There is something so serene and magical about a front porch. Technically speaking, a porch is any “roofed but incompletely walled living area”, but how it is used, and what this space means can take on much deeper meanings as we take a look at their place in the American household. They have been described as “belonging to everyone and no one”, they are the place in a home that invites and shares.
Historically, the American front porch has had both architectural and cultural significance. With origins in temples and places of worship, entryway porches have always meant to serve as a gathering place, one that encourages community and social engagement. They were typically utilitarian spaces, when modern heating and cooling was not an option, providing shade and a place to sit in the cool breeze when interior spaces were uncomfortable.
There are many aspects of a front porch that make it this symbol of our American lifestyle.
A front porch is a place for family and friends to gather. Where other spaces in, and outside, of the home are intended for activity (back yard or pool), and utility (kitchen and bathroom), the front porch’s main purpose is to bring people together for relaxation and enjoyment of lazy communion. These spaces are where friends tell stories of past experiences and family catches up on life already lived.
Welcoming You Home
It has been said, “first impressions matter” and that is exactly what the front porch provides. The porch is the place that welcomes you home, reminding you of the solace to be found in the walls of your own home. They also welcome those you love and cherish into your space, giving them a sense of acceptance and warmth. The front porch is the beginning to the story written in the walls of the family home.
In many ways, the great American front porch represents what this country aims to be. These are places where our family values and warmth are shared with our communities. We are able to wave to passers by, catch up with neighbors, and enjoy those exterior spaces of our properties that symbolize our love for large properties and land acquisition. The front porch is where we share our lives with the world, and where the world sweeps over our lives.