Good Houses Are Good Neighbors Too

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about 10 elements of this just-right residence. Number nine spoke about a house that’s a great neighbor and participates the entire world over it — even when it is different. What does this mean? How can a house engage the world, and why is it important that it do this?

Carla Aston | Interior Designer

To engage the world, a home should have an in-between distance that beckons to the passersby while providing refuge and a perch from which to see the road. This is a distance, including a porch, from which you can observe the road, and the road can see you. Making such a distance is much more than good manners and neighborliness — it also helps to keep a neighborhood safe, as offense typically occurs in the shadows.

Soorikian Architecture

The in-between space is greatest when it is large enough to be a room of its own. A place for comfortable chairs, a desk or two, maybe even a hammock. Bear in mind that it is a room that is part of the home, so deal with it with the same attention to detail as the other chambers. In reality, as this is the room that presents your own face to the planet, maybe treating it somewhat better than the other chambers is in order.


In a compact, urban setting, a balcony is just similar to a front porch, a place where to engage the entire world. Surethese spaces are somewhat smaller and much more detached from the road, yet they’re still that great in-between place where to greet neighbors and keep eye on the area.

Barker O’Donoghue Master Builders

A little”box bay” that goes out across the sidewalk is also a perch from which to participate with the road and be a fantastic neighbor.

Glenn Robert Lym Architect

Neighboring homes can differ. After all, who would want to live in a world where everybody and everything is identical? But please provide an overture into the surroundings. Maybe it’s in the materials and colors, which do not shout out,”Look at me.” Or maybe it is a window shape that is traditional, evoking something about that which was there before.

Burns and Beyerl Architects

Or maybe it’s in the massing, which will be similar to everything else near.

Frank / Architects

Being a fantastic neighbor doesn’t demand a suburban or urban setting. A home set in the woods can be a fantastic neighbor too. It’s about how it responds to its site. Does it respect the landscape? Does it take in opinions? Does it allow for outside activities that celebrate its location? Bear in mind, simply as it has no neighbors doesn’t indicate that it is alone.

Hirsch Associates LLC

Don’t pass up the chance to transform your home into a lantern that lights up the night and provides all a glimpse of their life inside. Homes that do so have a particular place in my heart since they do enliven a road when all else is shut down and closed off.

Rossington Architecture

And do not think about front porches as something which just traditionally designed homes can have. A modern aesthetic can celebrate community engagement just in addition to any foursquare does.

Rossington Architecture

It just takes a willingness to do so.

Inspiration for your own front porch

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