Isn't it time to reinvent your porch?

by Thom Inman - Master Craftsman and Western Red Cedar Expert

The American front porch has held the monopoly on lucid memories for generations of families. The amount of greetings and partings; comings and goings; hugs and kisses that have taken place on the porches of our lives are as countless as the tears. The kitchen may be the heart of the home; but, the porch is the soul. Porch sitting is the ultimate remedy to the strife, haste and harried life style of modern living. Although our porches are nearly iconic; they seem to be slowly receding from the substance of our lives. Homeowners are nearly clamoring for comfort, yet often overlook the obvious and abiding pleasures of the porch.

As a boy, the door between our kitchen and the screened porch, what my Mom called the "Summer Kitchen", was opened and remained that way until deep into September and early October. For many of us our porches became an outdoor living room. It represented the ideal place for folks to spend hours sitting and talking with friends and family. So if the porch was such an important part of our lives, why has it started to disappear?

Technological change is one of the main things that advanced the abandonment of the front porch. As the growing number of automobiles began to flood the streets the front porch gradually failed to be the idyllic setting. Air conditioning has contributed its share of the spoilage as well. A cool environment indoors negates the need to take advantage of a shady area outdoors on the porch. Of course the television and all of its accouterments now focus family life more and more indoors.

Isn't it time to reinvent your porch? No matter what size your porch, big or small, with a little creativity you can send out a warm welcome to guests and neighbors again. Do you have a cheerful porch? Does it say welcome? Your porch is your personality! One of the most effective ways to go about doing this comes in the form of a carved outdoor welcome sign that is hand carved and offers a great way to say hello to your guests.

These hand carved signs come in a range of designs and you are able to have an array of names or slogans carved into them. If you want personalized impact you can add an image to the sign as well. Perhaps you'll want the names of all your family members suspended from your sign in legacy fashion. Maybe you'll want to give your property a quirky name accompanied by an image that uniquely identifies and speaks for you.

You will be amazed at the difference a welcome sign will make to your porch. Put out the flag and add some potted plants. It'll make your property more homey and says to your neighbors come on over! It really is the perfect thing to bring your porch back to life so you can start enjoying and relaxing outdoors more, back in the company of your friends and family where you all belong.

May the Forest be with you!