The quest for a restful night’s sleep can feel like an impossible dream, particularly for urban apartment dwellers or those who share tight living quarters and a noisy town. How to shut off the world – and the kitchen – to grab some privacy and nourishing shut-eye to help maintain emotional and mental balance, can be an all-important challenge. Shakespeare describes the crucial importance of sleep in Macbeth, Act 2:

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

I like the low-tech simplicity of a slung cloth to do the job… no nails, screws or fancy tools required. DIY on the real downlow. The following solutions vary widely, but in every case, simplicity rules.

Rough wool blankets slung on a wooden lath shroud this cozy bedspace blocking wintry drafts.


A rustic Greek island sleeping/lounging area is sectioned off from the main room by natural cotton hooked over a swaying pipe creating a cool, dark space for resting, talking, and taking refuge from the meltami winds.

Slung 3

A bed becomes a private niche by hanging natural cotton on hoops from a black, iron frame suspended from sisal rope. Beautiful simplicity at negligible cost.

Slung 4

Even a mosquito net, artfully strung over a bed, can create a private space for sleeping, or lovemaking. (I bought one of these online and love it on my Ikea bed.

Isabella Gianneschi
Isabella Gianneschi

As summer approaches, what can you do to help induce sweet slumber at your house?

—Susan Dworski

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