9 Tips to Consider When Planning Your Bedroom Layout
9 Tips to Consider When Planning Your Bedroom Layout
Designing the perfect layout for a bedroom can be a bit of a puzzle and a fun challenge if you know the right questions to ask.
Whether you’re trying to maximize space in a small bedroom, make room for a desk to work from home, or create a cozy sitting area in your master suite, this article will help you ask and answer the key questions needed to plan the ideal bedroom. To get going, ask yourself:
What’s the size – small, medium, master suite?
– small, medium, master suite? How will I use it – for watching TV, working, reading or just sleeping?
– for watching TV, working, reading or just sleeping? What are the architectural elements – windows, fireplace, chimney breast, ensuite, doors, closet?
– windows, fireplace, chimney breast, ensuite, doors, closet? What’s the view like – from the bed, of the bed and beyond?
– from the bed, of the bed and beyond? Where should I put the bed – for symmetry or to become the focal point?
– for symmetry or to become the focal point? How should I arrange the furniture – and what do I really need?
– and what do I really need? Do I have clear pathways and good flow – and how’s the feng shui?
– and how’s the feng shui? Where should I put the lighting – for the right ceiling height and coverage?
– for the right ceiling height and coverage? What’s the mood I want to create – with style and furnishings?
What’s the Size?
Start with the dimensions of your bedroom for your floor plan. After all, no layout makes it possible to put a king-size bed in a tiny 7’x10’(6 m2) room and still open the door.
The ideal bedroom layout for a smaller bedroom, like a 10’x11’ (10 m2) room, might have a full- or queen-sized bed centered along the longest wall, flanked by bedside tables lit by sconces.
In a small bedroom, you will likely have smaller nightstands, and a sconce hanging above the nightstand will make it seem larger — and give you more room for your books or personal items.
But for a large 15’x20’(27m2) master suite, the ideal layout would be to might the bed and your larger nightstands along one wall to create a sleeping area, and plan a seating area near a window or in a cozy corner.
The shape of the room matters, too. A square room comes with instant symmetry, so your bed will usually go along the wall opposite the door with nightstands on each side of the bed. In a long, narrow bedroom, you can center the bed along one of the shorter walls and position a seating area opposite it.
How Will I Use It?
One of the first considerations before beginning your layout is knowing how the bedroom will be used. This is key to designing a good layout.
For TV watching, you’ll likely want to place the TV where you can see it from your bed, usually right across from your bed or perpendicular to it. If you want to work in your bedroom or if it’s the ideal space for your home office, choose a layout that includes storage around your desk.
If you’re a reader, your design should include reading lights for the bed or comfortable chairs in a reading nook. But if you’re just going to sleep in the room, create a layout that places the bed as far away as possible from noisy or drafty areas in the room.
Also, ask yourself how many people or pets will use the room. The layout for a small kid’s room for one young child might include a twin bed and play space, while a room for two older kids might need a bunk bed and two desks.
Generally, you don’t want to put a full- or queen-sized bed in a corner, but if you live alone, that layout might give you room for the reading nook you’re after.
If you have pets, make sure there’s space for them in your layout – especially if they’re St. Bernard dogs with big beds.
What’re the Architectural Elements?
Make sure your layout includes the windows, fireplace surround and mantel, ensuite bathrooms, doors, and closets.
Don’t forget the ceiling elements, like beams and vaulted ceilings. You may wish to place your bed so it takes full advantage and accentuates these elements.
Map out practical elements like electrical plugs, heating vents, and door swings on your floor plan as well. If your door is 36 inches (90 cm) wide (the standard door width), you need to plan for a three-foot (90 cm) swing.
What’s the View Like?
Visualize the view from the bed: do you want to take in the scenery outside the window when you wake up?
Do you have the luxury of a fabulous view of the ocean, mountains, or the city skyline that you don’t want to block? Can you see the fireplace from your bed?
Sometimes placing the bed in front of a window which does not offer a view is a good choice.
Also, consider what you see when you enter the bedroom. The foot of the bed is often the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Does that make the most sense for your space?
Where Should I Put the Bed?
