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by: Arleen M. Kaptur
What is one feature that you can add to your home that will definitely increase its value not only monetarily? There is the ingredient of a “special place” to relax, to dream about tomorrow, and to slowly sip a cool, smooth drink on a hot, sticky day. Also, this is a great place to chat with the neighbors or visiting relatives, to admire the seasons, nature and its abundance of color and change, and to take a catnap when the need calls for one.

All of the above relate to something as simple as a porch. Whether it is on the back of the house, across the front of the home, or even to the side - there is so much value in having a porch. It can even do duty as a breakfast room where you start your day and anticipate what the day will bring over a cup of coffee.

It can be an elaborate structure with pillars and graceful archways or it can be as simple as a screen enclosure where you step out from the kitchen to the delight of the sunshine, the sweet smell of morning, and the sounds of the birds. Taking into consideration the type of home you have, you can then plan with size, material, and style. Whatever the final outcome is, the real statement will be the comfort and enjoyment a porch can bring. And if you add a porch swing - then you do have the makings of a wonderful place just outside of your home. If a porch swing is not in the plans, then a padded rocking chair, a few tables, assorted chairs, and plants will do the trick.

Porches are fun to decorate but they should never become just another convenient storage shed. They should be uncluttered, colorful and comfortable. There should be easy access to the home so that food and drink can be easily brought it and out. Porches can be three-season or year-round with a few extras added.

Whatever your budget allows, inspiration and imagination in decorating your porch take precedence. Wicker, wood, or other natural features are the most soothing and relaxing.
Bright, beautiful colors and a lot of windows or screens, if enclosed, to bring in the sight, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors. Accessories can be anything that helps provide a relaxing, comforting atmosphere.

There is one drawback to having a porch. The neighbors will take notice and start stopping by as they take a stroll in the evening breezes, and relatives will stay just a little bit longer. A porch is a great place for children to play and to entertain their friends.
Small tables so that games, puzzles, or other activities can be set up and a storage box for toys provides a lot of fun and entertainment, and mom is just a step away.

Whatever your budget or home style, a porch can be added that will delight and give you hours of pleasure. The size of the porch is not important, as long as there is space to stretch out and wile away the hours sipping that cool drink, dreaming, planning, or just taking in the beauty of your garden, your flowers, or the trees that line your street.

A porch opens up the world just a little more, and allows everyone to have the opportunity to stop, chat, and share the latest. It is a gathering place of great friends, conversation, and relaxation. It is well worth the time and effort because it will bring back more in home value, and personal value. It adds charm, comfort, and inspiration. It will become that special place where family and fun can be relished and cherished in a relaxed and soothing atmosphere.

Hope there’s a porch in your future!
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June 1

About the Author

Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, how-to books, cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES


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