Few things are as pleasurable as sleeping outdoors in the early days of Vermont summer. A night under the stars can be magical and restorative…And buggy. Modern practitioners of the art of sleeping al fresco will tell you that the screened porch is civilization’s answer to the call of nature.

Screened porches and sleeping porches came into vogue at the turn of the 20th century, when doctors prescribed fresh air to sufferers of tuberculosis (one of the leading causes of death at that time in the US). During the summer months, before air conditioning, families often created sleeping areas on outdoor porches for the kids. These porches were often situated on corners of the house in order to gain better access to breezes from all different directions. Most original sleeping porches were built upstairs; some were only accessible through windows.

Anyone with rambunctious kids or summer guests will tell that the screened porch is still a valuable aid to health. It helps maintain sanity as it expands the usable space of a home by leaps and bounds, thus meeting the demands of leaping and bounding children and grandchildren newly released from the shackles of their school desks.

If you have a porch, think about using it more this summer. Here are some great porch design possibilities to inspire you (from apartmenttherapy.com):

If you don’t have a porch, maybe it’s time you had one…in Vermont. Contact me.