St. Louis’ porch culture
Quick & easy curb appeal
Better Homes & Gardens.
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2011.
Expert tips to spruce up the front of any home

Anyone who buys or sells a home knows that, when it comes to real estate, books are judged by their covers. Creating curb appeal is a key way to accomplish preserving and protecting the value of what is most likely to be a family's biggest single investment.

Unlike most books that focus on projects to enhance a home's backyard, Quick & Easy Curb Appeal focuses on projects that help make the front of the house more attractive.

  • Pulls together information from Better Homes and Gardens' rich library of content
  • Projects for tackling walkways, driveways, porches, and more
  • Ten must-dos for re-selling a home from real estate pros

Part inspiration and ideas, part resource guide, and part home maintenance reference, this book arms readers with everything they need to let their home give its guests a great first impression.

Perfect porches : designing welcoming spaces for outdoor living
Paula S. Wallace.
New York : Clarkson Potter, 2010.
Whether you Have a Porch of your own or simply love beautiful, inventive architecture, this book will awe you with forty of the country's most stunning and original porches. From San Francisco to Savannah, Vero Beach to Martha's Vineyard, from resurrected, becolumned old beauties to modern marvels, each porch is both a revelation of design and a magical retreat emphasizing its owners' unique design sensibilities. Book jacket.
Outdoor entertaining idea book
Natalie Ermann Russell.
Newtown, CT : Taunton Press, c2009.
The Outdoor Entertaining Idea Bookis the ultimate design guide for backyard fun, featuring hundreds of fresh, inspirational photos and jam-packed with thousands of ideas and nuggets of expert information about creating outdoor entertaining spaces. Filled with gorgeous photography and inspiring instruction, Tauntons latest Idea Book will help anyone create an amazing backdrop for their next get-together. Whether its for an intimate dinner party or a bustling family reunion, Natalie Ermann Russell shows homeowners how to create a wonderful variety of inviting outdoor spaces, from a fully functional kitchen to a contemplative garden room. She also lays out a full-course menu of plans for dining rooms, dry and wet bars, lighting details, media centers, and more.
The complete guide to porches & patio rooms.
Minneapolis, Minn. : Creative Pub. International, c2009.
  1. Includes index.
  2. "Sunrooms, patio enclosures, breezeways & screened porches"--Cover.

Some old St. Louis neighborhoods have a feature integral to each house on the block: a front porch. These porches provided a great place for neighborly interaction. They contributed to a strong community at a time when knowing your neighbor built the fabric of the neighborhood.

Porches are an architectural element that came to St. Louis from warmer climates. The porch provided protection from the weather and it was a few degrees cooler than the home’s interior. On a summer evening residents could catch a breeze on their porch. While cooling off they could chat with neighbors next door, watch those who pass in the street, and keep an eye on children playing out front.

“It was a double house, and the big open place be-twixt them was roofed and floored, and sometimes the table was set there in the middle of the day, and it was a cool, comfortable place. Nothing couldn’t be better.”

From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Young men courted young women on the porch under the watchful eyes of family. Families slept outside on the porch during extreme heat. Casual furniture provided an ambiance of leisure along with that classic seat: the porch swing. Reading in the porch swing while sipping ice tea is a beloved tradition of a more slow paced time. 

Porches lost favor with the advent of air conditioning, the automobile, and changing tastes of the public. As people shifted focus to their back yards for recreation and privacy, the neighborliness of porch culture disappeared. But today the porch has made a comeback. New homes are being built with porches that promise rest and comfort, an appealing symbol of leisure for our busy lives.

More about porches

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff