Thursday, July 8, 2010


I don't know of anyone who doesn't love a porch.

The word "porch" comes from the Greek word portico, which originally referred to the columned entry to a Classical temple. During the Middle Ages, a "porch" came to represent a cathedral's vestibule, "where worshippers could gather to socialize before and after the service."

Historically, the original concept of a porch can be traced back to the overhanging rock shelters of prehistoric times, and one of the earliest documented porches is this magnificent "porch" gracing the entrance to the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India. It was created during the first century BCE and 5th century AD.

By Victorian times, the word porch had evolved to include the words veranda, piazza, loggia, and portico, each of which had different meanings. By the early 1900s, porches had become an essential part of American architecture and culture.

[Source: The Cultural Significance of the American Front Porch]

Porches became gathering places where families, friends, and neighbors could relax at the end of a day and enjoy each other's company. Although porches are still very much an integral part of today's house designs, you don't see many people using their front porches for social gatherings these days. And that's sad ... because there are so many pretty porches in every neighborhood, with empty rocking chairs and beautiful empty wicker furniture and porch swings ... just waiting for someone to "come sit a spell" and enjoy a glass of lemonade, or read a book.

For instance, I discovered this charming porch in Raymond, Mississippi, and fell in love with that sweet little rocking bench ...

There are all kinds of porches, ranging from Plain and Simple ...

To Grand and Fancy:

To Old and Dilapidated (just look at all that character!)

There are Side Porches ...

And "Whimsical?" Porches (you need to click on this one to see it up close)

Lonnnnnnng Porches!

And Small Porches

Wraparound Porches and Screened Porches

Just Plain-Pretty Little Porches ...

And last, but not least, Rustic and Romantic Porches

We don't have a front porch, but we do have a porch that overlooks our courtyard area, and we use it often, especially when it's cool outside.

If you have a porch, I hope I have inspired you to use it more often. Fix yourself a cold glass of lemonade or a Coke (I drink Dr. Pepper, myself), and grab a new magazine or book on your way out. I think you'll be surprised at how 15 or 20 minutes on a porch can lift your spirits.

[Note: I took most of these photographs, but I borrowed a few of them from the Internet]


Deb said...

I love porches...your photos are great....

Stacey said...

What a great post! We do love our porches, don't we? Just makes you feel connected to the world around you to sit out on the porch. I love your pictures today.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I just love a porch, I could sit for hours on a front porch. My favorite porch is the wrap around ones.
You got some great shots of different kinds of porches. A very nice collection.

D.B. said...

I love this post! I have so many wonderful porch memories! I have a vary shallow porch but I'm out there on my bench every morning and evening. I have found it the perfect spot to hide in plain sight.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, how I love mine!


Sheila :-)

Carolyn said...

I love porches! Beautiful pictures, expecially the magnificent header. We have porches across the front and back of our log home and use them often.

nancygrayce said...

I wish more people sat on their front porches and visited with neighbors more! Those porches are so unique!

PAT said...

Janie you know how I love my Back Porch. I wish we had a front porch. We had one at the farm that was 60 feet long. Loved that porch, too!

I would love to have/buy a print of your log house with swing. I'm working on a little project for a wall grouping of log structures. I would only use it personally.

I took several photos of the log house, that is used for trail information, at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. I'd love to find an old log smoke house. I think J might know where we can locate one to photograph.

Your photo of the log house and others just absolutely speak to me.

Thanks so much for sharing these porches!

Sheila (TCW) said...

Great pictures of the porches. We love our back porch and we use it a lot during the cooler months, and sometimes even when it isn't so cool (depends on just how hot it is).