I've been receiving a lot of questions via Instagram about my hammock chair, including how to install it properly.
The good news is, it's not as difficult as it seems! If you're comfortable with a power drill it's a bonus, but not a necessity. I'll walk you through the hardware I used and how I installed it, step by step.
I'm assuming that you've already found a hammock chair that you love; if not, I definitely recommend the one I have from Australian company, Ivory & Deene. It comes in various colors and starts at $79 AUD. Here's a link to all of their hammock chairs. Oh nice! They're using a photo of my living room on their site: Soho Hammock Chair.
If you don't want to commit to keeping the chair in the same place, you can purchase a free-standing hammock chair stand like these ones at Amazon. Personally, I prefer the ceiling mount - it's less cumbersome.
What you'll need to hang your hammock chair
- Power drill (if you don't have one you could try using a hand-held Phillips screwdriver, but you'll need some SERIOUS muscle power)
- Stud finder - this will locate the studs/beams behind the drywall so you can install your mounting hardware in the right place! You can find these at Home Depot, other hardware stores, or on Amazon, like this one.
- Tape measure - not a necessity but a plus
- Pencil - to mark the ceiling
The chair I have says it supports up to 330 lbs / 150 kg, so it's a strong chair. But the hardware is equally important (if not more so) in supporting that weight. Here's what I used:
- Ceiling mount/base plate that can support 330+ lbs / 150+ kg
- Swivel bracket - this is really important so that the chair can turn 360 degree without bending the hardware or putting stress on the chair itself
- Spring extension - this helps to bring the seat height of the chair down to the right level (approximately 18" off the floor) if you have 8' ceilings. For taller ceilings you'll need an additional rope or chain.
- Screws - 1.25" - 2" long
You'll also need a ladder or step stool to stand on.
Where to purchase your hardware
First, I made a trip to my local Home Depot. They had ceiling mounts for swings, but not the right kind of hardware. Amazon had all the hardware in a convenient package for $19.99 USD ( see here), and it shipped quickly via Prime. This set supports up to 500 lbs / 227 kg.
Locating the studs/joists
Hold your hammock chair up to get an idea of where you want to install it, making sure you have enough space to rotate it and swing it. I suggest a minimum of 30" from the edge of the ceiling it it's in the corner. Then get your ladder/step stool out and make a faint mark on the ceiling whether the center of the chair would be. That will be your first reference point. Ideally you'll want a stud right there behind the drywall but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. You MUST, must install the hardware into a stud, so you may have to sacrifice the perfect location and move the chair over a few inches. Studs are generally 2" wide by 4" high; the length varies depending on the size of the room. They are spaced 16" apart from center to center.
Here's a visual:
Grab your stud finder and hold it flat against the ceiling. Then hold down the power button (usually on the side). Once the stud finder has calibrated (takes a couple of seconds at most), it will stop flashing and you can start to move it across the ceiling away from your pencil mark. As it reaches a stud, it will show on the screen where one edge of that 2" beam is, where the center is (and it will beep), and where the other edge is.
Once it's found a stud, scan it again to be sure, then make a little pencil mark where the light is shining on the ceiling. To triple-check that mark, you can move 16" further away and do the same thing. You should find another beam. You want to be sure you're finding the absolute center of that 2" beam because the mounting hardware's screws are 1.25" apart on the short side, and you want them both in the stud.
Once you have your mark (hopefully close to your original pencil mark / reference point), you can put the stud finder away and screw in your ceiling hardware with the longer side going with the length of the beam. You'll know the screws are going into the stud because there'll be a lot of resistance.
When all four screw are in, the hardest part is over! Pat yourself on the back :)
Next, hook the extension spring onto the ceiling mount. Clip your swivel hook onto your hammock chair's hook (with the Ivory & Deene chair it's a perfect, snug fit), then hook the other end of the hook onto the extension spring.
That's it! Now you can admire your work and test that thing out. To start with, I couldn't help but sit in it expecting it to fall down, because, well, it's a hammock. But I got used to it pretty fast and LOVE rocking in there or sitting it in 'criss cross applesauce' as my kids say, reading a book or magazine. It's really comfortable, and is a hit with everyone who comes to our house.
*Note: If the seat height seems a little high by a couple of inches, the fabric will relax after some use :)
I'd love to hear how you get on with your own hanging chair(s) and see pictures, too!