Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Right Bedroom Layout

If there's anything that I've learned from my years as a designer (yes, even in the commercial sphere), it's that sometimes finding the right fit means rolling up your sleeves and physically moving furniture around until it "just works". There are times when you draw a floorplan over and over until you're blue in the face but it won't seem right until you're in the actual space cursing your weak shoulders and aching back. Such was the case with our master bedroom.

When we first moved into the new house, the rooms were still being painted so we basically just had our movers dump as much as they possibly could into the master bedroom to free up room in the first floor spaces. Here's what it looked like for the first 3 weeks (note the lack of box spring. We had to throw out two practically new ones because of our narrow, curving staircase. Awesome.)

vandorn_mbr_before

Gah; that picture literally sends shivers up my spine; I never want to have to live like that again though chances of that seem slim since there's little I like more than some renovation action.

Once the boxes were unpacked and our new folding box springs had arrived, we  put the bed on its frame, placed bureaus on either side of it and my larger bureau in front of the window and called it a day while I contemplated the space and how we used it. Of course, I completely forgot to take pictures of the room in this state so this floorplan will have to do...

VANDORN_MBR_LAYOUT_A_1

In a word: meh. It didn't speak to me. I liked using our smaller dressers as bedside tables but because the door to the master bedroom is directly in front of you as you walk up the stairs, there wasn't any sense of privacy or retreat in the room. It felt like being in a fish bowl and it made the room feel smaller.

I tried flipping the room so the bed was against the windows. I know that some people don't like this but I've always kind of liked how a window -- especially one flanked by curtains -- can frame a bed. As long as the headboard doesn't block too much natural light, I'm all for it. My thought was that this would to give us a little more privacy since we'd be tucked behind the closet bump-out. On paper, this seemed like the best solution...

VANDORN_MBR_LAYOUT_B_1

 ... but when we moved everything to reflect the drawing...

vandorn_home_before2

... I really wasn't happy with it like that either. Also, don't you love how I tidied up for you all before taking these shots? Me too.

What I'd *really* wanted to do all along was put the bed on the far wall -- the one with the single window -- but because we have separate closet doors, there wasn't enough open wall space opposite for my larger bureau (and losing that bureau was out of the question) and because the window isn't exactly centered on the wall, it all looked squished and funky when I laid it out in plan. See? It looks squished on the side with the bureau.

VANDORN_MBR_LAYOUT_C_1


But I had a feeling that it would work in the three-dimensional space so I asked my better half if he'd help me switch things around so I could follow my gut and he very kindly obliged**. After a little bit of large-bureau-placement-tweaking, I was much happier with the space. It feels much larger than the other two layouts since the open space isn't being broken up by the bed and in reality, the bureau placement along that wall doesn't impact the space at all. Actually it serves as a kind of visual buffer which is rather nice. See?

vandron_mbr_after3

Ta da; isn't it perfect?!?! Just kidding; there's still a lot to be done (including putting away our clean laundry!): we're waiting on a back-ordered light fixture (I'm opting to ignore that god-awful textured ceiling for the moment) and curtain rods, art & mirrors still need to be hung, we need to get a larger rug, I want to recover the bench at the foot of the bed (I actually have two and may opt to bring the other one in as well), add a reading chair to a corner out of this shot, bring in some new bedding and, of course, style it to within an inch of its life but I'm really happy with how expansive it seems and how much more private it feels.


**Of course later, when I asked him to move it back to its place in front of the double windows because I'd forgotten to take a pic for this post ... and then immediately move it back to its final destination, he was less obliging. But still did it. I married a good one.

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