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How To Layout A Bedroom For Optimal Rest: 5 EHD-Tested Layouts + Help Jess Choose Hers

As I’m wrapping up my living room design (it’s happening people!), my sights are heavily set on my bedroom. And as someone who has only designed one bedroom fully in her adult life, I am pretty pumped but also really want to get it right. Can you see me shrinking by the pressure I’m adding onto my shoulders?? Just kidding…sort of. So to kick things off, I need to solidify my layout. Doing that will help me come up with my desired furniture list and general size needs making everything easy to source..right? Now first I’m going to walk you through my bedroom and my personal layout options (or at least the one’s I like the most). Then after that, we are going to dive into our five “no-fail” layouts to help you figure out a bedroom layout if you are currently struggling. This way we can all help each other:) Sound fun? Cool.

So here is my bedroom before I moved in…

Above to the left is my “headboard wall” and just one of two walls my bed could be on. Then to our right is the other love of my life (my turret being #1) – my French window wall. These French doors lead out to my skinny balcony and bring in the prettiest, softest light.

When my cousin was staying with me she called it a princess room and to be honest I kinda feel like a princess when I’m in there (and that’s without it being designed!). Oh and don’t worry those blinds are long gone. I have temporary white curtains that are perfectly light filtering. I also have my little vintage chair from my last living room reveal in the corner. Remember that chair when I talk about the layout options:)

Now, this is the wall opposite my “headboard wall”. Since it has those two doors (one to my bathroom and the other to my closet) there’s not much you can do furniture-wise but a tall slim dresser in between the doors which I am highly considering.

I figured I’d give you a little furniture context and yes, I have been sleeping like this for 2.5 years. This is also a full-sized bed so I CAN’T wait to upgrade to a queen. Many have tried to tell me I’ll regret not getting a king but first I think it would take up too much space and not leave enough room for my nightstands (especially since on the window side I need to take the door’s ability to open into the room into account). Then on a sentimental note, my parents never had more than a queen because they never wanted to be that far from each other. I know that doesn’t work for every couple for a ton of different reasons but since it’s still just me and I like that idea, I’m sticking with a queen.

Here is the room without any furniture so you can see what the scope is. It’s almost a square with lots of doors and window doors.

To be honest, this is what I’m leaning towards. I haven’t had a dresser in years (at least seven) so I’m not desperate for one but having a slim tall one in between the closet and bathroom doors does sound handy (and could be very pretty:)). So aside from my little chair on the right, it’s simple, not crowded, and in my mind, peaceful. However…

…I do like the idea of a bench or two little ottomans at the end of my bed. The little chair is really just for decor at this point and isn’t something you want to sit on for any length of time. So having something at the end of the bed not only gives me a place to sit on that’s not my bed but also is another opportunity to have a pretty design moment. Beauty is “function” to me for my overall peace of mind. As silly as that sounds I’m not kidding.

The only other option I’d really consider is to get a low and long dresser for the wall opposite the window wall. While I’m sure it wouldn’t look bad, the small tall dresser looks like it’s more visually balanced with the other pieces that I also want. I originally made an option with both dressers but I really don’t need two dressers and it would simply be too much furniture for just me. Maybe if someday I’m sharing this apartment that may need to change but until then it’s one.

So what do y’all think? Do you agree with what I’m feeling? Bench or no bench? Let me know!

design by jess bunge | styled by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the feel-good modern romantic bedroom makeover jess did for her dear friend (all thanks to the company store)

Now that we’ve talked about me, let’s talk about you, shall we? Do you have a bedroom layout you are possibly overthinking?? Look, some rooms are HARD, with wild layout quirks so I don’t want to discount that. However, other times all it takes is someone showing you five great options with examples (of course) to help you make a decision so you can actually enjoy your room. The key to all of these is the “sq ft: furniture ratio”. You don’t want your room to feel empty but you also don’t want so much furniture that your mind can’t relax. If you are nervous about this, just start small and slowly add if need be. With that said here’s the first and grandest option (aka for a big bedroom):

This one was modeled after the Griffith Park bedroom. A layout like this one definitely requires more space but can easily be modified if you like the idea but can’t fit all nine pieces. For instance, you could take away one chair or the bench or both. You still get the vibe, the room is still balanced, and you keep all that great dresser storage. We really love the idea of mixing up dresser heights (one tall with one short and long), especially if they live on different walls. It will give your room more visual interest!

photo by tessa neustadt | from: the griffith park master bedroom reveal

See the resemblance and how pretty it is all together??

