Summertime for many is a time of vacation, relaxation and lounging, and with the warmer season comes something I call “hammock fever.” Soon, you’ll see Instagram and Facebook photos of your friends lounging in these hanging beds; students even suspend these in the courtyards of their schools and it’s become an indoor lounging phenomenon. The hammock can be found in many rooms nowadays, such as the living room, sunroom or even a remodeled attic. Adding a bohemian look, hammocks provide an aura of leisure — and it’s stylish, too.
Hammocks are a fun way to make a room edgy, while creating a functional relaxation area. Plus, there are countless styles of hammocks you can look for. You’ll find some that look hand-made, with large braids of material and fringe hanging off the ends, and others that look professionally done with precise and durable netting. Placed in the living room, a casual hammock usually goes best in a corner, by the fireplace, or directly next to a window. In fact, this is a good rule in general for indoor hammocks: windows, corners, archways and nooks. That said, the number one rule is: you need something in which to suspend the hammock. Whether it’s exposed beams, the walls by the bay window, or between columns, be sure the hammock hanging is done in a thorough, cautious and safe way.
Like I said, hammocks are fun. So, why not let the kids in on it? Of course, safety is even more important in this case, but there’s a lot you can do for hammocks in the kids’ rooms. I’ve seen hammocks suspended underneath the top portion of a bunk bed, creating a miniature hideaway/fortress. In this area, you can add a lamp, some games, and a fuzzy rug, creating not only a fun spot, but a functional one. An open area underneath the bunk bed gives the added illusion of more space and can later be transformed into a desk area as they get older. Additionally, the hammock — if comfortable enough — can act as a guest bed for sleepovers. To achieve the right comfort, be sure to include a hammock padding, forming a bed-like swing.
Next are some of my favorite rooms and areas in the house: the sunroom, reading corner and office. Obviously, the sunroom is the ultimate hammock spot; it’s surrounded by windows, gives the feeling of being outside, and relieves you from the hustle-and-bustle of the rest of the house. In the same way, a reading corner or window nook is perfect for incorporating a hammock as it’s another mini getaway spot. Place it near a bookshelf, fill it with pillows and make sure there’s a ledge for your coffee. I almost forgot about my favorite type of nook: the under-the-staircase nook. It meets all the requirements: solid suspension, privacy and style.
In the office, a hammock can be the ideal “break room.” When you’re putting in those long overtime hours, or you need a break from writing the “Great American Novel,” listen to the calling of your hammock; give yourself a few minutes of shuteye.
If you’d like to get fancy with it, it’s possible to create a four-post hammock by suspending a large hammock between four solid posts. It’s basically a hammock fit for royalty. This would be romantic in the master bedroom and beautiful in the remodeled attic I mentioned earlier. Attics are most fun when treated like an area that’s not supposed to be there. Since it’s already a bit taboo to remodel an attic, redoing it with loose, adventurous items like hammocks, floor pillows and a record player keeps the feeling of uniqueness alive.
Lastly, hammocks are always acceptable outdoors. By the pool, under the pergola, on the balcony or between the two (or more) largest trees. Hammocks can come in the form of seats, too, with netting braided upward and hung as a chair with comfortable padding. This way, you can fit more in one seating area, creating a leisurely social environment. Important, though, is making sure you have proper protection from those summer pests, mosquitoes. With a canopy of netting hung over the hammock, it’s easier to enjoy the outdoors without fighting off the bites. A front porch hammock can also work well in place of a porch swing.
As such an easy addition to your home, a hammock can add just the right personality, functionality and leisure that you need. Just remember: wherever you choose to “hang” this summer, be sure to do it safely and in style.