Great Spaces: A Party Porch
With the arrival of Brood X, these Arlington homeowners were even more grateful for their new screened porch.
Jessie and Michael Brairton loved the look of their 2018 kitchen and great room remodel so much that they wanted to take it outside. So they returned to the same experts who had made that initial upgrade of their Tara-Leeway Heights home a winner.
In late 2019, they invited contractor Aaron Daley back to convert the deck off the kitchen into a screened porch. “Our prior deck was very small and not really usable space,” Jessie says. “We decided to significantly enlarge the footprint, adding a roof structure and screens so that we could use it for three seasons.”
After Daley designed and built the porch, the couple called interior designer Susan Sutter to talk about furnishings, lighting and finishing touches.
For continuity with the interiors, Sutter went with a similar color scheme (blue and white with pops of coral), choosing materials such as composite deck flooring and indoor-outdoor Sunbrella fabrics that could withstand the elements. “The goal was to marry the two spaces with a cohesive design that carries from inside to outside,” she says.
A burnished-steel Hibiscus pendant light by Hubbardton Forge sets an overall tone of fun and sophistication. “We wanted to amp up the style points with a unique look,” Sutter explains of the fixture over the dining table, “but with something that wouldn’t feel out of place outside.”
Outfitted for entertaining, the porch features a crisp beadboard ceiling, textured cocktail tables, an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert, and a Summer Classics table, chairs and sectional sofa. The exposed brick of the home’s exterior wall lends warmth, as does the afternoon sun that shines in, thanks to the porch’s southwest orientation.
“We have two kids, 13 and 10,” Jessie says. “When we first talked to Susan about our project, I told her I wanted light furnishings and she said, ‘Oh, I have the perfect fabric that will wipe clean of any finger or jelly stains.’ We now have a puppy, so the choice of easy-to-clean fabric was perfect!”
The easygoing outdoor space welcomed plenty of friends for wine and cheese this spring, while keeping the cicadas out. “The porch is elevated,” Jessie says. “We’ve been watching the birds build nests in some of the flowering trees in our backyard.”