Now onto the next and on the opposite end – one of the simplest (but equally as pretty):

As you will soon see, this is the layout Emily went for in their small primary bedroom in LA. It’s elegant, symmetrical (which we love when it comes to bedrooms), and perfect for a small space. Five pieces for a beautiful bedroom you can happily enjoy. Let’s see it in action below…

photo by veronica crawford | from: our bedroom update (also how i feel about having a tv in the bedroom)

Since there aren’t many pieces of furniture, you can play more with pattern and texture! Just remember to vary the pattern scales.

photo by veronica crawford | from: our bedroom update (also how i feel about having a tv in the bedroom)

Emily also added a little accent chair next to their dresser for an added special moment. So if you have a small chair you love see if it works next to your dresser.

Option Two (Without The Bench)

But what if your room doesn’t have room for an end-of-the-bed bench? No worries! Either get it out of there or if you’re like Bowser, you can stick it along a wall!

Next up is great for anyone but extra great for couples. Two dressers so no one is touching the other person’s stuff and it’s symmetrical?? What a dream! The size of the dressers can even vary from each other if that’s something you’d like. Check out how Em did it in their Glendale primary bedroom:

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our master bedroom – finally

Ok, we’ll start with this shot because it’s perfect. I’ve always loved this room. Oh, and can you tell we reallllly love end-of-bed benches?? Use whenever possible:)

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our master bedroom – finally

Now we’re talking. Em used two different dressers in size and style but since the materials were similar (white and brass) they totally worked together! Technically she didn’t have a choice but to get two different sizes because of windows and wall space but that just goes to show how you can modify for your unique space:)

Maybe you have a dresser and a bench but something’s still missing! You might just need a reading chair (space permitted). While there are a couple of options when it comes to accent chair placement, don’t be afraid to put it next to your nightstand (especially if you have a long, narrow room).

See how cute it is in this bedroom we designed a while back? Bonus points if it’s next to a window.

Last but not least we have the dresser/chair on the same wall combo. It’s simple and easy. Again you don’t need a bench if you don’t have the space. However, if you do and you have kids coming in and out of your room, or you and your partner like to talk facing each other, then a chair across from your bed is going to be really nice! Or maybe you have a window on that side and you want your chair next to it like Julie did below.

She skipped the bench since there wasn’t enough space but it all looks great! Also if you can get your hands on a real vintage Siesta Lounge Chair it’s one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve sat in.

So that’s it! Remember that you should always adjust for your space’s needs but these are great starting places. Have fun:) Oh and let me know if you have any thoughts on my layout but be nice, k?

Love you, mean it, and here’s a big graphic with all the options I just talked about:)

Opening Image Credit: Design by Malcolm Simmons | Photo by Keyanna Bowen | From: Malcolm’s Bedroom Reveal Is Here… How He Found Healing Through Design + The Incredible DIYs That Transformed The Space

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1 year ago

I vote with the tall dresser and a bench. Just make sure the dresser isn’t too bulky or a I think it will feel crowded on that narrow wall.

1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

I agree. A tall, slim chest of drawers for jewelry, scarves and accessories would make that a little dressing area corner along with the chair and mirrored door. You could even do a similarly sized bookcase and style it out with interesting boxes to store those same items.

1 year ago

Yes to the bench (or storage-option bench!) at the end of the bed. I think you’ll love the functionality of it.

