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Screened porches are enchanting any time of the year, but especially so in the fall. Here in Nashville, this is the season when we most want to linger outdoors–with dinner parties and bonfires at night and coffee and quiet time in the morning–not only because the temperatures are so perfect but because we know they are only temporarily so. Plenty of the homeowners we’ve built screened porches for tell us that they live on their porches and love them for their timeless Southern charm. But not only are they old-fashioned, they’re on trend. Several home remodeling experts have made note of the uptick in requests for screened porches in recent years.

In a feature on the screened porch trend, The Washington Post reported earlier this year that “screened porches offer an experience that cannot be found elsewhere. They are the meeting point between home and garden, offering exposure to the elements with the protection and comfort of being indoors. In other words, the best of both worlds.”

Here are more things to love about screened porches:

– They serve as a bonus room (one with breezes and nature sounds) and are less expensive to build than other additions.

– They allow homeowners to spend time outdoors even when it’s raining. We can’t think of a better vantage for a lightning storm.

– They keep the bugs away. Shoo, skeeters!

– They are fun to decorate with all-weather rugs and pillows, swings and rocking chairs, lighting, artwork, seasonal decorations and accessories that might be considered too whimsical indoors.

– They provide the perfect setting for any kid’s birthday party.

– There’s no better place to sleep outdoors. Some people actually designate their screened porch as a “sleeping porch,” others “camp” there with their families.

– They can be built to be either modest or luxurious to suit the homeowner’s tastes.

– They can be made usable year round with ceiling fans and wall-mounted heating systems.

What do you love about a screened porch?