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Should We Be Floating All Of Our Furniture??? A Potential Trend We Think Is On The Rise

What I love most about design (aside from the fact that it’s a literal joy for my eyeballs daily) is that there are so many moments that catch me off guard (in a good way). The antenna goes up if you will. That doesn’t mean that it’s always something brand new but instead, maybe it’s something I hadn’t noticed or fully considered before. Maybe it’s because it’s kinda a design rule that’s been broken which leads me to today’s topic: Floating Furniture That Normally Doesn’t Float (ie Cabinets and Beds). Yep. Off the wall and sometimes fully in the middle of the room.

It was this Barcelona apartment tour that really shook me up! To be fair the apartment is a loft with high ceilings, large open spaces, and a ton of natural light. But the architect, Benedetta Tagliabue, very cleverly sectioned off parts of her home with cabinets floating off of the walls and even in the middle of the room as you can see below.

design by benedetta tagliabue | photo by gunnar knechtel | via dwell
design by benedetta tagliabue | photo by gunnar knechtel | via dwell

Her home is full of so much personality, pattern, and texture that you don’t feel like you are in a museum or art gallery-like home, just a really thoughtful and exciting one.

design by cristina celestino | photo by davide lovatti | via elle decoration uk

But then again maybe we don’t knock the museum-esque look? I mean check out that glass cabinet above. It really helps to separate this very open concept space into a couple of lovely zones which was the designer’s goal. Also, I’m pretty in love with those curtains and the half solid and full sheer double look. But back to the cabinet. Would this delicate cabinet be ideal in a house with children, a rambunctious pet, and/or a terribly clumsy adult? No. BUT it’s a pretty cool and interesting idea that I’m inspired by.

design by hearth studio | photo by sean fennessy | via jacky winter gardens

Not to mention that the HOT design question of 2020 was asking if the open concept home was done. Personally, I don’t think it will ever be gone, gone but adding in a large cabinet like the one about that gives the illusion of a private space, but the airiness of an open concept is kinda a great idea, right? It also looks like the far side of the cabinet opens up to both sides. Also, great!

design by hannes peer architecture | photo by helenio barbetta | via ad spain

Now the photos above and below fall more in the “half float” category for me since they are touch two surfaces but I love them just the same. Open shelving is such a great way to create a design moment with books and objects but using it as a “room divider” in the middle of the floor is extremely cool. Again, creating “zones” that still make a space feel connected and light.

design by foomann | styled by esme parker | photo by willem-dirk du toit

See it’s a half wall that doesn’t cut off the space but makes it a little cozier.

design by ezequiel adelmo manasseri and maría sol depetris | photo by javier agustín rojas | via dwell

But I also love how ezequiel and maría just put this free-standing cobalt freaking blue shelving until in the middle of the floor. It makes a very cool statement, draws your eye up, and there’s something interesting to look at from every side.

So that’s my “hey if you have the space, float a cabinet off of your wall as a zone creator and design rule breaker. It might be really awesome.”

But now we move onto the other unlikely floated furniture piece…the bed. Can you imagine??? Well, Hilton Carter’s incredible nursery for his baby girl was the second *ding* in my “are people floating all of their furniture now” thought. Also, yes that is a custom handpainted mural with a unicorn and dinosaur… this little lady is SO lucky because her parents are extremely cool.

design by hilton carter

And maybe I’m wrong but I feel like I haven’t seen a ton of “crib in the middle of the room” designs but I LOVE it. A tiny baby that can’t yet walk doesn’t actually need open play space. I’ve also done a lot of babysitting in my years and they are either in your arms, in some kind of chair, or just in the living room on the floor. So why not just do something cool and put that crib in the middle of the room? But this look isn’t just for babies with rad parents! It’s for rad parents and any other person with a large enough room too.

via gerosa design

This is a catalog shot but tell me this isn’t cool?! It feels so wild but all you are doing is moving your bed a few feet from the wall. So it’s a free idea that might make you the coolest kid in town.

But I know what you’re thinking. What about an outlet for side table lamps and phone chargers. Well, it’s basically the same as when you float a sofa. Either you get real fancy and put an outlet on the floor which will cost you. OR you can cut a little slit in your rug and run in under there to the wall. Problem solved.

deign by max humphrey | photo by christopher dibble

Our design bud, Max Humphrey, was an already established cool kid but now it’s officially confirmed with this floating bed in this beach house he designed for one of Emily’s best friends! I know it’s hard to tell that it’s floating but Emily stayed there, so we definitely know. Minimal, chic and perfect for a vacation home.

design by sharon mrozinski | photo by marta xochilt perez | via cup of jo

What I love about this version is that the bed is super tall! At first, I was of the opinion that low beds were the kind that only really worked with this look but I was wrong. This four-poster bed is awesome and I dream of waking up in it and looking at what is likely a very stunning view.

