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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