8 Bedroom Layout Ideas for the Best Sleep, Style, and Space

published Mar 30, 2024
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Studio apartment living and bedroom space with white walls, wood or laminate floor, neutral sofa, armchairs, bed with blush and white bedding, ornate gold mirror, large flower painting over white credenza, window with white sheer curtains
Credit: Erin Derby

If only a bedroom was used for sleeping. While that may be its primary use, the modern bedroom does so much more than just provide a place to rest. A bedroom also often doubles as a hangout spot, a movie theater, a dressing room, and a home office. It’s where you might fold laundry and pay bills, or play with pets and chat with friends. For most, a bedroom isn’t quite as simple as the name implies, so that’s why its layout is super important. 

Just as it’s probably true that your bedroom is a multi-hyphenate hideaway, it’s likely not a standard size, either. Bedrooms come in a variety of shapes, making the quest to outline an ideal layout all the more challenging. Doors — and windows and closets, if you’re lucky — can also throw a few wrenches into the spatial planning process. And there’s more to consider than just a bed; you’re likely going to need small nightstands and the best dresser for extra storage, too. Thankfully, though, selecting the right configuration for your bedroom’s many forms isn’t impossible. You just have to give it a fair amount of thought.

“The layout of the space is the first step in designing a room,” says designer Sarah Tract of Sarah Tract Interiors. “Without understanding the layout, it is almost impossible to know what you can ultimately do for the space.”

By considering bedroom layout ideas from a list of some options here, you’ll ultimately have a better chance of using your space to its full potential. After all, once you nail the layout, every other requirement of the room falls more easily into place. “Do what’s best for you,” Tract continues. “But when you map it out, there are fewer surprises down the road.” These eight bedroom layout ideas should give you a place to start, but by no means is this list universal or will suggestions apply to every bedroom out there. Read on for some thoughts on what you can borrow for your home to suit your needs.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

A Book Lover’s Corner

If you have the space to center a bed on a wall, then it likely makes the most sense to go the traditional route. What’s that look like exactly? Well, you’ll want to place nightstands on either side of the bed, with perhaps a chair or ottoman in one corner opposite where you’ll sleep to create a cozy reading nook (or next to the bed, if the placement of your door or closet door prevents opposite placement). “I tend to lean towards this example but will also add a dresser across from the bed,” Tract adds. While reading corners in other rooms of the home often favor chairs with large, cushy proportions, don’t go too large with your chair or ottoman, unless you have the square footage to support it. 

For alternatives to one of your nightstands, you could also consider adding a vanity to one side of the bed, as long as the two pieces coordinate in some way, and matching lamps can be the same height (I’ve done this in my bedroom, and both furnishings are black). Lastly, instead of a reading chair, you could position a small desk in the corner instead.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Create a Cozy TV Lounge

A bedroom that’s on the wide and long side is a dream, particularly because of its lounging possibilities. “If there’s enough room at the end of the bed to create a TV area, then this is a great option,” Tract says. Do so with the bed centered on the far wall, with nightstands on each side. Add two club chairs at the foot of the bed facing the screen, with a small console underneath. You could have a cocktail table in between the chairs, for nightcaps, of course!

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Work a window seat

A window seat is a cozy addition to a bedroom, and you should embrace it if you have one to work with — of the space and funds to add this kind of a feature. “This layout can be functional and decorative at the same time,” Tract says. Center the bed on the adjoining wall with nightstands on either side once again, and then place a dresser on the wall opposing the bed — with shelving above, if you’d like it for small decorative objects or books. As far as styling goes, take the opportunity to coordinate the window seat cushion to your bedding, when the time comes.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Go Hybrid with a WFH Setup

If you absolutely have to work where you sleep, you might consider placing your desk directly next to your bed. It’s not Tract’s favorite option, though, and here’s why. “This layout tends to throw me off because the height will not match with the bed height and the opposite nightstand,” she says. Do your best to find a work surface that’s as close to standard nightstand height as possible but still comfortable for working. Or, Tract says you can place the desk across from the bed, or in an empty corner.

Another scenario? You may be working in a narrow bedroom where a side-by-side configuration is the only option. In this case, you may mull over a daybed beside a desk so that the proportions are more complementary. Position the daybed beneath a window with a ledge, and tuck a bookcase into the wall, facing the desk and bed.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Use a Corner if You’re Very Short on Space

Ideally, you’d want to have two entrance points to your bed on either side — but sometimes, a room is just not big enough to make that happen. Although Tract calls this her “least favorite option,” it’s often customary to push a bed to the right side of the room with a tiny side table as a nightstand. For the foot of the bed, you could put an upholstered bench with storage there, if space allows. Either way, you’ll want to incorporate symmetry into the space with art, curtains, or even a built-in so that the room feels balanced.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Create Zones in a Studio Apartment Bedroom

In a studio space, your bedroom has to double as a living and dining room. Naturally, this is a tough layout to master. You might be tempted to push your bed into the far corner and then separate it from the common areas with a divider of some sort. This layout is a great use of space, as pictured, but it isn’t your only option.

Even in a studio, you could try to center the bed on the longest wall, or furthest from the door, so that two nightstands could be positioned on one side — even if they’re small, mounted ones. A divider can be handy, especially one with storage capabilities, and then the more public realms can be on the other side of the apartment.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Float Your Bed for an Getting Ready Zone

If you want to create a dressing area and you have a rectangular bedroom, it is possible to configure the space so that more square footage can be devoted to clothes. The first order of business is to “float the bed” in the middle of the room, which Tract says, “is cool and functional and something I appreciate.” To create the “hidden” dressing area, place a clothing rack behind the headboard.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Bring on the Built-Ins

If you’re either without a closet or in need of more clothing storage space, one option is to install built-ins on the wall opposing your bed. “This is a useful and beautiful layout,” Tract says. As you’ve probably learned by now, a centered bed flanked by nightstands is the ideal form for one side of the room, which will face closed cabinetry on the other. It’s a good idea to paint the cabinets in either the same color as the existing walls, or a complementary shade — it’ll look like a designer came to visit.