My Crappy Advice: Where Should I Put My Bed?

Season 1 | Episode 1

Bed Placement & Curtain Rules to Live By

This week, I’m very excited to introduce a new regular feature here on the blog that I hope you will enjoy. I’m calling it, My Crappy Advice. (No, of course my advice isn’t crappy at all, it’s fan-freaking-tastic. I’m just very committed to my crappy brand.) I figure it’ll be a monthly post where I offer design advice to my readers. If you’ve got a design dilemma you’d like to submit, look for a link at the end of this post and I’ll see what I can do to help you out. (I’ve got mad skills, you know.) In the meantime, keep reading to find out where the bed should go and how to hang the curtains…

my crappy advice dear crappy

This week I’ll be helping Veronica. She writes:

Dear Crappy,
My small bedroom only has two walls where I can put my bed and they both have windows. (The other two have doors.) I currently have it on a diagonal to avoid blocking either window, but the empty space in the corner looks weird. Where should I put my bed?

Awkward bed placement

awkward bed placement

awkward bed placement

Bed Placement

I don’t mind a bed on the diagonal, but not in a room this small. (A “kitty-corner” bed takes up a lot of space.) So, in this particular room, that means putting the bed in front of a window. It’s not ideal, but it’s also not a big deal. A lot of beautiful bedrooms have the bed placed in front of a window and that’s totally OK. The design police have better things to worry about. (Like criminal curtains, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves…)

Veronica was kind enough to provide the dimensions of her room and furniture. Currently, it looks like this:

Bedroom floor plan with bed placed in the corner

It’s an awkward layout for a room this size. Not only does it make it difficult to open the drawers in the chest, but it also renders the corner behind the bed useless, except for maybe a great hide-and-go-seek spot. (Maybe Veronica plays bedroom games. We don’t know. Don’t judge.)

A better option is putting the bed on the wall opposite the entry:

Bedroom floor plan with one option for where to put the bed

This works, but it doesn’t allow any room for a night stand on the right side of the bed when the closet door is open. This means Veronica gets a night stand and her partner can suck it.

That’s not very nice, Veronica…

The best option is this:

Bedroom floor plan with the best option for where to put the bed

Now there’s room for a night stand on both sides of the bed and everybody is happy.

Except for me. I’m not happy, Veronica…

Bedroom with bed properly placed but with crappy curtains

Girl, wtf is up with those puny, dorm room curtains you’ve got going on? (Yes, I am totally throwing shade at your sad little window treatments…) (Get it? Shade? Windows? I’m so funny.)

Curtain Rules to Live By

Honestly, it’s quite possible that the window treatments were bugging you more than the bed placement; you just didn’t realize it. But no worries. I’m here for you. Check this out:

bedroom with bed properly placed and nice curtains

Ahh. Much better.

Now, I used gray just because I like gray. It’d be hard for me to offer you a color suggestion here based on the photos you submitted; I can’t really see what color your walls are. What I do want you to notice though, in my lovely rendering above, is:

  • The height of the curtain rod
  • The length of the curtains
  • The width of the curtain rod
  • The fullness of the curtains

When you place the rod up high, it draws your eye up and makes the room look taller and more grand. You want to hang them at least two thirds the distance from the top of the window trim to the ceiling.

How high to hang a curtain rod

This means you’ll need longer curtains. Preferably, ones that go to the floor. Why? Because floor length curtains are sexy and this is a bedroom. A bedroom deserves sexy curtains.

You deserve sexy curtains, Veronica.

It looks like your ceilings are 8 ft high, so you’ll need 96″ curtains. That’s how they come. I don’t know why. It’s a little longer than you need, but the next standard size down is 84″ and that’s too short. You can either hem them (to no more than 1″ from the floor), or let them pool on the floor a little. That’s totally OK. Better too long than too short. Too short curtains are like too short pants. They just look stupid.

Elvis Presley

Sorry, Elvis. I stand by it.

Now, the width of the curtain rod is where things get interesting. You can (and should) make your windows appear larger by hanging the rod wider than your window opening. This gives your windows more visual impact, and also means the curtains will be covering the wall and not the glass – you know, where the pretty sunlight comes in. Go at least 12″ past the window on each side; more if you really want to cheat it and create the illusion of a bigger window. You can totally do that! No one will know!

How to hang curtains

Speaking of cheating, you can even make an off centered window appear centered with creative curtain rod placement.

In Veronica’s room, the window is ever so slightly off-center to where the bed will be. That’s OK! She can cheat it with how she hangs the curtain rod. Once she positions her bed where she wants it, she will hang the curtain rod centered to the bed, not the window. Because the curtains are hanging wider than the window, she can have one side overlap more than the other, thus creating the illusion of a centered window.

I know, right? Veronica is amazing.

How to fake a centered window

My last point is about fullness. Veronica, you’ve only got one dinky curtain panel on each of your windows. What were you thinking? Measure your whole rod (not the window, the rod) across. That’s how wide one panel should be. (At least!) You will need two panels for each window. This way, even when they’re closed, they’ll still have some flowy fabric undulation happening. And undulating fabric is sexy. Trust me.

