J. Randolph Parry Architects, PC | Porches Are America’s Lost Rooms

Porches Are America’s Lost Rooms

“Porches are America’s Lost Rooms”

Barbara G. Harrison

The Amazing Influence of a Porch!!

Breathe New Life Into a Tired Home

Home with little curb appeal

Almost everyone has a wonderful memory of time spent on a porch on a lovely summer day; it’s often a special place where we have gathered with friends, and family to enjoy the beautiful weather and relax for a bit. No matter what your memory, it is bound to bring back a nostalgic feeling of summer freedom. The designers at JRP Architects believe that the porch has become an increasingly essential extension of a home; it creates charm, increases the function of the home, and adds value, along with allowing for a myriad of delightful memories residents may create once the project is complete. A porch is, simply put, a covered outdoor space that marks the transition between the inside and the outside of a home. Often a porch is one of the first elements people notice about a residence, and our firm has been able to reimagine homes from bland and mundane to striking and oozing with curb appeal with the addition of even a small porch. A porch allows the residents to demonstrate their sense of style while still maintaining the privacy of the interior of their home; they can make a statement and share their personalities through the design, furnishings and decor. The porch provides a welcoming atmosphere rather than a mundane and lackluster facade that does little to create interest or appeal.


The reimagined home with a charming front porch addition

A front porch can provide a charming entrance to a home and added living space that allows for an entertaining space or just a place to put up your feet and relax.


Aesthetics is only part of the porch package however; a porch can give the homeowner many functional benefits that outweigh any additional cost to a design project. It provides many of the same services as a patio or deck, providing places for outdoor eating and entertaining for example, but with a lot more going for it! The addition of the wall shared by the main house and a roof above mean there are never any worries about changes in the weather. A sudden rainstorm needn’t ruin a party, it will just add to the fun! And the endless Monopoly game can remain on the table for days without fear of pieces being blown away or birds leaving their mark on the board. It is important for clients to think carefully about how they want a porch to function for them. Someone who entertains a great deal will probably want a porch that is large enough to host cocktail parties, while another client may just want a few rocking chairs and a small table to enjoy after dinner coffee. JRP Architects can help a client determine how they want their porch to add living space and will help them decide on the most appropriate size and materials for their needs.

An open porch on the front of a house will provide enviable curb-appeal, but a back porch has many advantages as well. A screened porch off the kitchen is a wonderful place to enjoy summer meals: a leisurely breakfast, a refreshing lunch that breaks up the workday, and sunset dinner at the end of a long day. It can also provide a safe play space for children; they can enjoy fresh air when parents don’t have the time to monitor them outdoors, and those messy craft projects stay contained and out of the house proper. Screen porches can be designed to fit between the kitchen and the grill on the patio, making outdoor living easy and comfortable. Once cooler weather arrives, a porch can be a great place to shed snowy boots and ice-covered hats, and during the wet spring, a porch off the kitchen doubles as a mudroom, helping to keep the interior spaces clean.
Porches are making a comeback, and there is clearly a myriad of reasons why. Whether it is a new home design or a reimagining of a home you have lived in for years, porches add increased ventilation, a connection with nature, additional light, and a sense of relaxation. A well-designed porch will not only improve your lifestyle, but it will also add value to your home and make it more marketable when it is time to sell. Adding a porch is a decision that will positively impact you and your family for years to come.

For additional examples of porch designs and home renovations see our website: