The New Family Room Addition Is... a Porch

by Kevin Gilday & Tom Gilday

A new generation of porches is bringing indoor aesthetics and comfort to the great outdoors.  The screen porch has been steadily gaining the sort of popularity that the family room addition has enjoyed over the past ten years.   Typically, this sort of room addition is done in combination with a kitchen renovation.

Space and Light

The demand by Washington DC area homeowners for "open plan" kitchens has expressed itself in two styles of kitchen addition: the kitchen/family room addition and the kitchen/breakfast room addition. These additions deliver the two things that clients ask for most:  space and light.

Smell the Roses

The screen porch as an addition to the kitchen has opened up a third (fair weather) option which offers not only open space and natural light but fresh air.  The porch can be set up as an open air sitting room or a dining room.  This new take on the open plan achieves a more intimate relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces.

This design (photo below) called for ceiling height stacking glass wall panels.  So, whether the doors are open or closed, visual continuity is maintained between outdoors and in.

Photo: Kenneth M. Wyner

 

Decks Are for Potted Plants, Porches Are for People

Unlike tomato plants, people need shade and relief from the annoyance of bugs.  Our porches bring the high end finish and comfort of an indoor room to the outdoors.  We are installing fireplaces, stone floors, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, recessed lights, sconces, and skylights...  Porches have become luxurious outdoor living spaces.

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