Posts Tagged ‘home design’

Thursday’s Theme: The Sleeping Porch

Thursday, 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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Thursday’s Theme: Renovations

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Kitchen Renovation by Flickr user SwimPhotoApril is decorating month, and we hope you can find inspiration in the many articles and decor tips right here on our blog. While your spring decorating may consist of cleaning and freshening up your decor, we know many people choose this time of year to start or continue a home renovation project. Because of that, this Thursday’s Theme is home renovations. We have compiled some of the most important things to keep in mind from DIY and renovation bloggers, as well as from home renovation experts, and we can’t wait to hear your own stories – successful and/or frustrating.

Avoid perpetual “under construction”
Can’t wait to re-do your bathroom but your kitchen cabinets still don’t have hardware? Put off that new renovation project until previous projects are completely finished. Updating a room is exciting, but having too many updates going on at once can make your house look like an everlasting, falling-apart-construction-zone.

Don’t skimp on prep-work
Do your homework! Do you need to hire someone to change the plates over your outlets? Probably not. Can you rewire lighting in your dining room yourself? Maybe, but it could be more cost effective, not to mention more safe, to hire a professional. Ask around and do your research on what can be done yourself, and what needs to be done by a pro before you start anything.

Measure your space once, measure again, and then have someone else measure! Accurate measurements, especially when there isn’t a lot of room for error, are important to your design. An inch or two may not seem like a big difference at first, but those small, incorrect measurements can add up to big problems later on in the process – when it will be more difficult to correct.

Make safety a priority
Always renovate safely. This may be easier with smaller projects, but for more involved renovations that include demolitions, plumbing projects, or electrical work, it may be a better idea to hire a professional who knows what he or she is doing, and who understands building codes and property laws. This ties in with your prep-work, as safety is one of the most important parts of any project – financially, aesthetically, and in regards to your physical well-being.

Create a realistic budget and needs list
We all have big dreams of what we want our designer kitchen to look like, but recycled glass counter-tops and a wine storage cooler are not necessarily realistic items for everyone. Again, do your research when it comes to surfaces and materials, and really think about what your personal needs are before you purchase items you will rarely or never use. For example, instead of a cooler, maybe a wine rack will do the job perfectly well.

Once you create a realistic budget, you can develop a project timeline, or, decide to delay renovation in order to save up for certain items you really can’t live without. And, create a contingency fund so if you find mold behind that wall you’re knocking down, you don’t have to cancel that wine cooler in order to pay for damages and unplanned repairs.

Choose personal style over general trends
Yes, gold fixtures and wallpaper are “in” right now, but if you absolutely hate wallpaper, and prefer silver over gold, then you don’t want to incorporate those things into your home. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it is right for you; it’s your home, so always preference your own style over a trend. Plus, next year those trends may be completely different, while your personal style is timeless.

Repurpose or donate
Replacing your old armchair with one that more suits your style and new living room? Simplifying your bathroom or kitchen storage and taking out those cabinets? Consider donating to a foundation such as Habitat for Humanity and their local ReStores which offer gently used housewares and materials to all members of the public. Or, use those old cabinets in a garage or storage shed; you’ll add more storage space without having to purchase anything new!

Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comment section, and happy renovating!

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