Cool in the shade

This rear-of-house and interior remodel includes a screened porch that presents a relaxed connection to the outdoor spaces
Story by: Charles Moxham Photography by John Umberger
Traditional style living area featuring fireplace & furniture backyard, home, interior design, living room, outdoor structure, patio, porch, real estate, table, window, brown
Traditional style living area featuring fireplace & furniture

Enhancing a house with a new screened porch requires consideration of exterior and interior connections. While the cladding and roofing will likely link to the main structure, the decor will evoke more immediate surroundings.

The added screened porch is part of a whole-house makeover by architect Julia Stainback and interior designer Libby Sims Patrick, with a kitchen upgrade by Emmye Otto Cherry. Landscape architect Susan Harrison redesigned the landscape and hardscape. Stainback was asked to introduce the screen porch, improve connections through the interior and exterior of the house, and renovate the porte-cochére.

"The new porch was a significant part of the project we placed this at the rear corner of the house, close to the pool so the owners could keep an eye on their children," says Stainback.

This was a logical placement in other ways, too, with existing French doors offering a ready connection between house and extension, and existing mature trees creating natural summer shade for the room.

Stainback designed the porch in empathy with the exterior of the house and with decor connections to the outdoor environment.

Entrance way featuring beautiful mature gardens building, cottage, estate, facade, grass, historic house, home, house, landscaping, lawn, mansion, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, tree, villa, green, white
Entrance way featuring beautiful mature gardens

"We introduced a brick facade and curving chimney structure to connect visually to the main building," says Stainback. "Similarly, the new shingle roof ties back to an earlier addition to the home in the same material."

Form as well as material binds the porch to the home. The roof line echoes gables on the main roof, but is set at a shallower angle to avoid obstructing views out over the garden from the master bathroom.

The porch interior also reflects the house exterior, with the brickwork continued inside and the limestone fireplace and table echoing cornices, headers and sills in the same stone.

"In the decor, cypress wood chosen for its resistance to moisture stone floors, cane furniture, and nature-inspired patterns on the soft furnishings all evoke the outdoors," Stainback says. "This space is the last in a run of informal rooms towards the rear of the home."

Designer Libby Sims Patrick has remodeled all the home's interiors, with the more private, family rooms given a durable, cozy aesthetic.

Interior view of this traditional home. Featuring the ceiling, estate, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, house, interior design, laminate flooring, living room, property, real estate, room, wall, window, wood, wood flooring, brown, orange
Interior view of this traditional home. Featuring the stairway and wooden floors covered by rugs.

"Dark wood floors and light walls connect the interiors throughout the home, but in the family room, breakfast room and kitchen, the paneling is painted a darker warm green to create a cozy, lived-in feeling," says Patrick. "A custom wool rug in playful colors was introduced, as well as durable upholstery in co-ordinating accent colors."

Kitchen design specialist Emmye Otto Cherry was asked to update the kitchen.

"Along with reconfiguring the cabinetry to make room for new appliances and upgrading all cabinet interiors, I introduced a new island," says Cherry. "Finished in walnut with an ebony stain and nickel pulls, the island has formal appeal, and works well with the breakfast table nearby. The kitchen resembles another living space and provides a transitional step between the family rooms and the public living spaces at the front of the house."

In the living and dining rooms, Patrick has created interiors with a traditional backdrop that combine the old with the new.

"The hallway walls are finished in a silvery strie patina, custom applied over plaster," says Patrick. "The feel for these more formal spaces is more refined and combines straight lines with curved sculptural forms and graphic patterns in a variety of contrasting finishes."

May 11, 2010

Credit list

Interior designer
Libby Sims Patrick LLDA, Sims Patrick Studio
Landscape architect
Susan Harrison
Cedar shake from
Random, rectangular bluestone from Fieldstone Center
Custom limestone mantle and exterior masonry Isokern fireplace, both designed by Stainback-Hess Studio, installed by Watermark Stone
Kitchen designer
Emmye Otto Cherry, Fusion Design
Builder of screen porch addition
Gilcraft Construction
Benjamin Moore
Screened porch furniture
selected by Lauri Stainback
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