A Summer Sanctuary: The Sleeping Porch

The sleeping porch, more commonly known as the screened porch, was once a necessity for homes in the south. Before the beloved air conditioning was invented, it was just too hot to sleep inside at night, so folks simply moved their beds outside where the air was cool. At one point, doctors even recommended individuals sleep outside to build up their immune system. As their popularity caught on in other regions, the screened porch or deck was integrated into the architecture of many Victorian and Craft style homes on both ground and upper levels. As AC became commonplace, the sleeping porch was sent into a slumber of its own. Now while the screened porch has always remained a staple here in North Carolina simply as a means to keep the mosquitoes from eating you alive, we’re dreaming of turning our conversation nook into a nap time retreat. If you’re feeling the same way, we’ve compiled some of our favorite inspirational images along with some practical advice to guarantee your sleeping porch is your new favorite spot. 

  1. Add privacy
    Just because you’re sleeping outside doesn’t mean you want the whole world watch you catch a few zzzs. Add curtains or roller shades that can be adjusted not only for privacy, but to provide shade during the day as well. 


  2. Add a ceiling fan
    In the thick of summer, it’s hard to sit outside without any kind of air circulation. A ceiling fan or even an attractive rotating fan will keep prevent the air from becoming stagnant. 

    Ceiling Fan

  3. Use multipurpose furniture
    This is the perfect spot for a daybed. It’s large enough for restful sleep, cozy enough to curl up with a book, and comfortable enough for guests to sit on. If you don’t have a daybed, simply push a mattress against the wall. 
  4. Protect against the elements
    We love the outdoors, but you don’t want to wake up in a soggy bed either. Install proper roofing (we’re lookin at you, tin roof) and enclosure, especially if wind is a major concern. 


  5. Use the right bedding
    Polyester filled duvets are ideal for the summer because it will stay cool. Down is great for the cooler months. Of course, you could skip a comforter entirely and go with Grandma’s quilt. 

    Photo by Seth Ben