Spring in Ely, Minnesota! After five months of winter we are thinking about the snow going away, warmer temperatures, gardens and enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of a porch. I feel it is important in a climate like we have in northern Minnesota to not only have a deck but to have a screened in or four season porch. A screen porch is a necessity because of the the mosquitoes, and other biting insects that are with us for most of the summer and a fireplace or stove on the screen porch extends the season into one of our most beautiful times of the year late September and October. There are also four season porches that are heated year round but have windows with screens that can be opened in the summer.
I have been inspired to talk about porches because of a currant project I am working on. It is a sun porch in a new home. We did not furnish it when the home was completed 3 years ago because there were other priorities. Now we have a lovely stage set to finish it. It has a natural stone look tile floor, pretty wall color, warm wood tones and beautiful custom made Marvin windows that are pretty to look at and wonderful to look through and open to bring the sites, sounds and smells of the outdoors in. It will have comfortable sitting pieces a place to organize everything from coats and umbrellas to books and games and a table with chairs for playing games or having afternoon tea.
Another project is a screen porch on a small cabin that was not quite completed when the snows came at the end of October last year. The porch in this 800 square foot cabin is designed to be an extension of the cabin living area. The window wall from the main cabin is a door system that can be folded back to completely open the cabin to the screen porch. There are views in three directions and a Rumsford wood burning fireplace made of stone gathered from the site. There will be very comfortable sitting pieces and perhaps a table for dining.
Screen porches in lake cabins in Northern Minnesota have been the tradition since people started building and using cabins here. They were attached to the cabin usually with a shed roof, screening was used and then a casement style window that opened in. A comparison of a 1930’s cabin and the recently built cabin. The purpose is the same to enjoy the outdoors in comfort but the innovations of materials make the big difference.
One of the joys of having a cabin is spending time relaxing, observing nature, reading or just enjoying the sites and sounds of the natural world that surrounds us. I will leave you with some images from porches in Ely, Minnesota.
“…….so, save me a porch with a view.”