North Shore Front Porches: A Simple Guide
Every porch has a unique style and is inspired by some era. Of course, a modern take on these porches has changed the design a bit, but the classic touches still remain the same. In the space below, I provide a general overview of the styles of porches people encounter on the North Shore along with the defining characteristics of these porches.
Plantation Style Porch
Inspired from southern living, the Plantation style porch originated during the 1860s.The porch usually has two round columns with no embellishments, and the floor is paved with stone. The colors used are rustic brown, white or cream to give that fresh southern look. One thing that sets the plantation style porch apart are large potted plants standing at attention on the steps to the porch. Railings are seldom used, but if a porch has them, the design is pretty simple.
Victorian Era Porch
How many times have you heard that a house has a Victorian feel to it? During the Industrial Revolution, Victorian Era architecture started making a visible appearance throughout Europe and the US. The architecture was described as “bold,” “colorful,” and “elaborate.” A Victorian house could be easily identified because of its porch design, which has a different look to it. It’s more ornate, and the use of color is striking.
Since the Victorian porch design was a bit extravagant, homeowners went with unique looks that made their house stand apart from the others. To learn more about this style of architecture, read Simply North Shore’s article “Victorian Architecture 101: Visit Sea Cliff!”
Farmhouse Style Porch
The farmhouse-style porch originated in Europe in the 1920s. At that time, a farmhouse porch was often times overlooked because houses were considered the ultimate shelter to keep out rain and the harsh environmental elements. Porches were simply a decorative accent and a covered space to take off your boots. A farmhouse porch is usually two steps above the ground and contains simple rustic beams. Rarely are there any railings, making it easy to get cover from the rain from any angle. There is usually space, however, for a simple sofa set or a rocking chair – rustic charm at its best!
Queen Anne Style Porch
The Queen Anne style porch is another design of the Victorian era. This porch style originated between 1885 and 1920. The porch consisted of tall columns with intricate architecture, befitting a queen, hence the name. One could easily identify this design style due to the vintage detailed designs at the top end of the columns. The Queen Anne style porch is characterized by detailed wood-work, which is what makes it so beautiful & unique. The whimsical colors of this classic Sea Cliff Queen Ann style home are simply beautiful. If you have not been to Sea Cliff, you must take a Sunday drive through this community to get a feel for one of the most unique communities on Long Island. The Sea Cliff Landmarks Association is a tremendous group of local residents who volunteer countless hours to share their talent in an effort to preserve the architectural charm of this community.
The Bungalow style porch originated in the 1900s and was identified by its anchoring columns. It’s often times associated with Arts & Crafts style architecture introduced by American designers with a flair for flourishes. There is the old-style tapered column with a large base and cone-shaped top. The square columns are simple, and the broad base of the columns adds volume and style to the porch.
Also known as the American Front Porch, the colonial style porch has seen many changes since it originated in 1650. Around this time, the porch did not contain railings and just had thick round columns that were inspired by Greek architecture. In the 18th Century, railings were sometimes introduced. A colonial porch offers an area for chairs so residents can relax on a warm afternoon and greet guests as they arrive.