1 year ago
Reply to  KD

Yes, a storage bench is a great place to store extra bedding if you don’t have a linen closet

1 year ago

I can’t wait to see what colors, textures and furniture you are putting in your bedroom! I like the end-of-bed bench endorsement, a reminder to me that I need to find a new one for our space (we moved ours into a guest bedroom).

Thank you for showing beautiful bedrooms that need dressers for clothing— it seems like almost every makeover these days has a huge walk-in closet so you don’t really need dressers. That isn’t an option for a lot of us, so it’s nice to see a range of ideas like this.

1 year ago

Huh. There are no ‘foolproof’ options for rooms like mine where the wall opposite the headboard wall is a big French door. I can shift things around but it makes it harder in the symmetry stakes.

1 year ago

Team nothing at base of bed.

1 year ago

I feel like a full is even luxurious. People need a king??. I guess if you have animals/children. That story about your parents is really sweet. Have you considered having your bed face the dreamy windows? Also your green bedroom design was 10/10. Whatever you do will be beautiful!

1 year ago

Team Queen bed over here for me and my partner. When we stay at hotels with king beds we always feel so far away from each other.
My vote is always for fewer peices of furniture in a bedroom. It just feels more restful to me. Dont all chairs in bedrooms become clothes holders? Just me? Can’t wait to see what you do with this space.

1 year ago
Reply to  susan

Same! Whenever my husband and I are in a king it feels like a JOURNEY to go find him to snuggle 😅. Very happy with our queen, so much easier to be close. We aren’t big people though, and no pets sleep with us 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  susan

This is definitely a person preference here! My partner and I sleep in separate bedrooms (yes we are very fortunate to have a spare bedroom) and we have a strict no kids in the bedroom rule. The reason – we are all super light, terrible sleepers (must be genetic). Whenever we go on holiday and need to share we definitely notice how tired we all are.

Shannon L.
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmony

My husband is becoming a TERRIBLE snorer, and I can see needing to sleep in separate bedrooms in our future. It’s a bummer, for sure.

1 year ago

Have you ever thought about doing (2) matched/mismatched 36-42″ low dressers on either side of the bed in lieu of the nightstands? Unless I’m missing something, you should have over 42″ on either side of the bed — that would open up the rest of the room for whatever layout you’re looking for. The space between the two doors would look so cute as hat or jewelry display on hooks…

Can’t wait to see the end result!

1 year ago

Go with a low dresser and then you can style it with your layered art etc. Bench at the end of the bed is also nice since you have the room. Ottomans look nice, but often get moved and you’ll always end up straightening them.

Christine Farber
1 year ago

I would choose a tall dresser OR a bench, to ensure you have room to walk around bed and easily get to those gorgeous French doors. In my own bedroom, with similar dimensions to yours, I have chosen a chair instead of a bench. My approx. 15 x 11’ room has a wall of windows and a wall that consists of a skinny, reach-in closet. I have a queen (opposite window wall), 2 nightstands, low dresser- (opposite closet wall), and a bentwood cane rocker with a small, upholstered midcentury footstool (the kind with wooden legs) that I use with a tray (it acts as a table for a cup of coffee, e.g.). We have a good view and so a chair was definitely a priority for me. A bench just seemed to be a piece that would invite clothes needing to be put away. But I love a great bench and so our footstool fits the need for me, complete with a sheep’s skin for added texture under my Target tray. The two best decisions I made for my bedroom were: (1) a low, 6-drawer dresser—when I changed from a higher one (also a double) to one lower to the… Read more »

1 year ago

I have 3 benches in my house because they are just so good. Storage, sitting to fiddle with shoes, being able to set stuff down…what’s not to love.

