A 1790s North Carolina farmhouse is paid the ultimate old-house compliment—its new screened porch is often mistaken for being a century old.
After carefully restoring her 200-year-old Federal-style farmhouse in Stanly County, North Carolina, the homeowner quickly realized she lacked a crucial country-living element: a spacious, covered outdoor space where she could entertain, relax, and enjoy the views. In stepped Charlotte-based architect Ken Pursley to design a screened porch addition that would afford the outdoor living she wanted and still uphold all the integrity of the beloved historic farmhouse. Using the original home as his reference point, Ken devised a plan for a porch that was in keeping with the home's architectural spirit but still felt like a separate structure that had been added at a later date.
Problem No outdoor living space to relax and entertain
Solution A new L-shaped screened porch that juts off the rear of the house, maximizing breezes and views of the surrounding farm
Ken was careful not to let the addition overwhelm the original structure. "I tried to be sensitive to the main house by being respectful of the existing scale," he says. To do so, Ken kept the proportions and roofline in check by constructing the 635-square-foot addition in two separate but connected zones: a flat-ceilinged breezeway and a vaulted living/dining area .
Comfort is key! See how Ken planned the porch as a true living room.
1. Entrances Matching screened doors on both sides of the breezeway allow guests to enter the porch and back of the house from the barn or pool area.
2. Wet Bar Placing an island in this high-traffic area is a clever use of space. Guests can grab a drink on their way to the adjoining dining and seating areas.
3. Dining Area Keeping the homeowner's frequent entertaining in mind, Ken carved out an eating spot on one side of the porch to fit a generous table and an antique church pew used as a bench.
4. Living Room Three sides of screens provide multiple views and plenty of cross breezes. A large stacked-stone fireplace keeps everyone toasty on cool evenings.
The porch's vaulted ceiling rises to 15 feet, which is 6 feet higher than the flat-ceilinged breezeway.
Chimney and fireplace masonry: by Randy Sells Stone Masonry, Inc., Richfield, NC; 704/463-7636. Floor paint: Mega Greige (7031); sherwin-williams.com. Sofa, love seat, and gliders: Classic Wicker Collection in Black Walnut (60167, 60168, and 60169) with cushions in Fife Wheat by Summer Classics (summerclassics.com) for Frontgate; frontgate.com. Pillows (on chairs): Bird And Nest Screen Print Pillow (D98); lacefielddesigns.com.
Building the new porch straight off the rear of the home would have created a telescope effect. So instead, Ken planned the
structure to run parallel to the main house and then connected the two rectangular buildings with a narrow screened breezeway.
"We took a T-shaped house and turned it into an H-shaped house," says Ken.
A French door connects the porch to the kitchen for easy access when entertaining.
Kegerator: by Custom Home Pubs, LLC, Matthews, NC; customhomepubs.com.
Metal curtains: by Cascade Coil Drapery Inc.; cascadecoil.com.
Refrigerator: Built-in Undercounter Refrigerator (FF521BLBI) in Stainless Steel; summitappliance.com.
The homeowner sought out nearby artisans to construct the new screened porch. The age-old techniques that many of these stonemasons,
carpenters, and metalsmiths inherited from their fathers and grandfathers helped give the project its authenticity. "These
craftsmen built the porch with the same level of care and detail that the original home had," says Ken.
The farm table was handcrafted from antique heart pine by Georgia Harvest Tables.
Bench: vintage church pew. Similar items available through Cline's Country Antiques, Mt. Pleasant, NC; clinesantiquesmpnc.com.
Green pillow fabric: Ranger Twill in Fern (000280741); calicocorners.com.
Pillow (middle on bench): Jute Braid Pillow Cover in Tumbleweed; potterybarn.com.
Birdhouses: handcrafted by Ty Buris, Bear Creek Cabinet Shop, Oakboro, NC; bearcreekcabinet.com.
Instead of store-bought lumber, well-worn, century-old wood from the carpenter's family farm wraps the island.
Island: custom, designed by Mark Kline, Pursley Dixon Architecture, and crafted by Ty Burris, Bear Creek Cabinet Shop, Oakboro, NC; bearcreekcabinet.com.
Barstools: Madeleine Barstool in Weathered Oak Drifted (62290016 WOAK); restorationhardware.com.
Hand-forged from iron, this hook-and-eye tie-rod replaces the expected wood beam. It's also a functioning turnbuckle.
Iron tie-rod, fire screen, and tools: custom by Brian Baucom, Baucom Welding, Monroe, NC; 704/753-4830.