Shady Style–The Return of Sleeping Porches

Illustration of 1911 sleeping porch, www.lhj.com

Illustration of 1911 sleeping porch, http://www.lhj.com

As a kid, I loved going to my Aunt Norma and Uncle Bob’s big four-story home in Independence, Kansas.  They restored it themselves and the house was loaded with design elements we kids loved for mostly all the wrong reasons. Chuck and Mitch would jump from the wrought-iron “cage” elevator when it got stuck a few feet above the first floor.  We  tiptoed down the secret staircase to the kitchen to escape our parents and snack late at night.  But the one thing we embraced for all the right reasons was the big sleeping porch my aunt filled with twin-sized beds. On warm summer nights, that porch was the most popular place around as we kids cued up to sleep under the stars (but in a comfy bed).  Even on rainy nights, the lure of the porch prevailed as John and Ron can attest.  They slumbered more than one night away with umbrellas over their heads.

Sleeping porches popped up at the turn of the 20th century before homes were air-conditioned.  These screened-in spaces were cooler to sleep in than indoor bedrooms and were believed to improve health (all that fresh air!).  But as air conditioning grew in popularity, sleeping porches fell from favor.

However, like all sound design ideas, sleeping porches are back in vogue and “Porch Living” by James T. Farmer III features some terrific ones that are easy to recreate in your own home.

Each are made for how we live today and are perfect for sleeping, a quick nap or as a quiet getaway.

Photograph by Helen Norman from "Porch Living" by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

Photograph by Helen Norman from “Porch Living” by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

What’s not to love about this sleeping porch with its full-sized bed dressed in crisp white linens and warmed by dappled sunlight peeking through the vines?

Photograph by Helen Norman from "Porch Living" by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

Photograph by Helen Norman from “Porch Living” by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

This sleeping porch is filled with warm hues and lots of texture. There’s even a sofa for guests to recline on.

Photograph by Helen Norman from "Porch Living" by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

Photograph by Helen Norman from “Porch Living” by James T. Farmer III; reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith

Who needs a porch? Kids and kids-at-heart will love this swinging bed that’s suspended beneath a deck.

Clearly, these are not our grandma’s (or aunt’s) simple sleeping porches.  They’re even better!

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