ISSUE 42  |  The Dark Side

Steal This Look: The Perfect Screened Porch

October 24, 2016 7:00 AM

BY Alexa Hotz

A screened porch sets the stage for the perfect relaxed evening: lazy, breezy, and ideally accompanied by a glass of wine and a group of fellow lollers. The best part? No insects allowed.

Architects Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown’s screened porch at their weekend place in Rhinebeck, New York, stands out as a model of the form. When the two renovated their house, a farmer’s cottage, they introduced a pleasing blend of green walls (so dark they border on Gothic) and midcentury Danish antiques. We studied the ingredients that make Tsao & McKown’s porch so appealing and sourced the key elements:

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Above: From a distance, the exterior wash of forest green paint reads as almost black. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

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Above: A welcoming collection of mismatched antiques. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

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Above: Sculptural wood bowls and other pieces work well with the wooden furniture. Photograph by Richard Powers for Tsao & McKown Architects.

The Essentials


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Above: The screened porched is a mix of dark green paint colors. Re-create the palette with Benjamin Moore’s Cedar Path 454 on the walls and ceiling, and Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green, an almost-black green, as an accent color. For more options, have a look at our Gardenista post Seeing Green: Architects Pick the Best Exterior Green Paints.

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Above: A favorite freestanding stove, the Rais Gabo Wood Stove, has a curved front and a well-sealed firebox that ensures optimal combustion control. It incorporates a convection grate above the combustion chamber and wood storage space underneath. Available in black or gray steel; $3,890. Contact Rais to locate a dealer near you. For other options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wood Stoves.

schoolhouse-electric-alabax-mounted-fixture-small-remodelistaAbove: A series of six porcelain ceiling mount fixtures illuminate the screened porch at night. We like Schoolhouse Electric’s Alabax Small Surface Mount Fixture, handmade in Portland, Oregon; $85 each. For more options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Classic Ceiling Porch Lights.

The Furniture

mc-and-co-daybed-Remodelista_0Above: The Mc & Co Daybed, designed by Corinne Gilbert & Dan McCarthy, is made of one-inch-thick unfinished cedar; it can also be custom ordered in ash, oak, walnut, and pine. It’s 40 inches deep, 27 inches tall, and 76 inches wide, and fits a twin-size futon. Pricing starts at $3,900 without a futon, and $4,200 with a premium futon. For more options, see High/Low: The Modern Wooden Daybed.

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Above: A handmade rawhide snowshoe rocking chair we sourced from a variety of sites; this vintage Vermont Tubbs Snowshoe Chair is $1,500 on 1st Dibs. Another source is an Iverson Rocking Chair for $495.

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Above: DWR’s Skagen Nesting Tables, inspired by midcentury designs by Arne Hovmand-Olsen, are made of solid walnut; on sale for $491.30 for the set.

The Accessories

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Above: West Elm’s Silk Hand-Loomed Pillow Covers is on sale for $31,.

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Above: From LA design firm Commune, Kilim Pillows are made from reclaimed kilim rugs; contact Commune for pricing and availability.

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Above: Measuring 30 inches long, a Linen Bolster Pillow is $125 from Lovely Home Idea on Etsy.

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Above: From Signature Hardware, the Brilliant Stainless Steel Watering Can with Brass Accents is $53.95.

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Above: Victoria Morris bowls are available from March in San Francisco; for prices and current selection, see March.

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Above: The BDDW Firewood Holder is made of steel and canvas, and comes with a bundle of scrap wood from the furniture company’s studio; contact BDDW for more information and pricing.

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Above: Tsao and McKown sourced a vintage iron doorstop. An alternate is the Tetu Iron River Stone Door Stopper in cast iron, designed by Japanese architect Makoto Koisumi; $70 from Nalata Nalata.

For more of our favorite screened porches, see Before & After: A Summer Porch Rehab in Upstate New York.