As the most significant piece of furniture in your room, your bed will naturally be the room’s focal point. Often, the best place to put your bed is along the longest wall.
It’s a good idea to place your bed symmetrically to create a peaceful bedroom.
Sometimes, it’s easy to achieve symmetry by placing it between two windows, two columns, or two built-in shelves. You can also achieve symmetry by balancing a big, ornate bed with an armoire or placing mirrors to balance an off-center window.
How Should I Arrange the Furniture?
A good rule for furniture layout in a bedroom is to keep it simple and uncluttered, which means no unnecessary furniture.
Start with a list of what you absolutely need. If you have ample closet space, maybe you don’t need a bulky dresser. If you’re short on space, a small table that doubles as a small workspace may be a better choice than a nightstand.
But if you have a spacious master suite, you can use larger pieces of furniture and create a sitting area, entertainment area, or reading nook.
Do I Have Clear Pathways and Good Flow?
When designing your bedroom layout, keep in mind the rule of thumb of having a minimum of two feet to walk around your bed. Keep your bed accessible from both sides, especially if sharing the space with your partner.
Also, make sure not to block natural pathways through your bedroom, especially to the bathroom. Make it easy to walk from place to place!
Whether you are a Feng Shui aficionado or just interested in creating a peaceful and happy bedroom and getting a restful night’s sleep, the ancient Chinese practice has some practical advice that is worth considering.
Among the principles of Feng Shui in the bedroom are: decluttering, placing the bed on a diagonal to the door, avoiding a mirror within the sightline from the bed, using a wooden headboard, and choosing soft neutral colors.
Where Should I Put the Lighting?
The size of your bedroom, the height of your ceilings, and the access to natural light will guide your lighting decisions when you design your bedroom layout.
For bedrooms with low ceilings, flush-mount overhead and recessed pot lights work well. Flanking the bed, wall sconces, and small table lamps that provide adequate lighting for reading are excellent choices.
Grander bedrooms may call for a chandelier. A well-placed ceiling fan light can be a wise choice in warmer climates or where airflow is an issue.
A floor lamp works well to provide illumination in your reading area. If you have artwork or collections to highlight, don’t forget about accent lighting.
What’s the Mood I Want to Create?
We spend a disproportionate amount of time in our bedrooms, and most of us consider the space an oasis. But that has different meanings for each of us.
Minimize clutter and maximize modern, organic elements to create a Zen-like oasis. Pick a tufted headboard, floral fabrics, and traditional furniture for a cozier space. Use brighter, bold colors, and don’t be afraid to mix patterns if you want a more eclectic look.
Our bedroom spaces are as individual as each of us. Create a mood and style that resonates with you and suits your lifestyle. Check out our Master Bedroom Floor Plan Examples for more inspiration.
Start by measuring your bedroom, and then use a floor plan software to draw your floor plan. Make sure to create several different versions to see which bedroom layout will work best for your needs. Happy designing!
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Bedroom Layout Ideas (Design Pictures)
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular bedroom layout ideas. Space planning is the first priority of professional designers. The $500 ultra-luxe duvet will not matter if your space is poorly planned. The layout, or space planning, of your bedroom is the most important aspect of your design. It will dictate how traffic flows through your space and can showcase your design aesthetic in the most pleasing way possible. Below are a variety of bedroom furniture layouts to help you maximize your space and create a great looking design you’ll love.
Whether your space is big or small, the right layout can make all the difference in how you see and use your space. Most bedrooms are designed to have a “bed wall” but that doesn’t mean that is the only placement for your bed, with a little bit of creativity and some design rules, you can take matters into your own hands and create the bedroom layout of your dreams.
Bedroom Layout Tips
Regardless of your bedroom size, you want to keep your traffic areas open, maximize your view, let in plenty of natural light and ventilation, and maintain your privacy. Pro tip: make a little floor plan for yourself, do a quick scale drawing of your space, make a separate drawing of your furniture and cut the furniture drawings out.
Now you can play with the arrangement by moving the furniture around the drawing of your room. Placing your bed in the center of the wall and flanking it with bedside tables is traditional and works in most spaces, but it isn’t the only way!
