Lindsay Smith

Arranging furniture is an art: it’s one of the most important parts about interior design. That’s not to say that you have to be a pro to do it well. With just a little thought and willingness to experiment, you can do quite well on your own, and have some fun along the way.

One of the most difficult rooms to design tends to be the bedroom, especially if it’s small. So, here’s what you need to know to arrange furniture in your bedroom:

Use only necessary furniture

There are a lot of things you could have in the bedroom, but you should start with just what you need to have. Trying to work with a lot of different items can easily become a mess, and you might not need all of them in the end.

This is especially important in small apartments when there isn’t a lot of extra space– using fewer pieces will make the room look and feel a lot more spacious . If your room is extra tiny, use taller dressers and shelves to get more storage while taking up less room.


Think about function

The best way to only have what you need in the bedroom is thinking about what you’re going to do. If you have a good idea of what you’re going to want and need to do in the bedroom, you can design around that.

If you watch a lot of TV in bed, find a layout that works well for that. Plan a walkway from one place to another – you don’t want to find the path between the dresser and the mirror blocked when you’re trying to make sure your clothes look right.

Draw it out

It’s easier to sketch out different furniture arrangements than to move furniture around the room. It’ll save you a lot of errors of thinking something will fit when it won’t or scratching your floor or walls while moving your dresser for the zillionth time (believe me, it happens).

How to Arrange Furniture in Your Bedroom - Draw it Out


Measure at least your biggest items (bed, dresser, shelves, etc.), as well as the dimensions of your room, then sketch out a couple of different options. If you’re not much of an artist, check out an app that can do the job for you. Try Home Design 3D (iOS) or Floor Plan Creator (Android).

Start with the bed

At some point, you have to move things around the actual room and not around your drawing. Since the bed is the most important part of the bedroom (it’s right there in the name), get it in place first. Generally, you’ll want to put it against the wall opposite the door or the largest wall with no windows, but your choice may vary.

In a small bedroom, that may not work. Find a spot for your bed that makes the most sense to you, just make sure you can open and close your bedroom and closet doors. Also, while placing your bed under windows is totally OK from a design perspective, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable drafts over the winter.

Go big to small

Once you’ve found the best place for your bed, arrange everything else starting with the biggest furniture item followed by smaller ones. Usually the dresser comes next, followed by bedside tables, a desk, shelves, chairs, and anything else you may have. Generally, the tables will go next to the bed, the dresser on the opposite wall, and a desk in the corner, but these can all vary.

Small-bedroom tip: If your closet is spacious, see if you can fit your dresser inside it. This will open up a lot of extra space in the room itself.

Place your area rug properly

Though it’s not a furniture item, your area rug placement will depend on your room’s finalized layout.

Area rugs are typically placed underneath the lower two-thirds of the bed so they create a cushy area to step on as you get out of bed in the morning. If your bed is tucked into a corner, your rug will likely have to be placed somewhere else, like next to the bed or in the center of the open part of your room. Wherever it goes, hopefully that rug really – sorry, I can’t make a The Big Lebowski reference. You know it already.

Arrange the furniture you have first

Don’t buy new furniture until you’ve arranged the pieces you already have. This should be an obvious point, but it’s really easy to buy things you think you need before you actually need them.

When you wait until arranging what you already have, you’ll know exactly what you need and where you want to put it. You’ll also be able to make sure anything you get is the right dimensions and style to fit in the room, both literally and stylistically.

Dont be afraid to experiment

There are a lot of guidelines about how to arrange furniture, including some listed in this article. They’re just that, guidelines, and there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. Just figure out what works best for you and your space.

If you want, try experimenting with different layouts during your first few weeks living in your new place. It’s easier when you have less stuff to move around, and when you hit on one that works, you’ll know it.

Related:  Feng shui and bedroom arrangement

Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash



About The Author

Lindsay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer who uses her deadline-oriented writing skills for clients like Apartment Guide,, Womensforum Media Group and Brafton.