1 year ago

Bench at end of bed…how messy of a person are you? How likely are you to set your laundry basket or throw your work out clothes on the bench and not move it for two weeks? Me— VERY LIKELY— therefore I have no bench at the end of the bed. I think if I set the laundry basket on my BED I am more likely to take care of it before I go to sleep! It would look so nice I know, but I do not need another surface that can collect laundry 🙂

Roberta Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

I totally agree with that! And I think a bench is redundant if the bed is low enough to sit on for putting on lotion or socks, etc.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy

I agree – flat surfaces are these messy person’s enemy as they just collect junk!

I’m not sure if Jess is messy person but I am (and have made peace with it!) and the best thing I did for my bedroom is buy a beautiful basket to chuck my shoes in. I know myself well enough that they won’t make it back to the shoe box day to day but at least they are not making a mess on the floor.

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

I like your first layout, although any of them can work fine. If you don’t need a dresser at all, then the smaller one should be fine. I like having a dresser for underwear and socks, maybe jewelry, at a minimum. Otherwise I’d prefer the clothes to be hung or in a cubby in my closet. But a dresser is a good place for out-of-season clothes. I hate feeling cramped in a bedroom and that’s what the longer side dresser may do to you. And- you can always add a bench, right? If the bed is low enough to sit on, then I find I have no need for a bench. It’s just a place to collect piles of clothes! Also. although we’ve had a king sleigh bed for decades, I don’t think we really need a bed that big. We do fine in a queen when we’re on vacation or staying in a guest room. And for a single person, a queen will feel luxurious! Can’t wait to see!

1 year ago

Everything you’ve ever shared about your family has been lovely! Your posts give me a warm glow.
I always think a bench at the bottom of the bed must get in the way when you’re making the bed but I do agree it’s nice to have alternative seating for people in addition to the bed.
Look forward to the reveal.

1 year ago

I’d do low dresser and chair, with a lovely plant / mirror/ art or combo between the 2 doors. Let the doors breathe and have something inspiring to look at while lying in bed.

1 year ago

We have the queen vs. king debate in my house. We just bought a new queen bed in January. Our bedroom is SMALL. A king bed would literally leave no room for a dresser, which I absolutely do need in my bedroom. So a queen it will continue to be. Before my other half moved in with me, he had a king bed in his house. But he never stayed on his side of the bed. He wants to be right up in my space all night long. So what’s the point in wasting valuable floor space, with a bigger bed that won’t be fully used? So if a queen will work for you, then go for it.

1 year ago

Team Bench! I’ve always had one at the foot of the bed since I was a child. Some times it was a storage chest and other times it was a gorgeous velvet. It also is a great place to put your pillow shams and other small pillows during the night so they don’t end up on the floor.

1 year ago

I am on team no-bench-and tall-slim-dresser!

1 year ago
Reply to  Marie

I mean, no bench, but yes to tall slim dresser! Yes to queen bed …

1 year ago

I have to say that the way your bedroom looks now is beautiful to me!! It looks like an image from a high end European publication. That being said, I guess its not as practical as you would like, and I’m sure either of the two options you’re considering will look just as good once you style it.

1 year ago

Can you guys please do a end of bed bench round up?

1 year ago

Why not hold off on the bench and see how you feel later?

1 year ago

low dresser! put storage under bed for out of season stuff. and a bigger piece of artwork you can enjoy in that skinny wallspace every time you are resting! we have a king and I HATE it. too far from my husband. when we move im ditching it for a queen.

1 year ago

Low , longer dresser, that way you can have a large mirror over reflecting the light from the french doors. I think the Tall dresser may feel odd when you walk into the room. I would just start with a bed, nightstands and dresser and your chair and see how it feels. you can add a bench or ottomans later on, or just try something you already have at the space at the end of the bed to see how you feel about it before buying something.

1 year ago

I kind of like the idea of a bit larger nightstands with drawers to take the place of a tall skinny dresser so that space can accommodate hats, necklaces and the like. I think a bench is nice if you have the room. Personally, i have a small, approximately 10′ x 10′ bedroom with a full bed, one night table, one small chair on the other side of the bed (a red Eames LCW) and a vintage 5 drawer Heywood Wakefield dresser that i really need for clothes. It’s a small house with small closets so a dresser was a must.