My living room curtains

My living room curtains (above) have two panels on each side. No one likes skimpy curtains, guys. (And notice how well I’m following all of my own curtain rules. I get a gold star.)

I like to do a double rod and hang sheer curtains behind my solid curtains. This is just my preference. You can have blinds, or shades, or even nothing covering the window when the curtains are open. I prefer not to let the neighbors see my bits, but that’s just me. My bits are private.

Here’s one last look at the yes and the no of curtains…

how to hang curtains

Well, that was an adventure! This post started out with, “Where should I put my bed?” and ended up with a lovely tutorial on proper curtainry. (It’s a word. I just coined it.) You just never know where a crappy post will take you…

My Crappy Advice

So, what did you think of my new advice column? Was it fun? Did you learn something? Do you have a design dilemma of your own that you’re struggling with? Could you use some of my (amazingly astute and insightful coming from someone so youthful) wisdom? Can you handle the truth? Let’s find out! Click here for instructions on how to submit your own crappy question.

Also, if you did enjoy this post, don’t forget to subscribe (below) and like and share and pin and all of that social crap. Help me help you.

Oh, and one more thing before I go! A BIG thank you to Veronica for being my first victim.

Wait. Did I say victim? That was weird…

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  • Melissa

    Gold star for you! That is craptastic and I hope she sends you photos of it. That is if she chooses to follow your crappy advice.

  • Trollopian

    Yes yes and yes. This is excellent advice. Well, maybe with the stipulation that for people with cats (like us) it’s a good idea to get draperies that can be thrown into the washer and dryer. A dryer with an excellent lint filter.

    Seriously, this adds drama, height, and a feeling of space.

    Even the black cat in silhouette seems to approve.

    • My Crappy House

      That’s a good tip! I’m very lucky that my cats don’t bother with my curtains, but I know some cats do get all up in there. Curtains really do make or break a room.

  • Em

    Well done!

    I am all about faking it…in certain situations. Windows are absolutely one of them!

    Lucky Veronica to have your Crappy guidance. You really turned that room into something completely workable, with fewer “ooh, sorry” occasions for the occupants from having to bump into each other from that kitty corner arrangement. The room looks downright spacious now that you had your way with it!

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! I honestly do love diagonal arrangements, but only when there’s room. You’ve really gotta play it “straight” when you’re dealing with a small space. (Like all of MY spaces…)

    • My Crappy House

      Haha that’s true… It’s really a win/win! I get a post to share with you guys and Veronica gets some free advice.

    • My Crappy House

      I used the pink because it’s sort of “on brand” for me and My Crappy House, but it does make a bold statement, doesn’t it…

  • Deborah

    What would you think about turning the bed around so that it faces the window? That way the bed occupants could have direct views on both sides. (Only a plus if the view is view-worthy, that is. And that occupants don’t object to having their backs to the door, so to speak.)

    • My Crappy House

      I would definitely be OK with the entry door at my back if it meant not blocking the windows. Sadly, the other two walls both have closets on them. (You can see the door swings in the floor plans above.) Unfortunately, blocking a window is the only solution in this particular case

  • Barbara Christianson

    Great advise! Much better than the before. Sometimes it takes a Crappy House adviser to remedy a crappy design problem. Gold star for you.

  • Natasha

    Wow! I never realized how the look of a room can totally change just from curtains and how you hang them! And the idea of creating an illusion from off setting the curtains is awesome! I can’t wait to redo the curtains in my living room!!

    • My Crappy House

      It’s a great way to level up a design! I wouldn’t say curtains are inexpensive, but you certainly do get a lot of bang for your buck with them.

  • Mom

    Excellent but I knew you could do it. You did it for me and found a place for allllll my stuff and made me happy. I hope Veronica is happy too.

  • Veronica

    So now the question is, could I do one set of curtains in a fancy pattern since it’s acting as a headboard, technically, and do a simpler set of curtain on the other window?

    • My Crappy House

      I wouldn’t. While your bed is in front of the window, it’s still, in fact, window. I feel that having the two mismatched would look odd. Your bed does have a headboard, but if you feel it will block too much light, maybe consider a more open style, like a metal one. Try searching Pinterest for pictures of a bed in front of a window for some inspiration.

  • Mark Holmes

    The location of the bed with windows can be very important as there are many things to consider such as Lighting, air circulation, suitable furniture, and orientation. My bed is by the window. Facing a window also means receiving direct sunlight from that window. Every morning I can get a good amount of vitamin D from the sun. But there is also an inconvenience that bothers me a lot: on the days when I want to sleep, the sun comes in and my sleep is interrupted, there were days when the strong sunlight hurt my eyes a lot.

    • My Crappy House

      All good points for sure. Have you considered black out shades? You could close them on days your want to sleep in, but have them raised during the day so your room doesn’t look like a cave. I can’t use them because I would sleep forever in a dark room. I need the sun to help wake me up. Blinds are also useful for adjusting how much light you want.

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