outdoor decks

Hi all! Sorry I missed a post! I was very on brand though. A coworker had a BBQ to celebrate the near completion of our next big exhibition at the museum. The BBQ took place on a back deck and adjacent patio. There was a lot of outdoor seating and great food.

In porch blog news, I’m working hard on a series of playlists for this summer that encompass the three different time spans of sitting on porches!

1. Readin’ and Relaxin’
2. Grillin’ and Chillin’
3. Partyin’ and Drinkin’

More to come on those soon! As always, submit your porches over at https://twitter.com/porchrates


Man you guys are gonna love me. I have one porch for you all, BUT there are several photographs. This porch/deck was submitted by a coworker and he also sent over some great stats like square footage. We’re gonna simulate movement of a party guest through this porch into (did you notice?) A SECONDARY PATIO. First off, I’m calling this a porch, but you can call it a deck too. Porch deck potato potato.

Lets go over some hot specs/stats on this baby first.
- 300 sq ft deck (built 2013)
- 200 sq ft patio with fire pit (built sometime between 1963 and 2007)
- 3 locking gates on deck to control access for kids, pets and strangers
- railing is designed to minimize child escape.
- 3rd seating area in the back yard if you want to consider the large fire pit a seating area (I absolutely do)
- deck has 2 dedicated seating areas in addition to plenty of space for kids toys/bikes
- has hosted many parties with no reported fatalities and minimal injuries
- house is on a mountain so there is a slight drop off and makes the deck feel like a treehouse (FRICKIN SOLD DUDE)
- At any time you can hear from the nearby high school or wetlands a HS Football/Baseball game, trains, frogs, or airplanes from the local airport which make a thunder sound in the valley.

Ok, first picture, we see the run up to the porch. I’m very encouraged to see (1) tiki torch and (2) potted plants in different sized pots (this is very important, symmetry is not necessary on these more woodland porches. We’re not about to hold a wedding or a funeral out here. This porch is all business for working folk. Also whats that I spy in the distance? A table with an umbrella!? Very impressive, rain protection is so important. Also it provides protection against any bird droppings or acorns from the nearby trees so smart move on the part of the porchowner.

Second picture, we get the whole ballgame. I’m spying dos kids bikes and they fit very comfortably on the porch which means the porch has great parking. I also don’t see a ticket on any of the bikes so lax parking enforcement too. Since the house is on a mountain in the woods you know those bikes aren’t getting stolen. Let’s talk about lighting for a quick minute. Porch lighting is a key demarcation between a porch that is merely good, versus truly great. Porch lighting should create a mystical yet homey feel. Christmas lights are absolutely encouraged. In this case we get lightbulbs strung in what appears to be a fashion an electrician might have slight issue with. I approve. This is the kind of deck that GETS BETTER when the sun sets. Just think about that. You’re out there with your friends having a good ole time, but wait! Oh no! The sun is setting and existential terror sets in. Hold the damn phone, we’ve got lightbulbs.

Third picture, we get a great look at the stone and grass patio. I don’t know if you all have noticed yet, but I’m a big fan of multiple GOSA’s (general outdoor seating areas) on one house. Options are super important. Also I spy a firepit. Firepits are paramount as they function as beacons to move guests off your porch or deck and onto the patio. Its like Lord of the Rings when Aragorn goes mountain climbing to light the beacons and all the Rohirrim show up at Minas Tirith. The only difference is in this case you just need to move your friends about 15-20 feet in one direction (thats about as difficult, especially your coworker Big Mike, he tends to post up a lot. Mike’s also the guy that drinks mike’s hard lemonade because his name is Mike, so shout outs to him).

Speaking of alcohol its time to recommend a drink for this porch/patio combo. My coworker told me he’s had the most success with an “an ice-cold fresh-made michelada.” Sign me up.

All in all I give this porch a 9/10. This is a Great Porch. I have also been invited over to this porch to do a field test of the chairs and other porch amenities and I will absolutely report back.

Next post coming on Monday! If you have porch questions or submissions hit me up over at https://twitter.com/porchrates


False Bay Writer’s Cabin in San Juan Islands

This 500 square foot island cabin designed by Olson Kundig serves as a private writer’s retreat and guest cottage. The owners wanted a space that would feel totally connected to the natural landscape, allowing them to take full advantage of the mild climate, scenic views and the proximity to wildlife; at the same time, they needed the cabin to be easily secured when not in use.

The cabin is basically a glass house surrounded by three wooden slat decks and topped with an inverted hip roof with deep overhangs. Through a system of hydraulic winches, wire rope, pivoting sheaves and lead blocks, these decks can be raised to serve as shutters, completely closing off the cabin. Open, the shutter-decks are outdoor living space, connecting to the interior with 10 foot tall windows and sliding doors. The south shutter-deck can be opened independently of the other two, and an interior fireplace can rotate 180 degrees to be enjoyed from the exterior. The inverted roof forces water to drain to the rear of the cabin, eliminating a drip edge on the shutter-decks.


