A collection of handcrafted swinging bed ideas.
It has been two years – almost exactly to the day – since I wrote about the promise to myself of the “one day” Swinging Porch Bed. Now, it’s Happy Mother’s Day – Early Birthday to me! More recently, I posted about our custom stairway gate Larry built. What I didn’t tell you was that Larry had contacted me after seeing his swing featured on Atticmag – he was the original craftsman for the to-die-for local home store swing. I want to adopt Larry.
During our meeting, we decided to use salvaged wood from a house tear down. Simple slats run along the sides and back, and the swing was given a light stain. Five outdoor pillows coordinate with the Sunbrella cover with contrasting welt on the twin size mattress – all ordered online (sources listed below). The custom Dryfast foam mattress is the same material used for boat cushions. If needed, you can literally clean it with a hose and let dry. A fast drying, non-molding material was important, since harsh winds blow rain to back of the veranda. It has a Dacron wrap, so it was easy to wrestle into the zippered cover. I wrapped up the gift giving with a reversible quilt for chilly nights. It’s airy cotton voile is diamond quilted by hand, and so soft.
This before picture shows the previous wicker loungers. It was a no-brainer to hang the swinging porch bed in their place, so that we can enjoy the views. I also replaced these Martha Stewart (from the first year she teamed with Kmart) faux wicker chairs that are becoming brittle after 15 years of sun - the new chairs are visible in the photo at the very bottom of post. The iron base table has a mosaic top of earth tone colors.
This lakehouse swinging bed belongs to an Atticmag reader that lives in my area. Natalie contacted me asking for Larry’s information. The same salvaged wood was used, but with a painted distressed finish. The slat pattern was taken from the tear down home’s porch railing. Natalie covered the chains with burlap for a more finished look.
The front apron on this swing bed features a pattern. Mattress ticking material used on the cover gives this one a vintage look. More screen porch owners are incorporating side weatherproof sides tables and outdoor lamps. Anything goes when creating comfort.
The Gulf breeze helps to keep bugs away on this open porch where a pair of swings allow a crowd of beach-goers to relax in the evening, or sleep outside all night. While there is an unlimited way to dress a swinging bed, there are only a limited number of ways to hang them. After seeing these using only two ceiling bolts, Mr Shops decided to hang ours similarly. Even though the bolts go directly into a ceiling joist (a must!), he added a 3″ x 3″ steel angle that spans from each joist and across the one in-between, to spread out the weight evenly. In order to miss our ceiling fan blades (and so it wouldn’t have to be moved), our end chains meet about 7 feet from the floor, to a single chain that takes it to the ceiling [top photo].
I love the linear lines and dark color of these swinging porch beds (the second one is barely showing on the far left). Color and materials are kept simple so that nothing takes away from that fantastic view. These swings, and others shown, are hanging by rope. Larry said he has used marine grade rope in the past, but even it tends to get stretched – unleveling the swing.
Taller sides are a good idea when small children will be using (aka playing on) the swinging bed. This one is dressed in a colorful stripe material that appears to be a folded comforter. Easy enough to take inside during storms and washed when needed.
With its purple shutters and clapboard siding, this porch screams a fun homeowner lives here. The arms on this swinging bed are extremely low. And while it is a pretty setting, the large pillows leave little room to relax.
Another pair (Larry, I think they are suppose to come in twos!) are painted a beautiful blue. I like the deep box and large welts used on this mattress cover. These don’t appear to be as deep as a twin, but they can certainly be custom made to work for almost any porch. When measuring a space, be sure to allow at least twelve inches between the back of the swinging bed and wall or porch railing. If you want a more cushy look, don’t order the foam mattress as deep as the finished dimension and have it wrapped several times in Dacron to reach the desired depth.
This red swing also used a deep box covered mattress that is partially hidden by the swing apron, like mine. I mix of materials and colors of the furniture leads to a country casual porch.
You might have noticed in the before photo that Mr Shops was in the middle of replacing the old spindles with copper. They’ll get a nice patina in no time… or should I say in less time than it took me to get a swinging porch bed! We also added copper to the side screens to keep the pets off the screens. The copper tubing was something I wanted to use instead of wrought iron when we were building, and Mr Shops finally agreed to replace. He’s a keeper.
Dryfast foam mattress – TheFoamFactory.com
Sunbrella mattress cover, Henna with Weston Ginger welt – OutdoorFabrics.com
Outdoor Pillows and Quilt – Cora Kalamkari from Pottery Barn
(Sources: Natalie, Country Living, pinterest, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, google, Southern Home, My Home Ideas, Simply Seleta)