Often you can read people by the décor of their homes. On this screened porch in Green Hills, if your eye went to the vase of beautiful white roses in full bloom, you might think the homeowners are a bit formal. But if you focused on the casual (and also beautiful!) braided wicker furniture, you would say they are more laid back. And then you notice the accent pillow in one of the wingback chairs. It’s simple, white and understated, embroidered with two lower-case words: just chillin’. And that confirms it. They like to relax, and they have had an outdoor room built by The Porch Company just for that purpose.
In this case, it looks more like two rooms, doesn’t it? While it’s one continuous space, one side is furnished as a sitting area or living room and the other as a dining area. Contributing to the feel of two different spaces is the fact that the two sides have different types of ceilings. The living room ceiling is flat, while the dining room ceiling is vaulted. At The Porch Company, we call this a two room porch. Always in cases where you have two different ceilings, the result is a feeling of two different spaces, even if you don’t have a wall between them.
There’s a reason, besides décor and function, that we built these two porch sections with different ceilings. From the outside, you can see that over one section we had the clearance to go high and decorative, reflecting the home’s gable roofline. Over the other section, we needed to avoid a second-story window, so we designed a shed roof there. (If you think your home’s roofline or window placement won’t allow the addition of a porch, check with us before you decide it can’t be done.)
Aside from the ceilings, the two spaces within this screened porch are more alike than different. Both have beadboard ceilings, recessed lighting and ceiling fans. Rather than painting the ceilings, we selected a gentle whitewash that contributes to the relaxed, cozy atmosphere — almost a cabin-like feeling. We put in warm cypress hardwood floors throughout. In the dining area’s vaulted ceiling, the rafter ties are stained to match the flooring.
Overall, the star of this porch design is our beautiful Drummer Boy panel along the bottom of the porch screens. Our panels are 1″ thick, adding dimension to the porch design throughout. We always place our panels/pickets to the outside of the screen. If they were installed on the inside of the screen, they would disappear when viewed from the outside. Installing on the outside ensures beauty from every angle.
The furnishings you see here fill out the rooms perfectly, and that, too, is by design. The layout of furniture is very important in terms of doorways and traffic flow, so we consider a client’s furniture when creating our custom porch designs. For example, the dining table on this porch is positioned near French doors that lead into the home’s kitchen. The ultimate convenience for entertaining!
In the sitting area, you’ll notice there are no wires between the TV and the mantel. This is a Porch Company exclusive. The mantel, which is built by us from our 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, is hollowed out in the middle to accommodate the wires and electrical cords. We insert a conduit that goes behind the fireplace’s stacked stone façade up to the TV to eliminate visible wires. Our clients are always pleased with this small but important detail.
Also in the sitting area, notice the radiant heater overhead. We use Solaira heaters because they don’t try to heat the air (impossible on a porch!) but heat any object upon which they shine. We designed the porch with a fireplace for beauty, style and ambiance, but a fireplace won’t heat an outdoor room efficiently; there’s just too much unheated air constantly entering the space. The Solaira heater uses infrared technology to provide heat that is instant, directional and does not blow away. Also, this heater does not require special venting.
Moving to the exterior, the door at the top of the porch stairs features the same “drummer boy” PVC panel we used along the length of the screened porch. We were careful to align the panels perfectly. The beautiful sconce lights on either side of the door were selected by the homeowners.
We designed the stairs leading up to the porch door with painted risers that give a more finished presentation. People are accustomed to seeing a deck or stairs all in one color, but by using a little additional color, we dressed up the look of the staircase. We used AZEK decking for the outside floor, the stair treads and the rail cap, while the risers are painted white to match the home’s exterior woodwork. The four post caps are Hermitage post caps (which we sell in The Porch Company store), and the beauty of these is that, unlike wooden post caps, ours will not deteriorate. Wooden post caps over time will degrade and fall apart because they are put together from pieces of wood.
Another unique detail we incorporated into the staircase is the graspable hand rail along the left side, also made of PVC. This is something that The Porch Company does differently than everyone else. It is so much more attractive than using a 2×2 length of pressure-treated wood for a hand rail as many builders would. The profile is gorgeous and the fact that it is PVC means it will hold up over time.
Moving to an exterior long shot, you can see the porch’s gable and shed roof. We added lights to the posts outside to create ambiance and to light up the backyard area.
Remember the fireplace inside the sitting area of the porch? It’s a gas ventless fireplace, which doesn’t require a chimney. From the outside, you can see that the stacked stone of the fireplace (the back side of the fireplace) stops at the porch roof. We carried the overhang of the porch roof far enough out that the fireplace stops under the overhang. This helps disguise the fact that the chimney doesn’t go all the way up. Otherwise, it would appear awkward if the chimney ended abruptly outside the roof overhang. Once again, it’s all in the finishing touches, and that’s something The Porch Company is known for.
Is this a porch where you could chill? Enjoy the fresh air, relax and spend quality time with family and friends? If you’re interested in adding a screened porch or other outdoor room to your Nashville area home, give us a call to schedule a consultation at 615-662-2886. We look forward to your call!