1 year ago

Exciting that you are working on your bedroom, those French windows are fabulous!
While I like the idea of the slim tall dresser between the two doors, I think I would choose a gorgeous, gilt full length mirror instead, and add a low dresser in the spot shown in your diagram. I love the opportunity for styling that a low dresser offers, wall space for art and lamps, and of course the storage space! Definitely have a storage bench, wish I had space for one in my bedroom!
It is a lovely room, can’t wait to see the reveal!

1 year ago

Our bedroom is 10 X 11 so your bedroom feels roomy to me. I’ve managed to fit in a queen size bed, one side table, a small dresser as the other side table, a small armoire, a desk and a rolling cart of art supplies. The TV is hung on the wall above the desk. One wall is a large, nearly full-length window and the opposite wall is closet with sliding doors. I have exactly one way to arrange it all in there. Oddly enough, it feels cozy, not cramped. Somehow it all works. Hope you find your happy space.

1 year ago

Jess, did you see the tall dresser Dee Murphy used in this project? Last pic on this link:

1 year ago

Your layout is perfect (after living in 14 homes)! A suggestion: place either a bench w/ storage or two small storage cubes at the end of your bed. I have a storage cube that has a top that flips over to become a tray.

1 year ago

There were a couple examples with the bed in front of windows. Is there a guideline on when to do or not do that?

Yay! I’m back after like a 6-week Lent break! I had given up my daily EHD scroll, so I’m so excited to catch up on all the posts. Anyway! A few comments here:
1. I have a similar bedroom layout to yours, Jess, except instead of a wall of window doors on the side wall, we have regular windows on the wall opposite the closet and bathroom doors.
2. In the space between the closet and bathroom doors, we have a tall burlwood armoire. Actual the same one as in that Griffith park bedroom above.
3. We also have a bench at the end of our bed facing the armoire and closet/bathroom doors. Soooooo useful. Do the bench. All my not quite clean but not ready to wash stuff gets dumped there.
4. I have the exact same rug as you! The black and white polka dot one! Is yours from Ouive?
5. Instead of the chair in the corner, that’s where our tall laundry bin goes. And a mirror above. So I guess our layout is like the one you marked “bench+tall dresser+ chair”.
6. Your bedroom is dreamy! Love the light fixture.

D Warne
1 year ago

I think there’s a warmer, more aesthetic solution than the verticalness of door, tall skinny dresser, door – feels like soldiers standing guard to me. Place 30-33” dressers on sides of queen bed (I did this in a sm primary bedrm on a 14’ wall w/ 2- 35” dressers + king bed) – gaining more storage options for clothes, bedding, linens, etc. Switch out closet door to match mirrored bathrm door (a picture between) = symmetry + serenity. Still rm for a bench at end of bed. More streamlined so that gorgeous French doors/window wall can be the star of the room!

1 year ago

I love this! Can’t wait to see the reveal. A queen bed will be perfect! What about facing the bed toward your skinny balcony? You might need to eliminate one of the nightstands or find smaller options. I get wanting the symmetry, but one nightstand for you to use might be enough. You would have a little space positioning the bed that way, so you wouldn’t need to shove the bed against the wall. A cute little stool on the other side for a guest to put a phone or book on would suffice and let you wake up to a better view! And then your storage bench or two ottomans in front of the skinny balcony and your tall dresser between the bathroom and closet. What I’m really saying is maybe try a couple of layouts with the bed on the wall with the door to the hallway. You might be surprised something better works out!

Linda F.
1 year ago

Option 5 all the way!! I have essentially this exact layout in my room. For my “accent chair”, I actually have a slim but very comfortable chair with a small ottoman that I sit in EVERY SINGLE DAY as I gaze out my beautiful windows to my right. I have a miniscule table that fits my cup and a tiny lamp and I read there with joy in the natural light every morning and some evenings too. It is absolute bliss!!