What a Porch Needs — A Sense of Privacy and Separation

Kitty Bartholomew's Front PorchWhat? Here we are yammering about how porches are all about openness, and seeing and being seen, and connecting with your neighbors and your surroundings and all that. And now we’re talking privacy and separation?

Let us explain. And let us use Kitty Bartholomew’s porch, pictured here, to illustrate our point.

When Kitty moved into this vintage cottage a few years ago, the end of this large covered porch was open. There was a railing, but it felt to Kitty like the porch was too open to the direction facing the next door neighbors. She didn’t want a solid wall there, to block all awareness of the neighbors. Absolutely not. But she wanted something there.

Her solution was to install a wooden trellis in the opening, and to train a vine to grow up it. As you can see, there is a nice sense of anchoring at the end of the porch, but it still feels light and open.

This is called feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement. Of course, Kitty doesn’t study feng shui and she would never use that word. But she knows when rooms and space feel good and when they don’t, and she knows the steps to take to make her spaces “right.” This is a perfect example. And it really works.

What do you think? Do you like your porch wide open? Or with a little bit of separation?

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