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Step One: Find a Focal Point
Like in the master bedroom, the main piece of furniture in any of your other bedrooms is the bed. Therefore, it is the natural focal point. Additional furniture will be placed around the bed, so you want to ensure you place the bed, or beds, in a location that works. For tips on finding additional focal points in kid's rooms and guest bedrooms, refer to our guides for finding the focal point in master bedrooms.
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Step Two: Refer to your Furniture List
Each week we have discussed making a list of essential items for each room of your home. In your secondary bedrooms, essential items could be things like beds, dressers, end tables, and accessories (rugs) or accents (art and lighting). You may also want to add a reading chair or desk. Remember that if you own pieces that aren’t essential for the bedrooms, it could be that they work in another part of your home.
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Step Three: Arrange Furniture, Art, and Accessories
- Start by placing beds. You will want at least 24″ on either side of a bed, between it and any walls, for space to walk around. This also allows you to make the bed easily! Also allow for 36″ between your bed and any doors. Twin beds should be spaced at least 20" apart. Cribs should be kept away from windows and window shade cords. If you are using bunk beds, you'll want to ensure they have sturdy ladders, handrails, and safety rails.
- If you are tight on space, try a bed without a foot-board. This will make the room seem larger. For guest bedrooms, you could also try a space-saving daybed or sofa bed that will sit against a wall.
- The easiest way to increase your square footage is to add a mirror to the room. Mirrors reflect light, making rooms feel more open and spacious.
- Reading chairs are particularly nice in kid's rooms and guest bedrooms. In kid's rooms, they give your children a place to curl up and enjoy a nice book. In guest rooms, they can provide a relaxing area for down time.
- If you have space, placing a desk in a guest room is a nice benefit. It allows guests to catch up on emails, the news, or go the old fashioned route of writing a postcard.
- If you have young children, consider flexible furniture. There are a lot of options out there for cribs that can be turned into larger beds, or changing tables that can later become dressers. When choosing a crib, there are federal safety standards to adhere too. Slats, spindles, and corner posts should be spaced no more than 2 3/8" apart. Also, you will want to look at furniture that can't be tipped over. Especially if you have climbers! Fastening large pieces of furniture to the wall can provide an additional safety precaution.
- You can maximize storage by placing bedside tables as big as your space will allow. We find shelves and drawers offer helpful storage. We like to place bedside tables that are the same height, or slightly lower, than the top of the mattress.
- You should leave a clearance of 36″ in front of closets, dressers, and armoires so that you can open doors and drawers
- Think about whether or not you want a rug in the space. Rugs will help reduce noise in your bedroom. In kid's rooms, or if you have elderly or disabled guests, you will want to avoid small area rugs that could slip easily. If you would like to place an area rug, we suggest placing a larger scaled rug under the bed area. That way it provides something soft to step out of bed onto, but avoids ruining any weekends by having your guests lose their footing!
- Consider additional lighting in your room. Do you want to give your kids or guests the ability to read in bed? In November, we discussed various types of lighting that could enhance bedrooms.
- While thinking about how to light your room, also consider how to block light. We typically install some kind of blackout window treatment in bedrooms to block light in the morning and provide privacy at night. In October, we devoted the entire month to window treatments. In kid's rooms, you will want to ensure you eliminate any dangling cords on window treatments as these can be choking hazards.
Next Up: We kick off a new month of Design 101 all about Budgets!
READERS: Do you have a room that is impossible to furnish? Let us know and we might feature you next month and give you free advice.