Places: The Screened-In Porch

Article Posted By: Jae Warren

of The Home Depot

The porch is perhaps the signature architectural feature of the American home. It’s an element that still evokes strong feelings and memories of home life, particularly in the South.

Whether stemming from nostalgia or a desire to create more livable space outside the home, screened-in porches are growing in popularity once again. Contractors and national real estate associations have noted the trend. Movements like new urbanism contribute to the building of more front porch communities. And ad hoc organizations like the Professional Porch Sitters continue to add branches.

We encourage you to follow the unofficial motto of the Professional Porch Sitters as you view the rest of this post: Sit down a spell. That’ll wait.

Screened-in porches are an opportunity to give the outside world a glimpse of your personal flair. Mostly shielded from the elements, these rooms allow you to indulge in all kinds of décorfurniturelighting, area rugs and other vibrant accents — that echoes the interior style of your home.

Image of a Screened-In Sleeping Porch with two hanging beds

Image via Remodelista photographed by Quentin Bacon

On many a temperate spring, summer or fall evening, nothing would be more relaxing than to sleep outdoors in the fresh air — free of mosquitos, of course. Sleeping porches were designed with this very desire in mind. A comfortable hanging bed for your screened-in porch might be the perfect answer for a good night’s rest.

Image of a screen-in porch with a DIY privacy screen

Image via The Apron blog

In theory, the porch was intended as a transitional space, where our personal world would meet the public sphere. It was a communal area for gathering, gossiping and getting together with the neighbors. But when you’d rather sit on the swing and read alone or enjoy a more intimate conversation with a friend, Carolyn’s bright idea for constructing a privacy screen is a great way to ensure you have the porch all to yourself.

Image of a Screened-in Porch With African Accents

Image via Elle Decor

Porch comes from the Latin word portico, which in classical Greek and Roman architecture was a roof structure supported by columns leading to the entrance of a building or a colonnade. Many also credit structural elements of West African shotgun houses as the primary source for the adaptation of the porch onto the American home.

The spectacular screened-in porch above brings together West African and classical Greek and Roman influences to create a feel that is exotic and very chic. Ensconced in a worldly retreat surrounded by mud cloth pillows, earthen pots, pendant lights, bamboo shades and painted concrete floors, you’d hardly believe you were in Texas anymore.

Screening-in your existing porch, or replacing a torn or damaged screen, is much easier now with innovative screen hardware like the Screen Tight Porch Screening System. Here’s a video to show you how to screen in your porch and add a new screen door in just one afternoon.

See more inspiration and ideas in our Places series here on the Apron Blog.