Arranging the furniture in a long, narrow bedroom presents a design challenge: You are tasked with creating a functional, aesthetically pleasing space that still fits your furniture pieces. A few tips on how to work with the shape of the room can help you achieve a furniture arrangement that looks balanced and functions well.
Stop the Bowling Alley Effect
The tunnel-like effect of a long narrow bedroom can make the space feel like a bowling alley unless something stops the eye. Place the bed with the headboard against an end wall, so the length of the bed flows into the length of the room. Paint the wall behind the headboard a deep, warm color, which draws attention to the focal point while visually shortening the space. Warm or dark colors appear to advance, making the wall seem closer.
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In a kids' bedroom, position a bunk bed parallel against the end wall if it fits perfectly. A loft bed might appeal to an older child or teenager, with space underneath for a desk or dresser.
Create Separate Zones
Breaking up a long, narrow room into separate functional zones makes smart use of all the available space. At the other end of the room, a desk placed on the diagonal defines a separate workspace. The angled placement incites a more dynamic feel than placing it parallel to the end wall. Face the desk into the room unless the end wall has a viewing window.
A small loveseat backed with a sofa table fills extra space in the center of the room. Another option is to combine a workspace and conversational grouping by adding a chair to the sofa table, so it functions as a desk. An armchair angled beside the loveseat completes the grouping, which faces the bed. Leave a minimum of 3 feet between the sofa table and end wall so the chair can easily be pulled out.
Corner Entry Arrangement
The location of the doorway affects the traffic flow through the room, in addition to the strategic placement of furniture. If the bedroom door is located at the corner, arrange a small grouping of furniture in the opposite corner. This could include a small table between two armchairs, a vanity table and chair or an arts-and-crafts table and bookcase for a child's room, allowing easy traffic flow through the room at an angle.
One Side Option
In a large bedroom with a fireplace mid-wall and the entry somewhere along the opposite side, furniture placed on one side of the room creates a natural walkway. Twin loveseats placed perpendicular to the fireplace make a cozy conversational grouping. Position a floor lamp in the rear corner of a loveseat for a convenient reading light. Balance the room with a large vertical painting, shelving and accessories like a tall potted plant on the wall opposite the furniture.
Utilize Vertical Space
Reduce the amount of long horizontal lines, which emphasize the long, narrow shape of the room, by adding furniture with vertical lines. Two tall, built-in, open-shelf cabinets on either side of the bed create a small nook for the headboard while providing symmetrical balance and convenient storage. Opt for an armoire, a tall chest of drawers or drawers under the bed instead of a wide dresser. A row of floating shelves traveling up the wall or staggered at various heights draw the eye upward, adding dimension with height.
Michelle Radcliff owned a retail home furnishings business for eight years. Radcliff offers decorating advice on her blog, Home Decorating News, is a regular contributor on interior design at LoveToKnow.com and earned certification as an interior decorator from Penn Foster College in 2013.