We’ve rearranged the guest room twice already, and we’re going in for round three. There’s a lot that’s “wrong” with this orientation. For starters, we centered the bed under the window, giving it a little room on the left for a nightstand — but it’s so close to the wall on the right that you can barely squeeze in let alone make the bed. (It’s a real climb-over situation.) On top of that, the door opens to a *stunning* view of the treadmill. Now, we love the new treadmill, and we use it nearly every day, but we want our guests to have a homier view when they check in.
You can see our guest room sources here!
Rearranging this room for the third time has me thinking about where the bed is even supposed go in a room. I feel like there are as many rules as there are exceptions to those rules. In clicking through pictures of our house, our old house, our cabin, and every bedroom I ever saved on Pinterest, I’m starting to formulate a plan for this weird layout. Here’s what I know so far:
You can see our bedroom in our last home’s sources here!
Over the years, I’ve learned the bed should probably go on the widest wall. I like a bed that faces the door so that I can get in the bed from either side, and no matter which side of the bed is “mine,” no one ever has too much of a walk-around.
Feng shui says that feet facing the door is fundamental, but that we should avoid having our feet directly in line with the door (they call this “coffin position” ????).
If you’re working with a room that has handsome paneling (lucky), don’t be afraid to break up that wall with a headboard the introduces a little contrast. Chris and I have put up our fair share of paneling and bead board in our day, and sometimes it’s hard to think of “covering up” your handywork with a bed… and then nightstands… and maybe even a chair. But now I see structurally interesting walls as a great backdrop. Like the jute rug you layer underneath a cool area rug.
I’ve heard conflicting opinions about positioning a bed under a window, but I think when this is done right — the window doubles as art. Two rules of thumb that I’ve picked up in my under-window positioning and Pinning: 1. Choose a low-profile headboard or one with an open frame so you don’t obstruct the window too much. 2. Pull the bed out about nine inches from the window-wall to allow curtains to hang behind.
When I’ve struggled a lot with where to position the bed, the answer is sometimes, “The bed is too big.” We really wanted a king-size bed at our cabin, but no matter which wall we put it on, it dwarfed the room. The room AND the bed looked bigger when we downsized to a queen. Math and interiors… magic.
I think a short, high window practically begs for a bed underneath. What would normally present such a design dilemma looks downright intentional with a hefty headboard underneath. I would also skip the cafe curtains and go with the upholstered option. #textures
If sloping ceilings prevented me from installing curtains, I’d embrace the natural light and play up on some interesting silhouettes for bedside lamps.
We had a few slanted ceilings in our cabin. In the Mountain Room, it felt like facing the door was the best option, even though it meant that the headboard would be “against” the slanted wall. We pulled the bed out just enough, invested in a low-profile headboard that didn’t present a lot of contrast (blending in felt better here), and reveled in the fact that the tallest part of the room was the place where we were standing. Had we put the bed against the window wall, we would have always been ducking, getting into bed.
You can see the cabin bedroom sources here!
You can see the cabin loft sources here!
In the loft, it made sense to position the trundle beds lengthwise along the long wall, with the kids facing each other for bedtime talks. We pulled the beds out from the wall a bit to give the space some breathing room and to save the kids from bonking their heads.
Pushing a bed against the wall or into a corner generally makes things feel cramped, in my opinion. I think the exceptions to this rule are daybeds and twin beds. When you’re working with a smaller-scaled room (a small guest room or a kid’s room, maybe?), tucking a bed into a corner looks charming. Just leave a foot or so on one side for bed-making and, you know, a little end table with flowers on it.
Positioning two beds is sometimes easier than one for me. In Greta’s room (below), adding a second bed for sister/cousin sleepovers solved the equation for me — of course there should be a bed on either side of the window!
You can see Greta’s room’s sources here!
Room with a view? Break all of the “rules.” Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the view of a forestscape (is that a thing?) or a sparkling lake? I’d prioritize my waking view over the view of my room from the door with the exception of… a feeling. When we first moved into our house, we tried our bed facing the French doors. Even though the view was nice — it felt so backwards. We swung it around, letting the doors flank the bed, and slept easier.
You can see our bedroom sources here!
An asymmetrical room also requires some embracing. This room (above) has a slight corner right smack dab in the middle of the dominant wall — a space between two windows that feels like a no-brainer for the bed. I love how she “cheated” the windows and the wall with the white headboard and the art. I also love the pairing of the bedside lamp with the twin sconces. This room is like the “where to put the bed” Master Class. (Are we getting ahead of ourselves?)
Sometimes, I really like the look of an asymmetrical curtain — like the layers of texture on the bed balance the window with a curtain hanging on only one side.
I’m taking this head full of inspiration into the guestroom this week. I know what we’re probably going to do, but I feel really open to the process. I’ll trust my gut even if it means rearranging for a fourth (or fifth) time. This is the fun part! Transformation!
What are your bed-positioning rules?
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home