Symmetry is what we see most often when we are looking at bed placement, but there is no rule saying that you have to be symmetrical in your space! Don’t be afraid to push your bed to one side, embrace the asymmetry. The key is balance. If you push your bed close to a wall, make sure to leave enough room to comfortably enter and exit the bed from that side, especially if you share the space with someone else. (Visit this page to read more about bed sizes including the dimensions of the most popular types of beds.)
On the side closest to the wall, opt out of a table altogether and choose an invisible wall-mounted bookshelf and stack your favorite bedtime reading in a unique column of book art. On the other side, place your bedside table or even a small sofa table that could double as a vanity top. Bring it all together with an area rug that stretches nearly wall to wall.
Master Bedroom Suite Layout
The sky is the limit when you have a master suite. Sometimes those large, empty spaces can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have the furniture to fill them! But fear not, intrepid designers, we have you covered!
If your master suite comes with a large closet, take advantage of it by installing a closet organization system that will hold all of your clothing and accessories. This will free up room in your cavernous suite for a relaxing retreat without the clutter of everyday necessities.
Go ahead and get that luxurious king-sized bed, whether it is a minimalist platform or a four-poster solid wood antique, you have the room to live large! Place the bed right in the center of your bed wall, flank it with bedside tables that match in scale but mix up the shape, make it interesting, make it yours.
Because of your amazing closet organization, you don’t need a dresser in your space. Think about how you would like to use your extra space. Perhaps you want a meditation area in the corner or a quiet place to read or knit. Because you have the space and you already have our bed placement, you can really get creative with how to utilize the rest of your bedroom.
Master Bedroom Furniture Layout
Create a nice conversation area in your master suite. Place two beautiful upholstered chairs or one fantastic lounge chair, an occasional table, a woven jute basket to hold an extra blanket or two in the corner of your room, and you have a restful, relaxing retreat right in your own master suite.
If you love coffee like I do, consider have a sleek mid-century credenza modified to hide a mini-fridge and your favorite coffee maker. There will be plenty of room for a few coffee mugs and spoons and no one will be the wiser! The top would make the perfect landing spot for a couple of tall lamps and that delicate tabletop sculpture you had to remove from the living room when you had kids!
Place a large, framed mirror on the wall behind it to increase the natural light that comes into your space. This can be placed across from your bed or on a wall next to your bed so you only need to stumble a few feet before you can say coffee, coffee, joy, joy.
Small Bedroom Layout
Don’t let anyone tell you that size matters in the bedroom, they are totally wrong! You can have a sophisticated, stylish, beautifully designed room if you have the right layout! Well, maybe bed size matters, you are not going to create anything but a mess if you insist on a king-sized bed in postage stamp room. A place for everything and everything in its place, as the saying goes, makes for great design.
Maximize storage in a small room by adding built-in shelving on the wall that your bed will go on, using drawers at the base on either side of your bed. Include wall-mounted lighting on either side of the bed, add artwork in the space above, and you have stylish storage and free your floor space up by decreasing the need for separate dressers. This not only puts everything that you use on one side of the room, making efficient use of circulation, it also makes your room appear larger, and gives it a more open, airy feel.
Small Guest Bedroom Layout
For a small guest bedroom layout rather than shove the bed against one wall to give the illusion of more space try to leave an aisle to either side of the bed which will improve the flow of the room. Not only will guests be able to get in to the bed easier, it will also allow room for nightstands on both sides. Another small bedroom layout tip is to use only one major furniture piece per wall. This will help the space not feel too cramped.
Additionally, think about ways to brighten up the space. Lighter colors are more light reflecting, choose a light and neutral color palette for small rooms. Adding a small mirror can have a big impact in making the room feel larger. For drapery, try installing long white curtains to soften direct sunlight while still keeping things bright. Not only will you create a romantic atmosphere n your small bedroom, it will look inviting and larger in the process.
Finally, it may be a good idea to consider a space saving bed for a small room. There are a variety of beds such as murphy beds, day beds, bunk beds, folding beds and pull out beds that can offer you a lot more room to work with. These types also work well for those who want a multi-purpose room such as a part-time office or play room.
