The Veranda or Verandah (from Portuguese varanda), is a roofed opened gallery or porch. It is also described as an open pillared gallery, generally roofed, built around a central structure. A veranda is often partly enclosed by a railing and frequently extends across the front and / or sides of the main structure.
The veranda has featured quite prominently in Australian vernacular architecture and first became widespread in colonial buildings during the 1850s. It is also used in commercial buildings (particularly hotels) across Australia and features decorative screens of wrought iron, cast iron "lace" or wood fretwork. The Queenslander is a style of residential construction in Queensland, Australia, which is adapted to subtropical climates and characterized by its large verandas, often in the Filigree style.
The Creole Townhouse in New Orleans, Louisiana is also noted for its prominent use of verandas. Spanish colonial architecture (as well as the "Mission style" revivalist version that became popular in the Western United States in the early 1900s) commonly incorporates verandas, both on the exterior of buildings and, in cases of buildings with courtyards, along the interior walls of courtyards.
In our opinion the real home of the Veranda is here in Africa. Almost all of the early colonial houses were built with large verandahs. This was because this was where it was coolest, were the house owner could see over his fields and were most of the guest entertaining was done. The Omani Arabs also brought their take on verandas in coastal climates with large verandahs with high ceilings being incorporated in their palace architecture throughout the East African coast from Zanzibar to Lamu.
That said and done, the Veranda at the coast just works! In Watamu, almost every house we have built has had some sort of large veranda. The principal behind it still works. Why would you want to be inside the house when you can sit comfortably on the verandah and chat to your friends and family, in the shade, with the view of the sea, or pool, in front of you. You will soon come to realize that at the coast you tend to ‘live’ on your veranda. They are a beautiful and necessary part of the house.
Planning and incorporating a veranda into your house design in Watamu is an important decision and must be well thought out. THL puts a lot of thought into space requirement, breeze, light and style when designing your veranda. The direction it faces, its size and shape are all important considerations. There are so many choices that, within reason, the client has complete carte blanche!
If you would like us to help you design or build a decent, functioning and aesthetically pleasing veranda that you can be proud of then give us a call. We will be more than happy to help you achieve what you want.