13 Pretty Porches

An outdoor dining room, a cozy conversation space, a place to relax and enjoy the view…a great porch can satisfy a number of needs. Whether the semi-enclosed space can only accommodate a couple of chairs or—as in the above example from New York City-based firm Antonelli Architects—it’s the perfect setting for a dinner party for 10, if thoughtfully designed and appointed there’s no better place to spend a summer evening.

Porches are practically mandatory in the Lowcountry, and Herlong & Associates in Charleston knows how to create a memorable one. The stunning ceilings in their projects shown above along with expansive views make them feel like an extension of the outdoors, while the groupings of chairs provide intimate spaces to chat, combining the best of both worlds. 

Brimming with rustic charm, the screened porch in Historical Concepts’s Pine Mountain, Georgia project (shown above) is undeniably inviting. With ceiling fans to keep air moving on hot days and a fireplace to warm up cool nights—plus gracious views of the pond beyond—it’s just one of many elegant and intimate spaces in the farmhouse the firm transformed from a retreat to a full-time residence (see more photos of the home here).

Atlanta-based interior designer Susan B. Bozeman created a cozy yet sophisticated sitting area on the porch featured above (the opposite side of the porch holds a similar setup), adding functional space while also making the entrance feel incredibly welcoming (see additional views here).

At the lake house featured above by Birmingham’s Christopher Architecture & Interiors, a vaulted ceiling beautifully frames the breathtaking view. Plenty of plush seating in a neutral palette offers the perfect place to take it all in without competing with the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Some of the best porches are ones that seem to seamlessly blend in with the local landscape. Historical Concepts achieves this with their North Carolina mountain house project (top and above, right), which features hand-hewn columns and locally harvested branches. Meanwhile, the space by Herlong & Associates (above, left) feels like a luxurious treehouse. 

Another chic, rustic design arrives in the form of the above project by Christopher Architecture & Interiors. This partially enclosed outdoor space outfitted with everything needed for a relaxing night in opens up into a beautiful courtyard complete with a dinner party-ready table and benches (see photos here).  

This home by Herlong & Associates was made for indoor/outdoor living. From the screened porch to the pool deck to the plentiful doors and windows to the stained wood accents, it blends inside and out in a classic, effortless way.  

How great is the view from this Captiva Island porch by Naples-based Stofft Cooney Architects? Enhanced by beautiful details and beach-appropriate decor, it’s the ideal place to take in a sunset. See more photos of the project here.

Fort Worth’s NH Southern Development used reclaimed warehouse rack material for the porch decking on this gorgeous custom home (learn more about the project and see additional photos here). The wood pairs wonderfully with the industrial pendants, the yellow door provides a chic, cheerful pop of color to the mix, and the overall result feels both modern and timeless. Add a couple of rocking chairs and we’d never leave.