kids hang out, then the narrow columns,
 rail and balusters ... all painted in ivory, and a shining floor with bottle green,
terra cotta and amber woven rugs placed here and there, and a ceiling of  beadboard from which hang rattan fans to help catch the breeze. And the furniture, ottomans that double as tables when graced with a tray and hors d'oeuvres, rocking chairs, loveseats and swings all handcrafted of natural materials and brightly be-pillowed in sturdy fabrics. 
                                        

Porches have been an American tradition,  but they  didn't originate here.  
The word "porch" comes from the Greek "portico" and the Latin "porticus,"  a columned space at the entrance to a temple . ..a shelter from the heat, perhaps.

The porch as we know it came into favor in  American residential design  sometime in the 1840's. Most homes had porches, some even one in the back and one in the front, until about 1945.After World War II  front porches seemed  to vanish.
Possibly the growing popularity of backyard  sports, barbequing and gardening had something to do with it, or maybe the draw, in the 1940s, of that  new-fangled invention, the  television.

So by 1950, families made living rooms the place to gather,
but I predict a change.

The Romans and Greeks had a great idea and I think there
we can expect a revival of their way of thinking.


 I predict a new trend toward porches is in our near future.           
The "New Urbanism" with its emphasis on the benefits of living and interacting in a community will encourage
the re-discovery of the joys of the porch.
Just standing in the path outside your neighbors' porch
at pumpkin time, for example can be a delight. Here in Asheville, North Carolina where clients are asking us about eco-friendly homes, new, sustainable developments already are in vogue, we are seeing a resurgence of The Porch

I was invited over to one such neighborhood in the early evening not long ago. There, gathered on the porch neighbors enjoyed a feast from a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen  while they found comfort on traditional white wicker furniture. Friends entertained friends, laughter and the talk of  visiting kinfolk filled the air...A  sense of belonging permeated the whole.

Nothing beats the appeal of a porch.

Here is one of my favorite porches. You may want to pull up a rocking chair here when you come to Asheville  and "set-a-spell" on the grand porch at the Grove Park Inn

Resource: Residential Design Glossary

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Comments

janeAnn... I love porches and do think that they make a difference in how neighbors interact in a community.  Before A/C came along, many homes were built with wrap-around porches to keep the house cool, almost acting as a big awning.
Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) over 12 years ago
The Old Northeast neighborhood in St Pete is known for its community and interactions and friendliness - I think much of that is because of the home designs, that feature front porches, where porch-sitters can interact and converse with the walkers, etc.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 12 years ago
In Las Vegas a huge majority of our homes are frame and stucco construction with block walls at the sides and backs of lots. I really wish we had more variety and architectural detail like other areas of the country. We still have our outdoor areas but they're geared more towards privacy than interactivity.
Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 12 years ago

janeAnne

I too, love porches and yes I have seen the Grove Park Inn's porch and the picture does it justice also.

Plus, I like your new updated picture. I hope your Thanksgiving was just a great as mine was.

Posted by Susan Trombley, Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs (Trombley Real Estate) over 12 years ago
In North Denver most every house has a front porch. There was a T.B. center there as well. It was thought that sleeping out doors in the cold would cure T.B. In modern times it's a great place to hang out, read a book or visit with the neighbors.
Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 12 years ago
Porches are the BEST place to kick back and relax and watch the world go by!
Posted by Bill Westel, ECO (Eco-Steward Realty) over 12 years ago
 Leanne and Sharon...thanks for your comments on my porches blog..I love porches..used to sit on my grandparent's porch in the old neighborhood near Sarasota when I was a child and will always treasure the memories
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 12 years ago
John...interesting comment..."geared more towards privacy than interactivity. .." kind of makes me sad in a way...but I understand the need for a quiet place
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 12 years ago
Susan and Bill...North Carolina porches will do that  to ya'! :-)
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 12 years ago
Susan...When will you coming over to sit on one of the great porches at the Grove Park Inn?
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 12 years ago
Bill...do you think a placw like the Grove Park In with it's fabulous porches would be "too" relaxed aplace for our next annual Plan Advance? ;-)
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 12 years ago

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