Bedroom Layout Ideas for Square Rooms
It’s hip to be square, really, it is! A square bedroom begs to by symmetrical, it also begs for a big, square rug to anchor the furniture. Start with the rug, if your budget is limited, look to natural rugs like jute or seagrass, they are less expensive, incredibly durable, and have a natural glow that brings the outdoors in. Get a rug that will extend to about 6” to 12” from the walls.
Start with your bedside table, place it so that it is close to the corner. Then place your bed and other bedside table. Add a chair in the corner with a floor lamp behind it. Across from the bed, you can place your dresser and another chair near the corner. The wall with the window should face one side of your bed, letting the natural light and cool breezes spill, uninterrupted, into the room.
Bedroom layouts can be tricky because there is so much to consider. But relax, design should be fun, not stressful! Consider how you want to use your space, what needs to go into the space, make a few quick sketches of layout possibilities, and use the tricks of the trade that you have learned today to create bedroom that is functional, beautiful, and personal.
There are a variety of bedroom layout ideas for several different room types. Below you’ll find layouts for a bedroom with storage, small bedroom, relaxing bedroom and versatile bedroom design.
Bedroom With Storage
A bedroom with storage is ideal for those with a smaller amount of square footage in their home, such as that found in many apartments and condos. A bedroom with storage can be maximized for the purpose by utilizing under bed storage found in many types of platform beds. It is also advisable to have several dressers to provide additional storage opportunities.
Relaxing Bedroom Layout
To achieve a relaxing bedroom layout think about adding a plush bed ottoman or bench to the foot of the bed. Not only will this piece of furniture help you match and accentuate the prints and lines in your bedroom design it can also provide extra storage space or just a place to put on your shoes. Bed benches come in all sorts of styles such as Mid-Century Modern, French Provincial, Chinoiserie, Cottage, or Hollywood Regency.
If there is room you can also add some comfortable chairs with a small table to act as a place for your morning coffee, a reading nook in the corner of the room or just a place to socialize with your significant other.
Versatile Bedroom Layout
If you want to use your bedroom as a multi-functional space a versatile design may be right for you. In the image above the bed is positioned against a wall due to a large window which can often prevent the bed from being positioned in the center of the room.
A multi-functional bedroom design could be used as an office and a bedroom with a desk set up across from a bed. It may have a seating area with table for relaxing and enjoying coffee, or it could have wall dedicated to a makeup vanity or extra storage cabinets. A versatile bedroom layout is quite similar to a studio apartment design with a room that functions for activities besides just sleeping.
Here’s a helpful illustration of some of the most popular bedroom layout ideas.
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Bedroom layout ideas – 9 creative solutions for a practical and cozy space
The right bedroom layout idea can be transformational to your space. Whether you're working with a small or generously proportioned room, different layouts will help to maximize light, circulation and storage, helping you achieve the bedroom of your dreams. One where when you enter and it feels just right.
Of course, when it comes to modern bedroom ideas, there are infinite ways to design this space, but for the most effective and ergonomic tips, the ideal layouts are tailored to that room's shape, size, and dimension. Plus ones that can eke out more functions than you might think given the potentially small square footage of the room.
If you're looking to redesign or re-lay out this room, then these expert-recommended ideas are for you. From how to place the bed, furniture or units in the room to expanding views with mirrors and adding lighting, here are some ideas to consider.
9 bedroom layout ideas to help you design the room of your dreams
The best bedroom layout ideas hang on creating good circulation. Essentially what circulation space means is being able to walk from point A to point B without any roadblocks. Usually, you'll find the perfect circulation layouts in hotels, where the bed is usually pushed against one wall, the sofa is in one corner of the room, and the area around the bed and the passageway to the bathroom are clear. Also, because most hotels have the same floor plans!
When it comes to the bedrooms of today, circulation plans can become a little more complicated. To save space, take note of where the bathroom and closet in your bedroom are located. Rooms that have a bathroom or wardrobe located before the sleeping area, ideally require a longer hall.
If you can redo the layout of your room (in the middle of building your new home or renovating?) organize the circulation so the bathroom and closet can be accessed through the sleeping area, so you don’t need a separate room for them.