design by amber interiors | photo by shade degges | via all sorts of

Here’s another catalog shot but really who cares if it’s inspiring. Pluuuus it’s from Amber Lewis’ new line at Anthropologie! I personally LOVE this chandelier, these wine glasses, this chair, and this piece of art. But there really is something airy and wonderful about this bed floating in the middle of room. Gimme all that breathiness.

design by nate berkus | photo by christopher dibble

Now, if Nate Berkus is down for the float I think that REALLY says something. It’s also a great way to add some unexpected storage. Nate did under the bed drawers AND has some storage on the other side of the headboard. Cool, no?

design by hess hoen | via vouge living

Then we have another huge bed (did you ready Caitlin’s canopy post?) where this look is perfect. This room also looks like it has a ton of doors and windows so floating might have really been the only option. That’s definitely an option if you also struggle with too many doors and windows (and have a large enough space). Now, are you ready for the even cooler part?…

design by hess hoen | via vouge living

LOOK AT THOSE shelves! And the curves! And the feet!! It’s such a cool design that’s super functional too. Doing this might also make you feel a little less like you’re floating in space if that’s a concern:)

Ok, so what do you think. Are you into the idea that any piece of furniture can float?? Do you like this idea/trend? Hate it? Let’s chat!

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Amber Interiors | Photo by Shade Degges | via All Sorts Of

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10 months ago

OMG this shelfs are really good. I love it!

Tarynkay
10 months ago

We floated the crib for both kids for practical reasons. We partly did it bc the doctor told us it was best to have as much air flow around the baby as possible. But our main reason was so that the baby couldn’t climb up and pull anything off the wall.

A floating shelving unit or cabinet would make me nervous bc of the possibility of it tipping over on someone. But it’s an interesting design idea.

Suzanne
10 months ago
Reply to  Tarynkay

The danger of the floating shelf is a good point. I’ve seen units that have a ceiling anchor, designed for the purpose of floating in the room. I’ve only floated shelves that were counter height. They still create a space division without the risk factor.

Virginia M.
10 months ago
Reply to  Tarynkay

We also floated our crib in our old house, but not for safety reasons. It was the only way to fit everything that we wanted in the nursery!

Bailey Rummler
10 months ago

I love the floating bed look! Especially when there is a grounding piece of furniture behind it to create a half wall with storage 🙂 <3 <3 My husband and I have a dresser that exactly fits at the foot of our bed. It allows us to have more storage and an extra surface in our very long and narrow bedroom.

Debra Harkness
10 months ago

Love these! My bed is hanging, so literally floating, and I love it because it just makes the whole room feel lighter and happier. Something about the surprise of negative space behind the bed gives an inspiring feeling when you walk in, like “anything is possible!” Have you seen Julia’s plans for their new bedroom at @chrislovesJulia? She’s been talking a lot about the floating bed idea too and it’s going to look gorgeous in their room.

Cris S.
10 months ago

The crib reminds me of the posts about the sweet little family starting off with their first baby (with the dad teaching grad school from home) that one of the designers was helping. I would love an update on where they settled with things and how it is going now!

Rusty
10 months ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Yes! Thataas Caitlin and we’re left hanging, or is that floating, coz we haven’t had the promised “after” photos!

Leslie
10 months ago

I like all these rooms, but there is something primitive in me that makes me nervous about sleeping in the middle of a room. It’s almost like I want to be closed in safely — like in one of those cottagey nooks with three walls (even though making the bed seems impossible).

10 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

100% agree, Leslie! It’s what I would call ‘not good feng shui’. I would not be able to sleep well at all floating like that. I _much_ prefer cozy nooks and yes those legit sleeping alcoves.

10 months ago

A NO to floating beds, except for cots. According to feng shui your bed always has to be against a a wall. It is like a psychological protection.
About shelves, it depends, if you do not see what is at the other side it can be ok. If you see through it I do not like it.
Bulky cabinets look very heavy if floating.
Catalog pictures are very different from real life.I like floating beds in catalogs, If the bedframe is pretty you see more of it.

Rusty
10 months ago
Reply to  Asuncion

Yup, yup and yup!

10 months ago

Some great ideas here – I love how floating furniture can actually make a room feel bigger!
I’m not sure I could cope with a floating bed though. I’ve watched too many horror films when I was growing up in the 80s and need to make sure I have a wall behind my head when I’m sleeping 😉

Roberta Davis
10 months ago

I have followed designer Vicente Wolf for years and he often floats beds. If I recall correctly, he compares them to a boat- floating safely in your dreamy boat! Here’s one such bed from Arch Digest in 2012…
https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/vicente-wolf-associates-inc-ad100-profile?epik=dj0yJnU9SkI5UjFPWlpidi1PVS13WW5tUmNPTXZ6Zmp5c1l5aXkmcD0wJm49ZHF6c2JTeHNfTzF4S1Iwcnp6aDhqdyZ0PUFBQUFBR0VsRGsw

I like floating furniture if it works. Running an electrical cord under a rug that someone will walk on is truly dangerous.

