The history of the porch in America is a rich and storied tradition that has played a profound role in the country’s cultural landscape, as well as having an enormous impact on millions of people.
As you start thinking about what you’d like to do with your porch, it might be worthwhile to know a little bit about its history in America. Design ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere and, often, with history and culture being key influencers.
In existence since prehistoric times, the porch – which gets its name from the Greek word “portico,” referring to the columned entry to a Classical temple – has been a destination for both relaxation and meeting for many millennia. Over the centuries, the porch, or at least similar structures, have been referred to by many names, including veranda, piazza, portico and lanai.
However, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the porch as we know it was established in America both as a term and a structure. That being said, it evolved in much the same way as the country itself. From pilgrims building small, covered outdoor attachments on their rustic homes, to western settlers adding a place to escape the heat and smoke of the cooking fires in their log cabins, to the elaborate decks that accentuated mansions in the Antebellum South, and into today, the porch has been a constantly changing concept.
The impact of the porch on American culture has been immense. It’s been a place where families have the kind of experiences that last a lifetime, where young lovers have shared their first kiss and where ideas and innovations have been discussed over cups of coffee or after-dinner drinks. The calm, relaxing environment they provide has given rise to innumerable experiences and conversations that have helped to shape the fabric of American life.
Building and accessorizing a porch to remember
Making that national history a part of your own personal experience requires great care, planning and, probably, a decent amount of elbow grease. Those who want to make their porch a centerpiece of their home have to incorporate outdoor living designs that either bring out the best in an already existing structure or enhance a newly built one.
Whether you’re adding a porch to your home or redesigning one that has adorned your home for years, you’re going to want to look for products that can enhance the natural beauty of your property while also providing practical benefits like protection from the elements and annoying outdoor pests.
Retractable porch screens are one example of a product that can help you combine both form and function. They expand your options for controlling the environment, turning your porch into an outdoor sanctuary. Retractable door or window screens are additional enhancements you may want to consider as you look to protect yourself from the flying insects and mosquitoes that can plague any outdoor get together.
By knowing the products available to you, and utilizing them in an effective manner, your porch will not only be a memorable gathering place, it will also provide you with a comfortable and secure environment where you can enjoy the best the outdoors has to offer without dealing with its attendant disadvantages.
So, if you’re planning to make a porch part of your personal or family life, think carefully about how you want to go about it, because it can be a place that will stay with you forever.