Do you love porches?
I remember the very early days of my career in Real Estate. Karen Derr and Associates was a prominent Real Estate Office in the Heights. She rose to fame when she coined the phrase "People Love Porches". I later discovered this phrase was the brainchild of Bill Baldwin, who bought her company and renamed it Boulevard Realty.
Every Sunday, on Sunny 99.1, Houston's favorite radio station, she would run her ads from noon to about 4 - during the time people were driving neighborhoods in search of open houses. And at the end of every commercial she would enthusiastically declare, "People Love Porches". So many homes in the Heights have porches. And Bill and Karen quickly understood, in these early days, this is the charm that drove the market to the Heights. I think it still does.
Porches foster community. When we take time to drink in a beautiful day on our front porch, we see and acknowledge our neighbors. We notice our surroundings and become connected. We take in the sounds, smells and colors of our environment. There is something so rejuvenating and satisfying about observing the world from a front porch.
Porches can vary in so many ways. They can be concrete or decked. Fenced in or open. They can be limited to one side or wrap around. Add a porch swing or don't. Embellish with flowers and plants or leave it clear and free of distraction. There are so many different ways one can express oneself.
I know for myself, I could spend hours of lazy time on a swinging porch swing. Hand me a tall glass of iced tea and my favorite little lap dog, and I'm in heaven for hours.
My neighborhood has a lot of friendly characters; and the birds seem so busy as they fly from tree to tree socializing with one another and building their nests. And since I love flowers, I thoroughly enjoy admiring their beauty from my own deck.
Apparently, porches have existed since pre-historic times and then began showing up in Greece and Rome. But what's most interesting, is that porches evolved to become mostly an American architectural feature. They were possibly influenced by the style of homes found in West Africa from those migrating here during America's infant years. You can read more about the origination of porches, here.
I for one am so pleased that they have become a mainstay of our culture and I plan on cherishing mine for years to come.