It has been two years — almost exactly to the day — since I wrote about the promise to myself of a special treat for my porch “one day” in my original post with ideas for Swinging Porch Beds. Now, it’s Happy Mother’s Day and early Birthday to me! Recently, I posted about our Custom Stairway Gates, including one Larry built for me. What I didn’t tell you was that Larry 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 to discuss Larry building a swinging porch bed for me, we decided to use salvaged wood from a house tear down. I wanted simple slats to run along the sides and back and a light stain on the swing. Once it was in place I added five outdoor pillows. Those coordinate with the twin-size mattress with Sunbrella cover with contrasting welt. I ordered all of those online — see the sources 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 it dry. A fast drying material, and one that wouldn’t mold, was important since harsh winds blow rain to back of the veranda. The mattress has a Dacron wrap, so it was easy to wrestle into the zippered cover. I wrapped up my “gift” with a reversible quilt for chilly nights. Made of airy cotton voile, the quilt 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 we can enjoy the views.
This lakehouse swinging bed belongs to an Atticmag reader who happens to live 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 swinging porch bed features a pattern. Mattress ticking material used on the cover lends a vintage look. Screen porch owners often incorporating 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 are unlimited ways to dress a swinging bed, there are 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 this pair of 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 stretch — 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 striped 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 “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 prefer a mix of materials and colors for furniture as that leads to a country casual porch.
As an aside, here is Mr. Shops in the middle of replacing the old spindles on the porch railing 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. Copper tubing was something I wanted to use instead of wrought iron when we were building and Mr Shops finally agreed. He’s a keeper.
I also replaced Martha Stewart ( faux wicker chairs that were becoming brittle after 15 years of sun. The new chairs are visible here.
Online ources for my swinging porch bed:
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)
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