Installing a hanging chair can instantly turn an empty corner into a cozy reading nook!
Since posting pictures of our hanging chairs on Instagram, I've received a lot of messages about how difficult it looks to install one properly. If drilling holes into the ceiling sounds a little intimidating, don't worry, I've got you!
Below, I've outlined step-by-step instructions with images, to make installing your hanging chair a piece of cake!
My Favorite Hanging Chairs
If you're on the hunt for a cozy hammock chair, I have a few favorites. The one you see above is from Australian company Ivory & Deene. It comes in various colors and starts at $57 USD plus shipping. Here's a link to all of their hammocks, and the one you see above is the Soho Hammock Chair.
The other one we have (yes, I love hanging chairs so much we have two) is a Serena & Lily rattan chair lookalike. The S&L chair is beautiful and has been on my wishlist for a while, but I wanted to find something a little more budget friendly.
So... when I found a great lookalike (sold by Walmart and shipped by Hayneedle), I was thrilled to see it for half the price! It's available in a natural/tan finish and white. It comes with a comfy cushion and a stand, an S hook, and there's a 12" chain attached to the top.
The stand is a great option if you don't want to commit to keeping the chair in the same place or want to avoid making holes in the ceiling. If you have a hanging chair that doesn't come with a stand, here are the top-rated ones from Amazon:
I prefer the ceiling-mounted look, and the stand takes up a lot of floor space, so for now, I've put it on the covered area of the patio so we have the option to hang the chair out there on warmer evenings.
What you'll need to install your hanging chair
Power drill (if you don't have one you could try using a hand-held Phillips screwdriver, but you'll need some muscle)
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. I've linked to a few below.
Tape measure - not a necessity but a plus
Pencil - to mark the ceiling
The hammock 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 degrees 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 swing/hammock-approved rope or chain
Screws - 1.25" - 2" long
Unless you're 7 ft tall, 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 for a single hanging chair. I found that Amazon has all the hardware in convenient packages (I've linked to the same one I used and others below).
If you have high ceilings, you'll need an extension chain or rope. The woven jute ones look really cute, but they're supposedly not as safe as nylon. I've linked to the one I used, below.
Ok! Now that you have everything you need, the rest is as easy as 1-2-3!
1. Locate the beams/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 if 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 beam right there behind the drywall but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.
You must, MUST install the hardware into a beam/joist. Attaching it to drywall alone will result in bruises for you and a hole in your ceiling!
With that in mind, you may have to sacrifice the perfect location and move the chair over a few inches. Beams 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, or beam, it will show on the screen where one edge of that 2" beam is, where the center is (it will beep), and where the other edge is.
Once it's found a beam, scan it again to be sure, then make a little pencil mark where the light is shining on the ceiling.
Checking everything twice is a great rule of thumb with any DIY project
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 screw holes in the one I used are 1.25" apart on the short side, and you want them both in the stud.
2. Screw the mounting plate to the ceiling
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 :)
3. Hang your chair!
Next, hang the extension spring onto the ceiling mount, and hook your hanging chair onto it. If your hardware set includes a swivel hook, clip one end onto your hammock chair and the other end onto the extension spring.
The seat should be about 18" off the floor (average seat height); a little lower for use in kids' rooms
That's it! Now you can admire your work and test that thing out. Add a pillow or two, a rug, and an ottoman to bump up the coziness!
I love taking a few minutes at the end of a busy day to sit there and unwind. The gentle sway of a hanging chair is so relaxing (I actually fell asleep in it once!), and it's a hit with everyone who comes to our house.
Are you ready to do it yourself?! I'd love to hear how you get on with your own hanging chair(s)! If you're on the fence about it, feel free to shoot me any questions you have.
*Note: If you have a fabric, hammock-style chair, and the seat height seems a bit high by a couple of inches, the fabric will relax after some use :)