With summer just around the corner, our thoughts naturally turn to porches. Whether screened, windowed, or open-air, a porch usually reigns as the most relaxing place in a house. It can serve as an informal entertaining hub, a quiet getaway spot, or simply an extension of indoor living space. The best ones become an integral part of a home’s design, rather than a tacked-on element.

Porches make perfect places to linger after a satisfying dinner, laze on a breeze-filled early evening, or savor a cherished view. They represent the very essence of summer—and we’ve gathered a selection of some of our favorites here.