Great Spaces: The Rustic Screened Porch

A McLean addition by Bowers Design Build brings the outside in.


MARY LYNNE CARRAWAY grew up in the country and has always loved nature. But the gnats that inhabit her 4-acre property in McLean are relentless at certain times of the day. “They get in your eyes and nose and make you crazy,” says the homeowner.

The rustic screened porch that Carraway added in 2007 was built partly as a refuge from the bugs, but also in honor of her first husband, David, a fellow outdoorsy type (a marathon runner, cyclist and skier) who died of a brain tumor eight years ago at the age of 48. “I didn’t want to move because our home was so much of him,” she says, “but I also wanted a fresh start.”

Now one of the most popular rooms in the house, the three-season porch plays host to big family meals, parties, movie nights and campfires, says Carraway, who has since remarried. Together, she and her new husband have eight kids who range in age from 14 to 22.

It’s also a quiet spot for reading and introspection, surrounded by the sounds of the forest. “I love going out there at night,” Carraway says. “It’s where I reflect and do a lot of thinking. I put my feet up on the rope and swing the bed.”

I LOVE THIS SPACE BECAUSE…“It’s a gathering place for family and the people I love.”

Project Credits:
Bowers Design Build

Categories: Home & Design