not a professional. just crazy.

I May Not Have Outdoor Space, But I Now Have a Hammock in My Bedroom

Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

A few months ago, my boyfriend impulse purchased a hammock at a Walmart in Connecticut for $15, with the dream of hanging it somewhere in our apartment. Once we got home, we quickly realized there were various little bits and bobs necessary for installation and, busy with our lives, “temporarily” tucked it away in a storage cabinet.

Then, suddenly, we were inside our apartment for the foreseeable future. And we were cleaning, constantly — digging through every closet, drawer, and cabinet and reorganizing everything we found inside (I highly recommend this as an isolation activity, for what it’s worth — I stumbled upon some treasures). One such find was the shelved hammock, which, given our inability to go outside, felt like the perfect home-improvement activity.

We ordered what we needed to install the hammock in our apartment — two chains, two carabiners, eight screws, and two rhombus pads — all of which cost about $38 ($19 each). When it arrived, there were no instructions or anything to follow, so we just watched YouTube videos and figured out what we needed to do ourselves. We marked the location where we wanted to install the rhombus pads, screwed them in supertight, attached the chains (which easily clip on), then attached the carabiner to both the chains and the hammock. Done! I’m completely useless and I would rate the difficulty of this project about 2/10.

This hammock has been one of my greatest pleasures over the last couple of weeks, and has made my constant time at home so much more enjoyable. Sometimes I like to do work while laying in it—the gentle rock back and forth helps ease anxiety — and come five o’clock, I’ve been swaying in it with a glass of rosé. I don’t have access to any type of backyard or fire escape, so lounging on this with the windows open while I stare out at the Manhattan skyline is now the closest thing I have to being outside. And since it’s a new space to sit — and a new sensation, swinging, instead of just sitting — it adds some variety to a space that, a couple of weeks into being homebound, has begun to feel very staid. It’s easily the thing that’s brought me the most relaxation lately, and, I think when this whole thing ends, is something I’ll continue to enjoy. And though it does take up quite a bit of space, it’s incredibly easy to take down — I just unclip it from its hooks and tuck it in a closet when I’m not using it.

Note: Not everyone’s ceiling is equipped to handle the weight of a hammock — we have low ceilings with exposed beams, which allowed us to easily locate the strongest parts of our ceiling (we just affixed the hammock to the beams). Without exposed beams, you’ll need to use a stud finder (they’re about $10) to figure out where your ceiling or wall is strong enough to take on the weight. If you’re interested in installing a hammock, I found this video really helpful.

While not the exact hammock we have in our apartment, it is very similar in size and aesthetic.

Installation Tools

A cheap stud finder, so you can figure out where to hang the hammock.

A complete kit with everything you’ll need to attach your hammock to your ceiling or wall.

We ordered two — one for each side of the hammock, so we could easily take it down and put it back up again.

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My New Hammock Is the Closest Thing I Have to Outdoor Space