Thursday’s Theme: The Sleeping Porch

June 13th, 2019

We’ve talked about porch style and decor a number of times on the blog, but today we’re honing in on a particular kind of porch that is both purposeful and just plain fun (in our opinion, anyway):

The Sleeping Porch.

If you are unfamiliar with the sleeping porch, you have probably been able to figure out that it’s a space for sleeping. And if you are familiar with them, you either have one (lucky you!) or have at least admired their function. Either way, we hope you enjoy reading about the simple history of this type of porch, and how you can turn your own porch into a space for resting – or at the very least, enhance the coziness of your regular indoor bedroom.

Photo by Circa InteriorsLook for porch design inspiration

Most popular in the southern and western United States and often a feature of historical Victorian or Arts & Crafts style homes, the sleeping porch was designed and designated for the inhabitants of a home (or hospital/medical center) to be exposed to fresh air not just during the day, but also when they were sleeping. Their popularity gained traction in the late 19th century and at the turn of the 20th Century, when immune system health was a concern – particularly the threat of tuberculosis. Sleeping in a screened-in porch allowed individuals to be protected from outdoor elements like weather, bugs, etc., and got them out of stuffy bedrooms – the air conditioning technology we have today had only just started being explored. These porches were not common areas; often they were found just off a bedroom, or used only by the family who lived in the home.

As time went on and air conditioning became more advanced and widespread, many homeowners sacrificed the sleeping porch in order to gain more square footage inside their homes. But as you can see below, sleeping porches are still being used in homes across the country. Here in New England and in Maine, sleeping porches are almost exclusively built on summer camps, because if you sleep on a screened-in porch that isn’t insulated in the winter, your health will certainly not improve. Also, they are not typically separate from the front porch or back porch like original sleeping porches were; basically, if a screened-in porch can fit a bed, it’s also a sleeping porch.

Here are a few sleeping porches we wouldn’t mind spending the night in this summer.

The Quintessential Rustic Sleeping Porch

Photo by Michelle Fries, BeDe Design, LLCLook for porch design inspiration

The Traditional Porch + An Extra Place to Sleep

Photo by SethbennphotoDiscover porch design inspiration

The Private Sleeping Porch

Photo by Andersson-Wise ArchitectsDiscover porch design ideas

The Sleeping Porch in the City

Photo by Richard Bubnowski Design LLCMore porch ideas

The Wrap-Around Sleeping Porch

Photo by Search porch pictures

Do you have – or have you ever slept in – a sleeping porch? Share your thoughts below about the porches above, and your experience with sleeping in the space between the indoors and the great outdoors.

(for more information on sleeping porches, check out these posts from Bob Vila™ and The Craftsman Blog, and see a list of the many Victorian-era porch varieties on This Old House)

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Weekly Spotlight: Summer 2019 Florals

June 12th, 2019

We introduced a new selection of faux florals in our Summer 2019 catalog, so they are the subject of this edition of Weekly Spotlight. And since there are six options to choose from, we’re straying from our typical five featured items format so you can see all of them right here. For more details click on the images, and check out our tips for creating the perfect flower arrangement in your home.

Wreaths

Our two newest wreaths can be seen here. To the left is the Purple Summer Wreath, named after our current season and the subtle pops of purple among greenery and white petals. This is a great accent for when you want to add a touch of color but maintain a neutral and natural look. The Summer Pink Mini Wreath may have a smaller diameter, but its bold petals pack a delightful burst of color and charm.

Purple Summer Wreath | Sturbridge Yankee WorkshopSummer Pink Mini Wreath | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

Bunches, Stems and Sprays

Whether you want to decorate with multiple single stems or create a full look with just one bunch or spray, our new selection of faux florals has what you need. The African Violet features a short stem supporting a full bloom of purple petals as well as green leaves. This particular variety is available in two sizes for more decorative flexibility in a vase or planter.

African Violet Faux Floral Spray | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

The Geranium Bunch is perfect for summer, not only because its authentic counterpart blooms this season, but because its delightful red color fits right into patriotic party decorations and bright gardens.

Geranium Faux Floral Bunch | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

We had to introduce a new version of the Sunflower Bunch. This one in particular features an airy look and can be propped in a vase or container for immediate seasonal charm.

Summer Faux Sunflower Bunch | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

Last but certainly not least, our new Lacey Bunch is the perfect addition to any flower arrangement (although its perfectly beautiful on its own, too), because it adds even more depth and fullness while complementing whatever blooms you already have.

Lacey Faux Floral Bunch | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

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Tasteful Tuesday: Whoopie Pie Recipe

June 11th, 2019

Today we’re posting an updated version of our Whoopie Pie Recipe from 2011. This update is void of shortening and uses granulated sugar instead of brown sugar for the cookies, but we’re sticking to the same filling (find an alternative here). Feel free to try either (or both!) and browse our whoopie pie variations here.

Whoopie Pies by Flickr user JoyWhat You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup
    Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted
    butter, softened
  • 1 cup
    granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Whoopie
    Pie Filling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined. In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla. Set both aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides of bowl intermittently and fully mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon sixteen 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Once fully cooled, spoon filling onto flat side of half the cookies, then top with remaining eight and serve. For extra firmness, refrigerate first for 15-20 minutes.

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