When designer Tamara Rosenbloom sought to include a unique feature in each of her client’s daughters’ bedrooms, the youngest girl picked a swing. Rosenbloom worked with Vintage Porch Swings to fashion this delightful swinging bed to accommodate her wish.
Despite its happy-go-lucky image, fully hanging beds come with one caveat: They need adequate support in the ceiling. Hanging beds can weigh hundreds of pounds themselves, and the support system needs to accommodate the extra weight of the people lying on the bed, as well as the torque created from their movement. That’s why consulting an architect or a contractor to assess the existing conditions and support requirements is recommended. For this project Rosenbloom had her contractor add blocking in the ceiling between the joists to make it structurally sound.
Another consideration is the amount of swing. This bed is near a custom wall mural, and with the amount of swing generated, the front of the bed was threatening to repeatedly hit the mural. To compensate, Rosenbloom added a chain centered under the bed that’s attached to an eye bolt in the floor. The bottom chain offers more control over the swing. “Adding chain links allows for more swing, and removing links tightens the arc,” she says. “It was a worry-free solution.”
While the original bed came with a strong rope, its texture was too splintery, Rosenbloom says. As an alternative, she installed chains, as seen here. However, she has since switched the chains to a softer rope. Now, she says, a pleasant muffled squeak is heard during rocking — just like the porch swing it was meant to represent.
She also sourced 2-inch-diameter hemp rope at a local marine shop from which to hang the beds. A thinner rope would have been adequate, but the beefiness of the heavier rope offered the look she was after, although it is too thick to tie into knots. To rectify this, Taterus anchored the bed on the underside of the platform with a stainless steel rope clamp that can be tightened.
She also recommends adding a hidden rubber or foam edge on the bed platform.
Bubnowski hung the 500-pound bed from a double beam with a solid block spacer between. What appears to be a ceiling track is actually Microllam beams wrapped in mahogany. Although it appears that the bed slides within the “track,” it only swings. Four overhead support chains hung from galvanized eye bolts are anchored to each of the bed’s four corners.
If the swinging motion isn’t appealing but you like the look, consider a bed that’s just partially hung, and supported by other means. These handsome full-size bunk beds, designed by Laura U, are supported by floor-to-ceiling legs on three sides. The top bunk’s outside corner is braced by a rope-covered steel cable attached to a bolt and trusses above the ceiling.
Teaming up with metalworker Jake Ducharme of Metalmorfis, he hung the lounging bench from an exposed structural steel beam. Instead of rope or a chain, stainless steel rods are connected by a turnbuckle for an elegant but industrial finish that coordinates with some of the other metal design elements they discovered behind the walls, which they kept exposed.
Foley adds that the hanging bench is stationary, as it’s anchored to the wall directly behind it.
If making major structural changes in your ceiling or walls isn’t an option, you can always fake it. A low-profile platform bed with a floor-mounted structure inset underneath can support the bed from below. You can then add decorative, non-load-bearing elements (such as rope or whatever you wish) to one or more corners of the bed and connect them to the ceiling with a simple hook.
This bed takes another approach and visually floats between fetching strings of custom beads that run between floor and ceiling.
Browse more photos of suspended beds