This idyllic, vintage log cabin sitting on a bluff overlooking the Cumberland River in Madison, TN, lacked only one thing: a screened porch with an outdoor fireplace. Even without much space between this home and that of the neighbors next door, we were able to squeeze in an adorable porch.
Small in size, this screened room is certainly big on charm! Yes, the porch is small: 12×17 square feet of comfort and charm. This project is a good example of how The Porch Company is able to design a porch that is compact yet effective. (Before you decide you don’t have room for a screened porch addition – call us!)
Originally built in the 1800s, this beautiful cabin has been added onto many times. The rooflines and many of the home’s dimensional aspects reflect this. We were able to match the cabin’s rustic appeal using an open-rafter design for the screened porch and natural stone for the wood-burning fireplace.
Designing a porch nestled among the trees, we thought it only fitting to use our Branches panel in the bottom half of the screen door. This panel is made of 1” thick, solid cellular PVC. It won’t warp or weather in the elements. Developed to be used as a panel in our porch railing systems, this panel is available for purchase in the PorchCo store. It comes in white but you can paint it any color with exterior house paint.
In conjunction with the tree-themed door, we used wire panels along both sides of the screened porch instead of a knee wall (which would block the view) or the usual pickets (which would look too modern for this setting).
To provide access to the cabin, we installed a ramp leading up to the screened porch door. It’s more attractive than many ramps you have seen! The ramp blends in with the surroundings so it’s functional without detracting from the screened porch design.
Notice the light fixtures outside the porch door. The homeowner did not want bright lights there so she chose fixtures that shine up and down, promoting an intimate feel. Also, take a moment to admire the clients’ rustic rain barrel and copper rain chain that add charm to the exterior of the screened porch. The homeowner uses the rainwater for watering her plants.
On the interior of the porch, if you look closely to the right side of the fireplace, you can see a shelf area for storing wood and kindling. What you can’t see from this vantage point is that the homeowners can add wood here from the outside of the cabin! This storage nook, from the outside, has a little shed roof covering a stone cabinet with an exterior door. No need to trudge around to the cabin door with an armload of wood while dropping the inevitable trail of debris as you go. We often add this convenient storage nook to our screened porch designs when they include a fireplace.
We designed the stone fireplace with a raised hearth at a comfortable height for sitting. For the mantel, we used wood salvaged from one of the homeowners’ remodeling projects. We love, love, love being able to repurpose and reuse old wood. Next, notice the glow above the mantel – we have spotlights shining on the fireplace. While this seems like a minor touch, it is key to bringing the ambiance of the space together.
On the openings beside the fireplace, rather than installing screens, we installed an outdoor fabric to filter the view. The neighbor’s house is just a few feet away. With the obscured view – we get the light without the view.
On the other side of the porch, the screens are uncovered and allow the homeowners to enjoy incredible views of the bluff with the Cumberland River below.
A few more details to notice inside the porch include the infrared heater up near the ceiling, the ceiling fan above the space and the lovely lantern-style sconce lights beside the screened doors on each side of the porch. We like to mention the Solaira infrared heater because many people don’t realize a fire in the fireplace cannot keep a porch warm when it’s chilly outside. With air flowing in and out through the screens, you need another source of heat if you want to enjoy the porch during cooler months.
At the other end of the porch, opposite the fireplace, the homeowners have room for a little dining table in the space. At this end, you can also see the board and batten trim above the windows and door leading to the interior of the cabin. We used this simple wood trim as a rustic touch to tie the screened porch in with the overall feel of the cabin. It mimics the board and batten trim on the cabin’s exterior.
Look at these views! The homeowners will enjoy being close to nature on their new screened porch designed to include all the comforts they desire. The Porch Company achieved our objective of designing and building a very effective screened porch in a small space, and we love the way the homeowners have decorated it.
If you have a small space but want a porch that packs a punch, let The Porch Company design and build the maximum porch for your space. If you’re interested in adding a screened porch or open porch in the Nashville area, call us at 615-663-2886 or come by our design studio. We look forward to doing business with you.