Desert City House in Paradise Valley

Located on a relatively flat one acre parcel, the site is opposite the Arizona Canal with panoramic views to the Squaw Peak Mountain reserve to the north and Camelback Mountain to the east. The house designed by Marwan Al-Sayed Architects is conceived as a thick mass casting, with two one story volumes defining the entry courtyard and acting as a base for the plaster volume upper story bridge, which houses the main living, dining, and kitchen spaces, as well as outdoor dining decks. 

Follow the Source Link for images sources and more information.


Handangerfjord by Tony
Via Flickr:
When you get up early to watch the night change to day.


Aight folks. Its Friday and next Friday I’m moving! In porch news my friend Michael who is an art handler in my department submitted his porch. This is the first porch I’ve reviewed that I’ve also sat on! Multiple times! Another first, first porch picture with a human being in it! And yet another first, THERE’S A CAT IN THE FIRST PHOTO. That’s Bagheera, he’s a cat Michael found and keeps now. Bagheera is very ornery, but quite loveable. He’s also tangled with many animals larger than him. Ornery outdoors cats are a wonderful addition to almost any outdoor seating arrangement.

I love this porch, though I disagree with a change Michael recently made to it. The porch used to have a porch swing in the rear near where the railing makes a corner. Porch swings are [100 emoji]. But, the purpose of this blog isn’t to judge people for outdoor seating arrangement choices they make so I’ll just leave that there.

Hot facts on this porch:
- made of concrete
- has two small chairs and one small table
- I count 3 potted plants
- is where I have smoked 38% of my shame cigarettes
- is about 15 feet away from where some mormon kids asked Michael and I for directions then asked what we were doing tonight and I was like “oh I’m about to go stand up comedy for the first time” (true). They then asked me to tell them a joke. I hadn’t even done stand up yet and people are already asking me to tell them a joke.

This is a great porch for casual hangouts, relaxing at the end of a hard day’s work, or lingering on while you wait for your friend Libby to get out of the bathroom because you’re going to be late to standup.

Drink wise I asked Michael his recommendation and he said he prefers a fresh tequila based cocktail. Seems solid [obamadrinkingbeer.jpg]. Tequila is perfect for porches you relax on at the end of a long day.

All in all I give this porch a hot 9/10. Mostly because of my time on it. Whoever said these ratings are scientific?

Eureka Springs, THE DEUCE.

A friend at the museum I work at submitted this to me. She said “its my favorite cute house and I’m curious what you think of its porch!”

What do I think?

Well this porch is god tier is what I think. Alright let me sell you all on this baby. This building looks old and probably is old (1 point). The porch is off the ground (2 points). The porch looks possibly structurally unsound (0 points, who cares you’re in a historic houseporch. Finally, there’s a second porch above the first porch (all the points!). Also knowing Eureka Springs it is likely this house is along the downtown parade route, thus meaning this porch could be used to watch Arkansas’ largest Mardi Gras parade. Big play historic house, big play.

This is the kind of porch you sit on because you’re buddy knows someone and rented a tiny upstairs room for your crew on a weekend away. To that end I hereby decide the official drink of this porch is that bottle of really shitty whiskey you bought one time trying to bring back your college days of drinking 7 dollar Old Crow (Spoiler alert, that was me). The whiskey will taste like shit, bu the porch will remind you of times when life was simpler and your friends became your family.

Have a great weekend everyone! I’m going hiking tomorrow and very stoked about it. Follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/porchrates . Submit your porches there too!


On Deck by Tony
Via Flickr:
Eidfjord as we returned to our cruise ship and basked in the afternoon sun.


So I went to Eureka Springs, AR this weekend which if you haven’t been, is a town consisting mainly of houses built into hillsides with porches. Look it up, its dope. It also has the best Mardi Gras parade in Arkansas, thanks to the large amount of multiple story porches and decks!

I photographed this beauty, a porch that has a terrace leading to an overlook porch! Incredible!

The upper porch is great, spacious, what decoration there is is sparse, but looks very fitting for the space. Honestly, this porch is so classy I can’t even think about what I’d do on it if I was blessed by the great gods of outdoor seating to sit on it. Like this is a porch so good you have important lifelong memories on it and shit.

Next up lets talk terraces. First off terrace is a great word. Second off this is a great terrace. But who cares if its good or great, its a terrace! It takes you somewhere! Where does it take you though? Grandmother’s house? Heaven? A bar with 3 dollar gin and tonics? Yes basically all of the above. So I wasn’t able to go down the terrace as there was a gate and the porch/terrace was a private residence, but it overlooks a holler. Imagine yourself sipping mimosas on a nice Sunday morning with a significant other or a friend, talking about how great nature is and temporarily how you aren’t so scared about the universe and the abyss and chaos and the ultimate heat death of the universe and stuff like that I barely understand!

Which is my ironclad segue into drink recs, mimosas for sure! Screwdrivers are acceptable too, but not for the overlook, keep that for the plebs on the upper porch. All in all Great Porch 9.9/10

Feel free to submit porches for my review at https://twitter.com/porchrates