Front Porch Living


We loved having the Montgomery Advertiser at The Waters this week. Check out this feature on Front Porch Living at The Waters!

, Montgomery AdvertiserPublished 7:24 a.m. CT July 15, 2016 | Updated 7:30 a.m. CT July 15, 2016

What do you need for life on the front porch? The ability to relax, and to enjoy family and friends. A good porch swing and soft lighting won’t hurt, either.

The front porch is more than an extension of a home. It is what brings people – and a community – together.

It is where in the evenings, stories are shared, food is served, wine is poured, and where families gather as a way to connect. It is where lights are both strung and where they glow. And where comfort is brought through swings, fireplaces, and reflection.

“It’s where we live in the afternoons,” said Teri Phillips, a homeowner at The Waters. “It’s social time and everybody stops and talks and we share our day. We enjoy each other’s company. I have relatives out here, so we all cook and get together. It’s a very ‘family’ atmosphere.”

Porch living must be usable, said Robert Fike, project manager with Harris Doyle Homes.

“A 10-foot deep porch is perfect,” he said, “giving you plenty of room for seating and swings. The Waters, because of the community, some of the porches are huge because of that. People get out and socialize out here. When nighttime comes, you see the lamps and back porches utilized more.

“It’s not just a front or back porch. It is used just as much as the living rooms. It’s another room from the house.”

And what they want, he said, includes fans. Seating. Tables. Lighting.

“They have to have swings,” he said. “Every homeowner wants a front porch swing. Tables with lamps. Tongue and groove material, a type of lumber, for the ceiling. The porch on the side, rear or front is used just as much as the living rooms. Porches and things like that are very social.”

There are curtains – more decorative for the summer but which can be closed to trap in some heat during cooler months.

And then there are the televisions.

“Everybody wants to watch Alabama football in the fall,” Fike said. “Speakers … are on the rear of the house when they want to entertain.”

When Phillips entertains, she does so comfortably. She recently replaced some wicker furniture for what she describes as more cushioned chairs “because we literally live out there. We rock out there at night and sit and just discuss our day. That’s our downtime. You feel your blood pressure lower when you walk out there. It’s just a great feeling to know your neighbors.

“You need a place to eat because a lot of people eat outside so that you can just watch the view. We watch birds and the wildlife every day. That’s why I don’t get anything done.”

The back porch is where she entertains. It is where her tables are situated. But when it is just family, they’re out front.

“You can look down and see everybody else’s porch and you wave and talk,” she said. “We have soft lamp lighting because we keep them on all night just to look inviting, homey. But we do sit out there a lot with the low lights on.

“We’ll have golf carts parked out at night with people wanting to get together. It’s like nobody wants to go home.”

Top 10 porch comforts

1. Swing

2. Tables

3. Lamps

4. Tongue and groove material for ceilings

5. Cushioned hairs

6. Stone fireplace

7. String lights

8. Screens

9. Wicker chairs

10. Gliders

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