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.
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 ...
And Small Porches
Wraparound Porches and Screened Porches
Just Plain-Pretty Little 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]