Building a sleeping porch | Living the Country Life

Building a sleeping porch

The porch you enjoy during the day can also be a cozy place to sleep in the open air at night.

My parents have a nice screened in porch with furniture. It’s nice to sit out there and enjoy the breeze without the bugs.  Sleeping porches date back well over a-hundred-years when nobody had air conditioning.

Dave and Mary Morris own a website that offers porch design from construction to decorating ideas. They've seen a resurgence of sleeping porches. Dave says it can be any size, as long as there's room to put a bed. Some manufacturers are making porch swings that convert into beds.

The location of a sleeping porch should take privacy, sunshine, and prevailing winds into account. There are other ways to make it more comfortable.

"You can have windbreaks. You can use everything from custom-made vinyl lattice panels that you can put up on the side, you can use plantation shutters," says Dave. "You can use something like porch curtains or porch blinds to control some of that sunlight or the wind."

There are many options for screens and windows. Screens allow the air to circulate without insects buzzing around. Windows will protect you in case of rain, and extend the porch's usefulness in colder weather. But there is no rule that says a sleeping porch has to be enclosed. Those who sleep on an open porch often surround their bed with mosquito curtains.

Add amenities to make the porch cozy. One of Mary's favorites is an indoor-outdoor rug.

"There's nothing like being able to have a nice rug to walk barefoot on and they add so much color and warmth to the floor for your porch," says Mary. "There's a lot of pretty outdoor artwork that you can get now that you can hang on your porch. I always think having a few beautiful green plants is nice, and some little side tables next to your bed where you can keep some personal items."

Learn more:

Five unique porches to sleep on

Converting a deck into a screened porch

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