Also, try to ensure that your bed has a minimum of 24 inches of area around it and is at least 36 inches away from the door. This will help you get in and out of the bed easily and avoid pinch points.
1. Use the location of your windows and doors to inform the layout
(Image credit: Ansel Olson. Design: Sawyers Design )
The size and shape of your room will, of course, be the biggest determiner of your layout, but there are some other elements which are equally important.
'I think one of the most important elements to consider when placing furniture in a bedroom is the location of the windows and the doors; you always want to make sure that your furniture placement makes sense with regards to your windows,' says Kirsten Blazek, principal designer of A1000XBetter (opens in new tab).
The best bedroom layout ideas will ensure the bed doesn't directly face windows, especially in rooms which get early morning light (though blackout window treatments can make this layout work well). You also, ideally, don't want to block windows with furniture.
If your room has large windows, you could choose a low, platform bed that fits right underneath the windows and doesn’t block views.
'Also don’t forget to think about how you want to feel in your bedroom,' Kirsten adds. There are bedroom feng shui rules around locating the bed in relation to the door. 'For example, if your bed is on the opposite side from the entry door to the room will you feel too exposed? I like bedrooms to feel layered and interesting but not too filled with furniture and you always want to leave enough room to move around the room easily.'
2. Don't feel limited to symmetrical nightstands
(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)
The standard for bedrooms is the bed positioned in the middle of the room, withtwo nightstands symmetrically placed on either side. However, there's not always room for this tried and trusted layout.
'In a small bedroom, we always like to add a bed, nightstands with a lamp and a rug,' says Lauren Lerner, principal designer at Living with Lolo (opens in new tab). 'However, if two nightstands won't fit, you can get away with a single.'
In this small guest room, a dresser sits next to the bed, acting as storage and a nightstand. On the other side of the bed, a small side table ensures the room is comfortable to use for two people.
'If there is room for a dresser under a mirror or TV that is the preferred choice, but if not, we will opt for a skinny console versus a dresser,' Lauren adds.
3. Plan specific layouts for awkwardly shaped bedrooms
(Image credit: Christian Girabaldi. Design: Karen B Wolf Interiors)
Finding the right bedroom furniture ideas and getting the overall configuration in an unconventional bedroom layout can certainly be a challenge. Ideally in a room, the furniture should flow with the space, instead of being orthogonal and not responding to it. Your master bedroom should be cozy, warm, and embracing.
When working in a circular space, the idea should be to continue the curving layout of the room by choosing rounded furniture pieces.
In this space, straight-lined furniture will feel out of place if there aren’t details to connect it. If you absolutely cannot redo the pieces in the room, perhaps choose chairs on swivel bases, so you can better enjoy the space from all angles.
'This kids' room is a mix of rectangle and bay shape (octagonal),' says Karen Wolf, Creative Principal, and Owner of Karen B. Wolf Interiors (opens in new tab). 'We had flat walls to support our furnishing layout. If however, the room was a full circle, I would suggest floating a bed in the room and consider changing the shape of the bed to have some curves to it.'
When it comes to rectangular or square rooms with straight edges, it may be a good idea to place the bed against a long wall. This will leave plenty of room for two sizeable nightstands on either side of the bed, and perhaps even a sofa in front.
You could go for built-in nightstands/shelves for clever storage, and ensure the furniture and decor take up minimal space while maximizing functionality.
If your room is a completely awkward space, with alcoves and strange nooks, it's best to go for made-to-order beds and chairs that fit perfectly into the corners, thereby hiding them, while leaving plenty of space in the center of the room.
5. Create a divide by placing the bed in the center of the room
(Image credit: Kendall McCaugherty. Design: Searl Lamaster Howe Architects)
Beds tend to be pushed up against the wall, but by positioning it in the center of the room, you can create a broken plan scheme that might allow you to pack in more bedroom storage.
In this modern bedroom, Chicago-based architects Searl Lamaster Howe (opens in new tab) used this layout to include a stylish panelled closet idea in the room.
'By floating the bed in the middle of the room, free space around gives access to the terrace doors and the hall leading to the bathroom as well as the wall of closets,' says Greg Howe, founding partner of Searl Lamaster Howe.
