We spend more time in bedrooms than in any other room in the house.
Even though we are sleeping most of that time, we end and begin our days
there. An organized and well-considered space can improve your mood
when you need to get to sleep, and get your day off to a good start when
Planning bedrooms starts with learning standard bed
sizes, which one you prefer and which one will work in your plan. Other
bedroom furniture comes in all kinds of sizes. Once you determine your
room and bed dimensions, you can make good decisions about dressers,
chests, benches, chairs, nightstands and so on.
This cutaway plan illustrates a
large bedroom; it’s 17 feet, 8 inches long and 14 feet wide. The
furniture pieces have standard dimensions, and the principles of the
uses of the space apply to many bedrooms.
With this much space,
you will have an entry point and a circulation route, and perhaps a
dressing or sitting area. Next to the bed you need the “slipper rest,”
my term for the area used for disengaging feet from the earth and
entering the subliminal plane.
Keep your entry and circulation
30 to 36 inches in width. Dimensions for dressing and sitting areas all
depend on your needs and available space. The areas do not have to be as
spacious as shown, but you could allow a circular area in front of the
furniture that’s 36 inches in diameter at minimum. Allow a
30-inch-diameter space for your slipper rest.
Cribs. There are standard
dimensions for mattresses, but keep in mind that frames or other bed
furniture will add to the overall space required to place them in your
room. The smallest of all is the crib. Crib mattress dimensions can
vary, but cribs are usually 28 inches wide and 52 inches long. Mattress
thickness also varies greatly for any mattress size.
Bunk beds. Bunk beds
range from 30 to 33 inches wide and are 75 inches long. The height
required depends on the furniture you buy for them or how you configure a
custom design, like this one.
Twin beds. The standard
twin mattress measures 39 inches wide and 75 inches long.You can find
slightly longer ones — 80 inches or 84 inches — but it can be harder to
find sheets that fit them. Twin beds are great for small bedrooms,
because you can fit the bed in a corner to allow space for your slipper
rest and circulation, as has been done here. Twin beds are great for
younger children, who tend to feel cozier in them than in a bigger one.
Full-size beds. The next
size up is the full- or double-size bed. It measures 54 inches wide and
75 inches long and can also be found in an 80-inch length. Full-size
beds can be a snug fit for two taller people, so consider moving up to a
queen size if you have the space and plan to use it frequently for
yourself or guests. Still, the full size is also good for smaller
bedrooms. The bed in this example is coupled with small nightstands,
leaving enough space for a comfortable bedside lounge chair.
might have chosen the queen-size bed. Being just right, it is a great
size for two people and does not require a larger room, as do king-size
beds. Queen-size beds measure 60 inches wide and 80 inches long and can
also be found in an 84-inch length. Their scale, as demonstrated in this
photo, works with traditional furniture, such as four-poster bed frames
King-size beds. King-size
beds provide lots of comfort for two people and extra space for those
who tend to spread out while sleeping. They come in two sizes:
1. Standard, or Eastern, king-size bed: 76 inches wide and 80 inches long
2. California king: 72 inches wide and 84 inches long
any bed size you can find furniture that stretches the total dimensions
with extended footboards and built-in nightstands. Carefully consider
purchases of larger furniture. You may need to move to another house in
the future, and large pieces might be difficult to fit in another space.
beds dominate a room, but the king-size bed especially demands
aesthetic attention. Notice above that the colors of the furniture and
bedding nicely blend into the overall color scheme. Darker colors on the
nightstands, dresser and artwork emphasize those elements.
Benches. You might want a
bench at the foot of your bed; it’s a perfect spot for putting on your
shoes and socks without disturbing a freshly made bed. Benches can be
just about any size as long as they fit within the width of the bed and
leave enough space for someone to walk around them.
The bench in
this room is about 60 inches wide and 16 inches deep, with a height of
about 15 inches. Grouped upholstered cubes in the previous photo make a
flexible bench that can be broken up and moved around the room to be
used as footstools.
can be substantial, like this one. Larger ones measure about 20 inches
deep and 40 inches wide. Carefully consider height as well. Some
mattresses on the market are stacked relatively high, and it is
convenient to have the top of your nightstand about the same height as
the top of the mattress. Most common nightstand heights are 26 to 28
inches. Smaller nightstands should be used in smaller spaces and with
Dressers. Dressers vary
greatly in size as well, but the most important thing to consider when
planning a bedroom is that there should be a wall to accommodate the bed
and a wall to accommodate a dresser. You can find dressers as
narrow as 42 inches; however, most people want a dresser that measures
60 to 72 inches. Dressers are usually about 32 to 36 inches high, but
some designs are higher. Having a mirror above the dresser is less
common than in the past, but you might want to keep one in mind as well
as you plan your room. An oversize serene photo hangs above the dresser
in this contemporary room.
Chests. Narrower and
taller than dressers, chests can fit into tighter wall spaces. They also
have a height that is comfortable for someone standing, and they make
good spots for emptying pockets and setting small items down. You will
find most of them in 36- to 54-inch widths and 14- to 20-inch depths.
The heights are usually 48 to 60 inches. The traditional details and
proportions of this room make it the perfect spot for this simple chest.
comfortable upholstered chairs provide an added dimension to a bedroom.
It is easy to overlook this element for a new bedroom scheme, but one or
two chairs can be a nice retreat from the rest of the household. Allow
about 36 inches square in your floor plan, as well as the necessary
circulation space for them. Also take note of the chaise longue, by
Weaver Design Group, in the room here. Chaises require more space but
add panache to a bedroom. Allow 66 to 72 inches for the width and 36 to
40 inches for the depth.See more ways with a chaise
Corners. Tighter spaces
might call for an unconventional solution like this. A glass-encased
corner cabinet provides a place for linens, collectibles and photos.
This cabinet is about 24 inches on the sides and has an angled face of
about 34 inches wide. The height is approximately 72 inches.
Ceilings. Placing a bed
in an attic space is not easy. The upholstered headboard here partially
covers the window, yet the window acts as a centering element. The
delicate nightstands are tucked under the descending roofline, and the
circulation is comfortable around both sides of the bed. Keep in mind
that once the slope of a ceiling goes below 60 inches, the area under
the lower slope does not count as habitable square footage in some
locales. Steeper sloped roofs are better for attic rooms, since the rise
of the ceiling quickly moves higher. Just remember that anything below
72 inches is difficult to walk under, and anything below 60 inches is
less usable for furniture.
If you want
a sitting area in your bedroom, you will need space for tables as well
as chairs and love seats, plus the circulation area to make it work.
Allow an area of at least 8 by 8 feet in addition to your requirements
for the beds, dressers and chests. You more likely will need an area
that is 10 by 10 feet. A rectangular room that’s 21 feet long and 14
feet wide will accommodate a bedroom with a king-size bed and a sitting