The sleeping porch was one of the reasons we bought our 1917 craftsman-style house back in 2000. And the sleeping porch, the one I had visions of spending so much time in over-looking the neighborhood? Well, at the moment it stores books, extra chairs, papasan, the old cassette tapes and miscellaneous items (in other words, junk.) But I want to keep it, it reminds me of different era, one I didn’t get to live in but think I would have enjoyed.
Sleeping porches were popular back before air conditioners. No automobiles would be going down the street at night in 1917. It being on the second story with all the windows open, a nice breeze would come through and it would be the perfect, quiet place to lay down and sleep in the hot humid summers. It is almost like being outside. Those are truly by-gone days in the city. The sound of revving cars and vibration of car stereos, sirens and people slamming car doors in the middle of the night make sleeping out on the sleeping porch impractical.
Neighbors have opted to rid themselves of their sleeping porches. They have had the walls torn out to make it a part of a larger master bedroom. Everyone could use the extra space, but I like things original and that becomes a constant battle between the part of me that loves antiques (and you don’t mess with them) and the part of me that wants to follow the crowd and have new, more modern things. I try to remember, what is modern will soon be dated and antique never goes out of style.
So I continue to struggle a little at a time getting the old house in order. I’m trying not to change what is original, but I update for safety and sometimes break my own rules like when we put in a patio door with side panels where a window once lived. (see photo below.)
I don’t take change to the house lightly, for it is a little bit of history forever gone. But in the end, it is our house and we need to enjoy living in it.
I’d love to hear from any of you that have the old sleeping porches and what you have done with them. Did you keep them, turn them into storage, knock out the wall and make it part of the master bedroom? Please comment below or send your story or photos to email@example.com .