by C.M. Mackenzie
Small bedrooms with big furniture can feel either cozy or cramped. Arranging bedroom furniture is much easier if you can visualize patterns and placement in your mind before you physically move a piece of furniture. Still, you may have more or less space than you anticipate, and the perfect spot for the bed won't be at all perfect. Cut down trial-and-error time by keeping some basic things in mind: Largest pieces must go in first; consider safe and practical placement; and make use of a bedroom's vertical space whenever possible.
Measure the length and width of the bed and other large pieces of bedroom furniture. Use a pen or pencil to write these numbers down on a notepad; you'll need them for reference. Measure the length and width of the room so you know exactly how much space you have to place the furniture. Make a note of outlets at this time, too. Lamps and alarm clocks need to be placed on suitable furniture (dressers or tables) near the outlets.
Place the bed flush against one wall on the opposite side of the doorway. A bed is usually the piece of bedroom furniture that takes up the most room. Once you know where the bed will be situated, you'll find it easier to place other furniture. Lie down in the bed as though you were sleeping. If you are comfortable with the bed's angle and placement, keep it there. There should be enough room alongside the bed to easily get up in the morning (or in the middle of the night) without bumping into things.
Place the next largest piece of furniture in the room, which is probably the dresser. Keep enough space between the dresser and other items to access all drawers. Likewise, if you are placing a desk in the room, leave room for the desk chair.
Place smaller items, like nightstands and wall decor, in the room last. It's easier to manipulate these smaller items to make them fit than it is to place large pieces. You can also choose to eliminate a few of the small items.
Leave the room and come back in. Pretend you are going to the furniture items: You are going to bed, for example, or retrieving something from the dresser. If you must work to avoid bumping into table corners or other pieces of furniture, you may need to arrange the room a bit differently.
Use light-colored throws, bedspreads and artwork to brighten the room; this will make it feel bigger than if you use dark colors.
Hang a mirror from at least one wall; this will give the illusion the room is much bigger.
Make use of vertical space. Buy tall book shelves, for example, that will hold as much as two shorter bookshelves and will take up much less floor space.