Porches: A place for pastimes, to spend memorable moments and more
Lowcountry residents do love their porches. They are places to indulge favorite pastimes, sip a refreshing beverage, spend memorable moments with family and friends, or just let time go by.
Of course, what the perfect porch looks like depends on who the owner is and how they want to use it. We found a few examples of some classic Charleston porches. Want to share pictures of yours? Post them on our Facebook page at LauraJGoughFeatures.
As beautiful as Melissa Bradshaw and Michael Curtis' front porch is, the best word to describe it, perhaps, is multifunctional. The front porch of their six year-old Lolandra Street house, designed to blend with earlier craftsmen residences all around it, alternately serves as a place to conduct business (Bradshaw is the founder of Wee Little Arts), read a good book, have morning coffee or gather with a few friends for cocktails.
“Both Melissa and I are artsy people,” says Curtis. “I stained the deck avocado green with a transparent stain. And I stained the door orange. We change the wreaths for holidays.”
The porch, which is 8-by-16 feet, overlooks a garden designed by the couple that includes trees they planted in memory of Curtis' father and Bradshaw's mother, who died three months apart. The couple think that in addition to its other uses, that makes the porch the perfect place to meditate.
Serving as the point of arrival for guests, the porch was designed to be something befitting Southern living, Curtis says. It is outfitted with a wicker love seat, chairs and ottoman featuring cushions and pillows that bring the sunny feel of yellow and the drama of red to the setting. There also are rocks they brought back from places they have visited. He's pleased that everyone who passes by the porch when it's being used takes the time to wave at them.
“We use that for one of the most important rooms in the house,” Curtis says.
The second-floor piazza of Sherry and Sonny Ray's Gadsden Street home is perfect, Sherry Rays says. The screened and partially shuttered porch is a place to relax, entertain friends after dinner or spend some private time together.
“I can come out here and wrap up with a little throw in the wintertime and read,” Sherry Ray says. “In the heat of the summer, I can come out here and there's a breeze. Sometimes if it's pouring down rain, we go out there and have a glass of wine.
“I am pretty simple” says Sherry Ray. “I don't have a lot of frou-frou stuff. “
The porch is outfitted with a black wicker love seat and chaise that are designed to stand up to weather. Cushions are covered in wide-striped green and white all-weather fabric.
When the sun sets, shutters on the west side of the porch keep things comfortable. Ceiling fans also help keep the porch breezy.
The small porch, which she designed with the help of Chris Fulp of Morris Sokol, is slightly less than 7 feet wide and about 50 feet long and gets used a lot, she says.
When Regina Condy steps out of her master bedroom, she steps onto a porch that is attached to a swimming pool, all enclosed in a courtyard, she says.
“It's all integrated,” Condy says.
It's also a space that visitors can take in as soon as they enter the front door of the C-shaped house on Shelmore Boulevard.
“I think they are surprised that we have a pool there,” says Condy, who enjoys the porch most at night, when she has a view of the entire lit space from the master bedroom.
The porch, at the back of the house, has a wicker sofa and chair with thick tan cushions, as well as chaises. All of this ensures a restful place for Condy. Additionally, a small table, plants and lighting give the porch a simple, but welcoming feel. Cynthia Zimmerman, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers, designed the space to invite people to linger and allow the pool to shine.
“It's a favorite place to sit and have drinks in the evenings,” Condy says. “We also sit out there and sun during the day.
“I am definitely a function prior to form person, but I do like the style,” Condy says.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.