My love for porches can be traced back to a project my dad began for my older brothers before my parents knew a little girl was on the way.
We didn’t actually have a porch at my childhood home. Instead, we had an extension of my dad’s endless creativity – a tree house built for the boys (and future baby girl) whom he so lovingly adored, and still does!
The 1486 Woodmont Blvd Treehouse was a sight to be marveled and reveled in by every child and every inner child that entered my family’s eclectic backyard. Spanning American Beech and Winged Elm trees, my afternoons were spent in imaginary Ghost Buster and Peter Pan lands – creations of my brothers of course – and I happily tagged along in these make-believe worlds with cousins, friends and parents alike.
During the summer, we visited my great aunt Ruth and uncle Henry Read in a quiet, wooded neighborhood of Atlanta. Always in tow for these visits were my cherished Georgia cousins who, looking back, made the memories that solidified my love for porches. It was on Aunt Ruth’s unique screened porch that we laughed during home-cooked southern meals, collected caterpillars in jars and took naps with Uncle Henry’s legendary porch dog, Lucille. It was there that I learned to play Go Fish and War, developed an addiction to fresh Georgia peaches and found a new love for living alfresco. I dreaded having to leave Atlanta in the summertime but in retrospect, what I hated parting with was the Read family porch. Because even as a child, it relaxed my energetic soul.
It wasn’t until we moved into the house my mom currently lives in that experienced life with a real porch and finally had an outdoor living space I could enjoy throughout the year. The Porch is multi-functional and is equipped to handle a variety of crowds – it has hosted holiday family dinners, been the late-night landing spot for friends after a night out, and has been the breeding ground for intellectual and not so intellectual conversations that never seem to end. It is home to a diverse collection of art collected and gifted from all over the world and has become a space all its own. The Porch lets you laugh. It lets you cry. It lets you reminisce and lets you unwind. In short, the space lets you be you and embodies the only thing a porch really needs – a personal touch and a lot of love.
It is no wonder that when I began my adult life in Charleston, I was not only ecstatic to find an array of porches, from the grand historic piazzas of downtown Charleston, to the quaint beach bungalows of Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island. And after just a year of living in this one-of-a-kind town, I’ve come to understand that Charleston has the same effect on me as the porches in my life – both relax my soul.