I stumbled upon a link to something advertised as “Starbeds” today – apparently an uber-lux hotel/spa/resort in Kenya will set you up on one of these sleeping platforms to enjoy a night under the stars and on the veldt. Sounded pretty good! The photos are amazing and the promise of luxury camping looked inviting.
Sleeping in the great out-of-doors was a very popular idea among both public health advocates battling tuberculosis and Southern California architects back in the early 20th century. Our benign climate and warm Santa Ana nights beckoned drowsy designers to dream up a variety comfortable alfresco accommodations.
Most of Irving Gill’s houses included sleeping porches or garden level loggias designed specifically as spots to swing a hammock.
Schidler’s Newport Beach house for early twentieth century health guru Phillip Lovell included a sleeping balcony inviting inhabitants to nod off to the music of the nearby surf. Nuetra’s SoCal masterpiece – the Kaufman House in Palm Springs – also made space for plein-air napping.
The Green Brothers provided balconies off each bedroom at their Pasadena masterpiece for the Gambles. Beds in the house were fitted with casters to accommodate easy shifting.
Providing a gracious outdoor space for an afternoon siesta or an all-night snore-a-thon still seems like one of those great romantic Southern California ideas worthy of refinement.
Let’s be honest…who wouldn’t benefit from a little more sleep?