Rusty
10 months ago

Naaah…not my jam! Too often it looks like the occupants just moved in and haven’t finished arranging their furniture!

Sometimes weird is good, but for my need to feel grounded in a room, especially a bedroom, this doesn’t work.

Nate Berkus’ example and the other significant bedheads/wall bedheads don’t really count as floating, since they create their own ‘low wall’.

cindy
10 months ago

Running wires under rugs would be a fire code violation in most places for obvious reasons. Please don’t recommend such things.

Juanita
10 months ago
Reply to  cindy

Yes! I was shocked to read that. NEVER DO THIS. The rug prevents the cord from discharging heat, and stepping on the cord leads the wires inside to fray. This is a great way to start a house fire. More info (and horror stories) here, among many other places: https://www.wmar2news.com/money/consumer/avoiding-fires-caused-by-extension-cords.

10 months ago

I absolutely love floating furniture, but it can stress me out sometimes if the space is too large, then I get a little overwhelmed and not sure where to put what!

Suzanne
10 months ago

This is why I like it when furniture makers make the backside of furniture look good. I’ve used sofas to divide space, mostly to create and entry when the front door opens into the living room. I’ve also used bookshelves as dividers. It is really useful to create separate spaces, even in a small apartment, when, say, you want a living space snd an office space. The floating beds look awesome in all those shots, but I think it works for a very specific space. It’s a great way to think outside the box with little wall space.

Patti
10 months ago

I’ve stayed in hotels that had floating beds and I felt very insecure and slept poorly. Weird huh? They look cool and edgy but I couldn’t live with it. I do love the airy room dividers tho!

Jess
10 months ago

I usually love every new design trend on here, but I really can’t stand the floating bed. Floating cabinets as room dividers, sure, but most of the floating bed photos feel strangled and claustrophobic to me, especially the ones with canopies (the sharon mrozinski one is straight-up anxiety-inducing). I don’t know where the “light and airy” feeling could possibly be coming from. To me, those rooms just look impassable and forbidding. Also, the thing about running chargers under the carpet is wildly irresponsible. Don’t ever do this.

Paula Carr
10 months ago

I usually hate all white rooms, but hess hoen room is gorgeous. Love the Crittal doors, too.

Rupali
10 months ago

Some of these rooms look interesting and quirky and museum-esque because of the beautiful architecture. In most normal houses, it will look like the cabinet was pulled out to vaccuum behind.

Kathy
10 months ago

OMG, the floating bed makes me uneasy…I’m one of those people who needs to be able to see the door/windows from the bed, so no one can sneak up on me!

10 months ago

I adore floating furniture, but it may be stressful for me if the area is too big; I become overwhelmed and don’t know where to place anything!

Susan
10 months ago

Float anything but the bed. No way would I feel secure enough to sleep with space behind my head. All the rest, go for it

10 months ago

The floating furniture idea aligns with avoiding all the furniture on the perimeter. I think it’s most successful in a living room or open plan. It requires a very large bedroom area to accomplish well I think- and a bed design with a sturdy beautiful headboard.

Cici Haus
10 months ago

Floating the crib is genius – definitely stealing that idea! I’ve also noticed lately (and in some of these pics) the “trend” of no window coverings on windows. Maybe that could be a whole post?

10 months ago

I love this! Thanks for the idea.

Morgan Henderson
10 months ago

Okay I recognize that this is not strictly speaking a design critique BUT: the concept of a floating bed gives me the absolute heebie jeebies. There is insufficient protection from monsters under the bed and also not enough wall to cower against if something spooky shows up! All due respect but you’re gonna get haunted!

Rachel
10 months ago

We’ll that didn’t post properly. Sorry.

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Rowan
10 months ago

Most of our rooms are too small to float the furniture!

kiki
10 months ago
Reply to  Rowan

hahaha, yes! me looking at this from a tiny cottage that can’t even fit a queen bed AND a bedside table in the bedroom. but, I can see the appeal in bigger spaces! especially a few of the loft-type spaces. Helps give them some grounding / definition!

Dave
10 months ago

my issue would be that sometimes I like to plop down on the bed or couch and i’m willing to bet that after a few times the furniture would be several feet away! I guess having a carpet under the furniture legs may help some. I think i’d have to bolt the furniture down to get them to stay put. ps, i feel bad for people that view this site without an adblocker. i tried looking at the blog from my phone once, never again… the videos especially just take over. i realize that this site wouldnt be possible without ad revenue, but gosh.

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