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Hang, Swing, Rock: Laid-back Furnishings

Set the scene for rest and relaxation with these pieces designed for kicking your feet up.


Picture this: there’s a cool breeze, the sound of crickets and you’re curled up with a good book in a hammock on the porch. It’s not hard to imagine at a log or timber home. Thanks to their back-to-nature spirit, these retreats don’t need much to have an air of leisure – a good old-fashioned hammock, porch swing or rocking chair tends to do the trick. Here’s how to dial in your dream home’s outdoor spaces with the latest in laid-back furnishings for lounging the day away. 


Hang in There 


For being such a simple delight, hammocks now come in quite the variety of options: lightweight and portable vs. plush and permanent; bright and bold or chic and subdued. But function should always come first – when shopping for a hammock, be sure to consider factors like space, weight and material. 

Hammocks are commonly right around 10 feet long, though some stretch to 14 feet. Some call for supports, be it trees or walls, which will need to be 10 to 15 feet apart. A free-standing hammock, supported by a stand, simply requires a flat surface for stability. Your hammock should tell you the necessary specs, but the average single-person hammock holds 400 pounds. 

Companies like Yellow Leaf Hammocks offer kits to install hammocks indoors and out, as well as adjustable, free-standing hammock stands. Or take your life of leisure to the next level with their Hammock Throne, which marries the best of form and function. 


Swing Time 

The perfect place to start and end the day, a porch swing is an age-old icon of the simple life. While every porch could benefit from a swing, not every porch is a fit. In order to safely and comfortably hang a typical porch swing in your outdoor space, you’ll need to make sure you have at least 14 to 16 inches of clearance on the sides of the swing and 2.5 feet or more of space behind it. Home Depot advises that a typical two-person swing can be supported by a single 2-by-8 joist, two 2-by-6 joists or three 2-by-4 joists. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your hardware and chains or ropes are weatherproof and suitable for a 500-pound load or more. 

When it comes to style, your imagination is the limit. Plush, pillow-topped versions, like the Sunday Porch Swing from Ballard Designs, offer the kind of comfort that invites you start a new book and never put it down. Get creative with companies like Four Oak Bed Swings, which allow you to customize your materials to your heart’s content. Add clever cupholders for happy hour convenience!


Ready to Rock


There are few things as timeless as a classic rocking chair on a country porch. Now, thanks to their ubiquity, there’s a design for every aesthetic, and modern materials and treatments like make them more durable than ever. Love an old-timey country look?

Shop for chairs with twig and bark detailing, like the Amish Bentwood 7-Slat Hickory Rocking Chair and Foot Stool Set from A&L Furniture Co. Creative contemporary designs like the Portia Outdoor Rocking Chair from Burke Decor take full advantage of innovative materials with all-weather wicker and lend a modern sophistication to porches and patios. Or dial up the farmhouse effect with a charmer like the Braxton Porch Rocking Chair from Vermont Woods Studios


See Also: Creating Your Perfect Outdoor Space

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