Classic Charleston PorchPhotography: Laura Moss, Styling: Natasha Louise King
It’s that time of year again: time to sweep the porch, freshen up the porch swing and chairs with a coat of paint or maybe a pillow or two. Porches are informal spaces, part of the home but public and inviting to folks passing by. Americans have had a long love affair with porches.
Many family stories have been passed along to younger generations while sitting on porches. Young romances have been nervously kindled on porch swings; children have been kissed goodbye on their first day of school or before leaving for college. Loved ones have been held in tight embraces before leaving for war. In fact, while porches were around during colonial times, they truly took their place in American history in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
They were not only social places they were also useful places. My mothre-in-law was always potting plants or ‘rooting’ a new plant on her open front porch, while my father-in-law took his muddy boots off on the side porch. My mother used to shell butter beans on her screened porch.
There were sleeping porches before air conditioning. A person could catch a breeze on hot summer nights. Still, porches are places where we kick back, prop up our feet, take deep slow breaths, chat with friends or read a book, but there’s just nothing else in the world like a porch nap.
Charleston-Style PiazzaPhoto: Laurey W. Glenn
Pretty Back PorchPhotos by Jean Allsopp