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The Porch Life

When the house was on Main Street, a narrow porch with lattice-work supports framed the front door. In an old photo of the Greek Revival house in a book called Osterville—A Walk Through The Past by Paul Chesbro and Chester Crosby III, the porch looks like a decorative, rather than a functional, feature; there is barely room for a rocking chair.

Porches carry us away from our solitary computer screens and cell phones.

Photo by Dan Cutrona

When the current homeowner—a grandmother of eight —bought the house, she knew that she wanted porches: places for her three sons and their children to spend long summer days—and nights. “I wanted a morning, an afternoon, and an evening porch,” she says, “and that included a big sleeping porch, so we could be out in the air 24 hours a day.”

The first porch was part of an extensive remodeling project designed by Doreve Nicholaeff of Osterville’s Nicholaeff Architecture & Design, that opened out from a spacious new kitchen on the back of the house, a replacement for a small, dark cramped space.

The porch features big windows rising on three sides to a wood-paneled cathedral ceiling. A brick fireplace with a wide ledge for cozy seating on cool spring and autumn days is two-sided and serves as a warm gathering place surrounded by large comfy couches in the bright spacious kitchen.

Porches carry us away from our solitary computer screens and cell phones.

Photo by Dan Cutrona

“We cook s’mores here all the time,” says the homeowner, who has a whimsical sense of fun and a vivid imagination. During the long summer season—when the house is frequently filled to the rafters with children, their parents, and sometimes a nanny or two—the porch off the kitchen serves as the central dining area. “We live out here in the summer, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner around this table,” she says.

The long wooden table was custom-designed by Osterville builder, Scott Peacock, who also handled the construction of the new kitchen and all three of the new porches. Peacock’s crew had some unusual challenges with the popular sleeping porch, which is nestled on the front of the house.

The homeowner’s antique metal, four-poster bed had to be lifted in pieces to the second floor and transported over the railing of an open air porch into the enclosed sleeping porch. “I sleep out here until Thanksgiving,” says the homeowner, noting that her devoted Bolognese terrier finally insists that they move inside when it gets too cold, even when warmed by an electric blanket.

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