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The Ultimate Indoor-Outdoor Bedroom

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Thanks to a folding glass wall and a custom-built bed, dreams of sleeping under the stars came true for a Cincinnati, Ohio, couple.

To ease into slumber, some people count sheep—but what if you could gaze up into the great firmament and search for constellations instead? That was the vision of architect John Senhauser’s clients, a lawyer and his wife who wanted to sleep outdoors. They batted around ideas of a retractable roof but ultimately opted for a low-tech—and more budget-friendly—option: a metal track to steer a custom-built bed through a bank of folding glass doors onto a terrace. Guided by a pin that slots into the track, the bed (designed by Jane Keller) pivots 90 degrees as it’s wheeled to the terrace. As it approaches the NanaWall threshold, the sleeping platform slides out from the wood frame. Senhauser describes the mechanism—a necessary adaptation since the NanaWall and bed tracks aren’t compatible—as being “like a drawer.” Though Cincinnati’s climate prevents year-round use, the residents savor the experience in the spring and fall. “Because there are few chances to sleep outside, due to temperature or insects or humidity, the opportunities are really special,” says Senhauser. “You can’t do it every couple of days—it becomes a treat.”

Architect John Senhauser was asked to design a master bedroom addition 1950s ranch house in Cincinnati, Ohio, belonging...
Senhauser's clients initially wanted a retractable roof, but were persuaded to do something more practical.
With a gentle nudge, architect John Senhauser pushes a custom bed outside onto the terrace.
The bed is stationed on a custom wheeled frame and positioned over a track.
When the bed reaches the threshold, it slides out from the frame like a drawer so it's completely outside.
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