Design snapshot: Sweet spot

Set on a grassy perch, the symmetrical building elevation, approached via symmetrical landscaping, shapes a dignified and balanced little bungalow. The simple, broad strokes of the thick mullions and repeated, large, double-hung windows on the enclosed porch delightfully offset the quiet, low-sloped, gable wall which peeks above it. Blue door, matching blue planters, and flanking flounces of lavender are cheerful accents which contrast the milk-white trim and sunny, yellow shingles. The narrow sidelights, featuring muntins designed to align with the double-hung window divisions, and fence-like shutters are appealingly quirky details. This small package brims with gusto. It had me at hello.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

Design snapshot: Engaging enclosed porch

dssenclosedporch.jpgAn enclosed porch invites low winter light deep within it to brighten spirits and enliven neighboring spaces. It provides an intimate get-away that’s still visually connected with the larger, adjacent, living spaces. It improves those by offering a buffer to the street, and an additional destination.

This used to be an open-air, front porch with a wrap-around, shingled half-wall, topped by stout columns. Since it’s close to the street, it was loud and infrequently used. Now that it’s enclosed, it’s one of the most popular rooms in the house. To the left you can see the living room doorway, which was once the front-door opening. The original double-hung windows, next to it, remain and welcome borrowed light (from the newer porch casements) into the living room.

This is my parents' enclosed porch, painted my mother's favorite pale green-blue, coupled with flattering cream-colored trim. She had extra deep window sills built to accommodate her many plant treasures. She has a knack for creating cozy spaces, outfitting this one with wicker furniture and assorted chairs around an antique, flip-top table. My parents' enclosed porch is one of my favorite spots to visit over breakfast or tea. You might be surprised how enclosing your porch could improve your living space.

by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast