I was happy to see Halloween candy prominently displayed at my local grocery store last night! Fall is a welcome thought during these Dog Days of Summer. Okay, I confess, lately the weather in Kansas City has been perfect not too hot or too humid. I just enjoy fall, leaves and all. I have always lived with four seasons and look forward to the changes each one brings. After a hot summer with air conditioning, soon there will be pleasant evenings with dinner served outside on the deck.
So how does Halloween candy also make me think of a screen porch? Fall is a great time for a screened porch. Spring is also a great time for a porch and even summer can be a great time for a porch! Currently 90% of my client’s home design projects include a screen porch. In one of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House books she talks about the ritual of wintering a porch by taking all the furniture inside during the winter. It is important to celebrate the seasons and as much work as it is to haul everything inside it is equally exciting to bring it back when the warm spring weather returns.
To make a screen porch feel part of home I like to use sliding doors. Two sliding doors installed ”ganged” together can create a doorway of five to six feet wide that makes the porch feel connected to the adjacent room. It is perfect for entertaining when an extra table space might be needed but everyone can still overhear what is happening inside. This additional space easily can make a cozy room feel just right when filled with guests. Sliding doors don’t take door swing space in either the porch or room which helps furniture layouts on cozy porches. Being able open a sliding door just a smidge to allow fresh air in is also a bonus as it easier than opening a swing door and using a door stop which is pretty much required here in the Windy Midwest.
Sometimes a client is tempted to want to use a screen porch year round by installing windows. Honestly it isn’t the same as it becomes a sunroom or another room with windows and the outdoor feel can be greatly diminished. Adding a screen porch can make a house feel spacious as it has it own unique features which create a different feeling space altogether which is perfect for a right sized home. Feeling a breeze roll though a full screened porch on a quiet fall evening is definitely a treat… almost like candy!