One of the key themes I come back to at The Whiskey Porch is "seasonal living". It's an aspect of a Simple Lifestyle that adds texture, and color, and variety, and a natural flow to things.
When we talk about living with the seasons, what does that really mean?
To me, it's simply shifting your lifestyle with the seasons. Doing different things in different spaces, as the seasons progress through the year.
Focusing on the connection to the landscape and the outdoors is just as important as the creature comforts and floorplan that you incorporate into your home design. So, the interior isn't entirely separate from the outdoors and the landscape that your home sits on.
By creating this connection intentionally, we craft a direct link between our daily activities and the cycle of the earth.
And. We can greatly expand the amount of living space available to us.
Let me explain.
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A front porch of course serves as a year-round refuge from weather and is a transitional space from the parking or walkway into the home.
It is typically only enclosed on one side (the exterior wall of the house that it connects to) but sometimes it might be enclosed on two or even three sides.
Because this porch functions as your main foyer essentially, it often tends to be styled in a more formal manner. And can feel very much like a literal living room with lighting and furniture and tables.
Almost one hundred years later, we renovated the old house and tore off the enclosures and exposed the original porch. It is now literally our favorite spot to take a break on the entire property.
Covered Back porch
A covered back porch will typically be a less formal space than the front porch. A little more utilitarian in that it can functionally year-round as a "mud-room" for the comings and goings of your family.
In our case we have incorporated a small cabinet to tuck away various odds and ends, we have hooks for outdoor gear and hats, or wet umbrellas. There's a sturdy bench for sipping tea in the morning in a private outdoor spot, or more often for taking off muddy shoes etc. And we have a small gas grill tucked into the corner which allows us to throw things on the grill
So this is a functional space, but still a beautiful outdoor room that is both a part of the house and a part of the garden. There are 4 wide steps that lead down to the back patio area and gardens.
Covered Patio or gazebo
Often I see gazebos that have roofs that are so high up or small that they almost don't provide much refuge at all from rain or snow - or worse, the south sun on a hot day.
In our case, we built a pretty large but casual cover over an existing (very old) concrete patio. It anchors our garden, and sits almost in the middle of our property. Because we are surrounded by many huge alligator juniper trees, this structure also gives us respite from the juniper berries that drop in late summer. We crafted the roof with a slope that is lower on the south side so as to provide more shade, and also a sense of enclosure. We've got some basic electrical and lighting, as well as lots of seating and an enormous custom table made from alligator juniper.
We use the gazebo as a literal passage way between the main house and a carriage house on the back of our property, and have often spent hours out here even during our crazy monsoon storms. It's a wonderful warm season living space as well as a year-round transitional space that makes the property more functional.
In our case we have a paver patio that connects our covered gazebo space to the walkway for the carriage house in back. Since we are back and forth constantly, we have paving between the two buildings now and it really pulls everything together. Plus, happily, this almost eliminates the mud and dirt being tracked inside.
We have chairs out on this patio for those days when we crave some sun or need to accommodate more guests.
On the other side of the house we created a patio area by adding decomposed granite and edging which connects the front entry and porch to the back garden and patios. It's a more casual look which is a great compromise for a more rustic setting that doesn't get constant traffic.
If you have very utilitarian garden spaces, it's understandable to want to put that further away or out of sight, but be sure that access and functionality isn't hindered by that distance or separation.
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Hey there. I'm Miriam ~ and I've been doing this my whole life. It's my passion.
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