6. Position mirrors in the right place
(Image credit: Noorein Kapoor Designs)
Bedroom mirror ideas can add a lot to the layout. If the room has perfect symmetry, the mirror can reflect that manifolds and make the space seem like a neat, tidy haven. In small spaces, it can create the illusion of extension, as though the room goes beyond its square footage. A mirror placed next to a window can bring more light; vintage designs can even stand in as wall decor or art pieces.
'Mirrors are interesting artforms, in the way they play with dimension, reflection, truth, and illusion,' says interior designer Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab). 'In terms of placement, think about what you want to reflect: through a mirror you can spotlight your favorite artwork placed in an unforeseen corner of the room. You can hang the mirror opposite a window to bring the outside in or place it in a passageway as a keyhole for what the next room has in store.'
7. Carve out a niche for work or lounging
(Image credit: Baldiwala Edge)
As much as it is true that the primary function of a bedroom is sleep, it is also a wonderful place to lounge around, have conversations with loved ones, read or daydream. Having a small seating arrangement in the bedroom guarantees fun morning breakfast and afternoon tea times. Even a tiny home office can thrive in this space. Usually, the area opposite the bed is the best for a seating composition, with the middle of the room left empty for walking.
If you have a room with large dimensions, a seating space adjacent to the bed too can work. Ideally, two chairs or two slim sofas can do the deed. In small bedroom layouts, you could choose a corner diagonal to the bed and place a compact desk and chair there, for work or reading. Make sure the seating is at least 20-24 inches away from the bed.
8. Create zones with room dividers
(Image credit: DC.AD`)
If your bedroom isn't large enough for internal doors or walls, you can create functional zones with the right room divider idea.
From fabric screens, and large headboards that section off the back area of the bed to curtains, you can use these design features to eke out more use in your room and create a more multi-functional space.
9. Use wall lighting to free up your layout
(Image credit: Veronica Rodriguez. Design: Interior Fox)
Where a bedroom has a limited floorplan, not relying on table or floor lamps for your bedroom lighting ideas will make your layout more adaptable.
'If you have a small bedroom, you could take the lighting off the nightstand and onto the wall. Swing-arm lamps are essential in reducing surface clutter,' says interior designer Jarret Yoshida (opens in new tab). 'You could then also rid of your nightstands by integrating them into your headboard. Storage headboards reduce the width needed for a typical nightstand and bed arrangement by at least 40" which can be a great saving.'
How can I improve my bedroom layout?
Start with the right position of the bed as this is the largest furniture piece in the room. Ideally, it should be placed against the longest wall in the room, opposite the doorway so that's the first feature you see as you enter the space. This will also give the room a sense of balance and symmetry. If you have a large window, position the bed with a clear line of sight to the window to make the most of the views.
If you have a large enough space, place two nightstands on either side of the bed. Have an additional area in front of the bed? Create a seating room with two sofas and a chair. Even a single chair placed in the corner can work.
Ensure that the passageway between the bed and the bathroom is free of clutter or other furniture pieces. Also make sure the area around the bed has enough walking space, so the room has enough circulation area.
Finally, if your room has some more remaining space, a dressing area might be the best choice to include. A large mirror and dressing table, along with a fitting chair or a stool for perching on can be extremely useful. If there isn't space for all the paraphernalia, a simple bedroom dresser too could work.
(Image credit: Bespoke Only)
What should you not do in a bedroom layout?
Avoid some of the bedroom layout mistakes by taking note of these points. Don't bring in a tiny, awkward-sized rug that will throw the entire room's design off course. Sheepskins are best laid out next to a bed, not under it. And area rugs should be wide enough to extend out from the sides of the bed.
An abnormally large bed will leave no walking room and storage space around. And, an oversized headboard will make your bedroom seem smaller and cramped.
If your room is already a dark, dingy space, do not block the windows that will provide natural light and a sense of lightness to the room.
Finally, keep the biggest design enemy – clutter – at bay. Especially in small bedrooms, stay on top of clutter. Have a specific space for every item and allow the visuals to look clean and tidy.