It may be tucked away in the back of the house, invisible from the street and unknown to anyone but family and guests, but the back porch is the most important room in many Southern homes.
It’s the place where drinks — whether lemonade or something stronger — are poured, smiles are shared and deep thoughts take form, uttered between friends or conjured up during a little time alone with just the trees and the stars. Lisa Allen Scalise, an interior designer and owner of Ivy Cottage Collections in Morrisville, N.C., knows this well. However, when she and her husband, Jim, built their house in Cary, outside of Raleigh, N.C., 17 years ago, the back deck was barely on their radar. They had two young children and she was expanding her two design stores: one in Morrisville and a now-closed one at North Hills in Raleigh, N.C.