Learn about Life in the 1920s

All Weather Sleeping Porch Design

SLEEPING porches, if well planned and properly equipped will make it possible to combine the pleasure and healthfulness of outdoor living with the comfort and security of home. If the necessary protection against wind and snow is provided a porch may be used comfortably for sleeping even in zero weather.

With a comfortable bed and a sufficiency of blankets no place can equal the out-of-doors in affording refreshing sleep, in any season of the year. On a porch that is screened in summer to keep off disturbing insects and glassed in with casement windows in winter to keep out snow and severe winds, the modern householder has a bed chamber better fitted to provide sound and invigorating slumber than any possessed by kings of the past.

Sleeping Porch Location Is Important

MOST discomforts complained of by those who do not like sleeping porches are caused by insufficient provision for the conditions that must be met. The sleeping porch is best located under a roof with a wide overhang that will help to shelter it from storms. A south exposure is desirable, as it is then sheltered from the coldest winter winds and is open to the southerly breezes which bring the hottest summer weather.

Unless it has windows which can he closed in case of rain it should be equipped with canvas curtains which can be rolled up when not in use, but can be lowered across the opening of the porch and fastened in place during a rainstorm. If there is a wide overhang of the roof and the porch is in a sheltered location ordinary rains will not reach the interior of the porch, but the porch sleeper must be prepared for all weathers and summer thunder storms are apt to be accompanied by heavy rain and wind driving in from almost any point of the compass.

Canvas curtains of this sort may make a sleeping porch available far into the winter even when it is not glassed in. The curtains may be lowered down on the windward side and fastened securely in place. With the direct force of the wind thus eliminated and an adequate supply of bed clothes the porch is a comfortable sleeping place even when the temperature is far below freezing.

The commonest cause of discomfort in outdoor sleeping in cold weather is due to insufficient bedding beneath the sleeper. Often a comparatively thin cot mattress is used to sleep on, while a mass of blankets is piled on top. The outdoor sleeper would be both warmer and more comfortable if some of these blankets were placed under him in addition to the mattress. Layers of paper between the mattress and the springs of the bed will assist in keeping the sleeper warm. They will also protect the mattress from possible rust from the springs.

Night clothing designed for outdoor wear is also important in assuring comfort. Flannel pajamas provided either with enclosed feet or with bed socks that can be tied at the ankles will keep the feet comfortable in the severest weather. On the coldest nights a hood of the same pattern used by aviators may be slipped over the head and tied around the neck.

Sleeping bags are an advantage in cold weather in that they guard against any openings between the upper and lower bed clothes through which cold air currents might come. They are also easily carried into the house where they may be stored during the day and kept warm until they are put on the bed at night. If this is not done it may be found advisable to place a hot water bottle or other heating device in the bed shortly before retiring in order to take off the chill, as cold mattresses and bed clothes may otherwise cause discomfort in extremely cold weather.

Glass Panes Invaluable for Porch in Winter

Photo of Sleeping Porch
Sleeping Porch with Glass Windows

IF a sleeping porch is glassed in many of these precautions will not be necessary, as it can be protected from the severest cold. In many houses also the sleeping porch is provided as an addition to the regular bedroom so that it can be used or not as desired. In households where there are children such a sleeping porch is especially advantageous as part of the equipment of the owner's bedroom. The children can sleep outdoors on such a porch for the greater part of the year and still not be too far removed from their parents. Great economy of space is possible by this means, as several cots for the children can be crowded into such a porch without danger. The unlimited supply of fresh air from outdoors will assure their health even in crowded quarters.

With the protection of windows in the sleeping porch additional furniture may be introduced and it may be used as a sitting room or study as in the room shown below. Curtains at the casement windows soften the outlines in this room and the light colored reed furniture aids in giving it a sun parlor effect. There are twin beds made up with bolster pillows in day bed fashion. The reed fernery, with growing plants and a trellis back of it, adds a pleasing note, while the reed table, lamp and chair are all in harmony.

Every home should today be equipped with a sleeping porch. They not only add to the attractiveness of the home, but from a health standpoint they are invaluable. Many tubercular cases could be avoided if more persons slept out-of-doors. If the space alloted to a sleeping porch is a small one, a good. idea is to use "double-deck" beds. These are arranged as the berths in a Pullman, and can be either stationary or made to swing back out of sight during the day. In this manner a number of people may be accommodated.

The sun parlor has surely proved popular of late. Most up-to-date apartment buildings are equipped with such a room. These are just as valuable as the sleeping porch. They are naturally greater attraction to a home than the sleeping porch on account of the furnishings. The barren look of most sleeping porches is taken away by the cretonne curtains, pillows and coverings of the daybed which furnish the sun parlor. For those homes having only one living room, the sun parlor is often used to entertain guests when serving tea or chatting informally. The sun parlor may be made attractive by the use of ferns, flower boxes or even a standing bird cage. The pet canary would feel much at home in such an attractive place.

When remodeling the home it is always easy to add a sleeping porch if one is not already provided. It may be built upstairs where the house has, perhaps, a poor angle.


Source: Woman's Weekly Supplement, 1923.