Arranging Your Bedroom Furniture

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Katharine Kaye McMillan and Patricia Hart McMillan wrote a series of Home Decorating articles for the For Dummies Book Series. We’ve included a few excerpts below for master bedroom layouts that we thought extremely helpful.

The bed is the key piece of furniture in any bedroom, and it naturally becomes the focal point. Bedroom furniture is traditionally arranged according to a few general rules. For the most part based on common sense, here are some general guidelines for you to follow:

Traditionally, folks tend to place a double, queen-sized, or king-sized bed against the center of the wall opposite the main door to the room. With this arrangement, the headboard is the center of attention as you enter the room.

If the dimensions of your room prevent you from positioning your bed on the wall across from the door, other possible choices depend on which walls are long enough to accommodate the bed. Diagonal placement works well when you have the space.

Do not place a bed under a window, if the window will frequently be open. Open windows can create uncomfortable drafts. Positioning a bed between two windows, however, works well.

If your home is air-conditioned or heated year-round and the windows are seldom open, you may be able to ignore this rule.

Do not place the bed where it obstructs a door into the room or a walkway through the room.

Consider nontraditional furniture arrangements if doing so will free up space or use space in a more interesting way. 

For example, a bed may look dramatic placed in front of a secure window; on a diagonal, which takes up extra space; sideways along a wall, to maximize floor space; or in an alcove.

If your closet is large enough and you’d like to free-up floor space, put your chest of drawers inside your walk-in closet. Doing this will let you add additional pieces of furniture, such as a writing desk, a seating group, or a big screen TV, to transform any bedroom into a luxury suite.

Master bedrooms

A master bedroom doesn’t have to be huge, but it does need to offer the amenities you need. If your space is less masterful than you’d like, look at some of the following suggestions for decorating your bedroom:

Make the bedroom look larger by eliminating clutter.

Use only necessary furniture. If you can, push a chest of drawers into a walk-in closet to free up floor space.

Keep the bed visually low. Use a headboard, but don’t use a footboard, and opt for something other than a four-poster bed, all of which tend to take up space visually, making the room seem smaller.

Keep all your furniture — like the rest of your color scheme — light. Light colored furniture, walls, floors, window treatments, and bedding make a room seem bigger.

Regardless of the size of your master bedroom, the following tips can help you to make it as comfortable as possible:

Add bedside tables that are as big as space will allow. If you read or watch TV in bed, you’ll find these tables helpful.
You can buy round café tables for very little money and drape them with quilts.

Try to make room for at least one comfortable chair. Chairs are great for company on a sick day, for daytime resting, or for reading.

Consider carpeting all bedroom floors to reduce noise in the room.

Add a lady’s desk — a small, delicately proportioned furnishing for writing letters and so forth — if you have room.


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