Home & Garden

Objects in Motion

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trapezeBy Lisa Reeves

What conjures a more iconic notion of Southern leisure than folks sitting on a big front porch in a long swing and rocking chairs late on a summer afternoon?# But we don”t just sit: we rock and swing, to and fro, back and forth, sipping iced tea, telling stories, winding down from a day.# For many people, some of life”s best moments take place in porch swings”declarations of first love, marriage proposals, rocking children to sleep with songs and stories”so it”s hardly surprising that furniture in motion has never gone out of style.# In fact, the memory of loved ones sitting in a favorite chair is so dear that grandma”s rocker or Uncle Joe”s porch swing merits a special place in our hearts and homes.

The tradition of family”s gatherings on front porches to tell stories, sing, play games, or simply rest and swing, gained in popularity about the mid-1800″s when technology and industry began to provide more free time.# Technology also improved the manufacture of swings and rockers, allowing them to take not only a place in our hearts but making the actual objects more physical durable. So if big front porches are less frequently a part of today”s newer homes, our love for swings remains.# Fortunately, today”s market provides many options for remaining in motion while resting!

Porch Swings Are Never Out of Style”#
While you can still buy the traditional porch swing made of oak, cedar or teak, now your options extend to polywood, recycled plastic, resin, wrought iron, or a virtually indestructible synthetic wicker.# And, even if you don”t have a front porch, you can buy a swing stand for your patio, deck, or yard, or even hang a porch swing indoors!

Indoor Swings
If you really love a porch swing, why not go with a swinging bed (also known as hanging or floating beds)? Other hanging seating is also available for indoors and out in many styles and shapes: early American traditional, island, 60″s mod, rustic, Scandinavian.# You”ll be able to find hanging furniture to match any decorating style.

The Classic Glider”#
Another furniture piece over which many wax nostalgic is the lawn glider, whose history dates back to post-World War II when the Warwick Company began making steel lawn furniture for new suburban backyards.# In 1954, Flanders Industries bought the company, but manufacturing slowed in the 1970″s as## demand grew for larger, more comfortable lawn furniture.# Today, gliders are sought-after items for antique hunters and junk store aficionados. In 2002, the Torrans Manufacturing Company, using the original molds, began turning out new steel furniture in response to the demand for vintage gliders.# These pieces are sturdier and heavier than the mid-century models, and sport retro names like Thunderbird and Bellaire.

Another favorite hanger for lazy days is the hammock.# Traditionally hung between two trees and made of interlaced rope, the hammock has been the site of countless naps.# Today, hammocks can be purchased with frames that allow them to be moved around the yard and deck,# and the newer hammocks are made of more durable materials like weatherproof Duracord, canvas, nylon, or cotton.# They also come in whimsical shapes and some are even enclosed, making them useful for camping.

And hammocks, like other hanging furniture, have moved indoors.

Let Your Inner Child In”#
While the indoor porch swings, hanging beds and hammocks serve the same purposes as traditional furniture, why not go a step further and bring in a swing for fun?# Of course, not everyone has the space for an indoor swing or trapeze, but if you do, tap into the kid inside. (Or imagine the excitement of real children to have a swing hung in the living room or their bedroom!)

If you”re challenged for space, try a trapeze bar that hangs in a doorway.