Case Study: Remodeling

Three-Season Style: An ingenious porch addition makes outdoor living a breeze

A Potomac couple called on Anthony Wilder Design/Build to expand their traditional abode with a porch and deck in contrasting modern style. “The goal was a room for all seasons that would feel different from the rest of the house,” says project architect Marian Vaias.

She and her team designed an industrial-chic porch that spills out onto a deck through a glass-framed garage door. Conceived by Wilder designer Steve Spohr, the garage door slides open above floating ceiling beams, from which lights and fans are suspended. Removable windows and casements keep breezes flowing in the warmer months while sheltering against the elements. Radiant heating under porcelain-tile floors adds warmth.

One side of the porch opens to the deck, which boasts a linear gas fire pit. On the other side of the porch, a covered grilling station complete with gas lines and an exterior-grade range hood enables the owners to cook outdoors all year round.

Designer Shannon Kadwell selected finishes that convey an industrial edge, from wood beams and window frames painted to look like steel to matching dark-painted aluminum garage-door frames. The addition is clad in tongue-and-groove cedar, treated to retain its hue. The deck is cedar with cable railings and a pressure-treated wood floor stained to look like cedar.

Designer Keira St. Claire-Bowery furnished the addition with a custom dining table, Lee Industries chairs and a woven armchair by Palecek. Gloster seating surrounds the fire pit, and all furniture is upholstered in Perennials outdoor fabric. LED lights illuminate the railings and stairs, which lead to a flagstone patio.

Addition Architecture & Contracting: Marian M. Vaias, AIA; Interior Design: Shannon Kadwell, CMKBD, Allied ASID; Keira St. Claire-Bowery, Allied ASID, Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John, Maryland. Landscape Design: Rossen Landscape, Sterling, Virginia. Photography: John Cole.

Marian Vaias’s Trade Secrets

  • When building a porch addition, consider how you will use it. Is it just for family or will you be entertaining? Will you spend time there year-round?
  • Airflow is very important. Do you want to include operable windows? Where will the doors be located? What about ceiling fans? A heated floor will allow for use during colder months.
  • When locating a porch addition, keep in mind the impact it will have on available light in the house. We often enlarge doors to the interiors and add skylights to compensate for the loss of light inside.
  • The porch ceiling should be as high as possible; this will make the space lighter and airier.