No, not THOSE kinds of problems!
Hah, sorry, couldn’t resist. But I really do want to talk about a bedroom problem today…a bedroom DECORATING problem.
Living in New York City, I am incredibly, incredibly lucky to have found a one-bedroom apartment that I can actually (kind of) afford to rent. I loved my studio apartment but after living there for 5+ years I was starting to grow out of it – or to be more accurate, my stuff was starting to grow out of it…and I was desperate for more space to decorate. So I was definitely really excited to find this place, which not only has a bedroom, but a bedroom that fits more than just a bed – this is rare! Most one bedrooms in NYC the bedroom fits a queen bed and maybe a dresser…and that’s about it. This bedroom fits multiple pieces of furniture. It’s not perfect – it gets almost zero light which it turns out is actually more important to me than space, but anyway. Let’s talk about the furniture layout, which I’ve found to be a challenge to say the least! Get ready for some really ugly iPhone pics which were definitely never meant to make it to the blog!
This was right when I first moved in. I had been planning to put the bed on the left hand wall, but the movers put it here and I kind of liked it, so I left it. And thus, the first layout that I tried for the bedroom, dictated by my movers (lol). I actually even bought the nightstands based on the width that would fit here (taking the radiator into account).
Here’s the west wall. I got this dresser from my parent’s basement and if you watch my Insta stories you know allll about the debacle of painting it. If not, just keep reading ’cause you’ll see. Also, don’t ask me why, but I got really stuck on having this chair in the corner with the painting above it. It looks okay but something was always a little off about it.
(Sorry for the tilt-y photo). The annoying thing about the back (south) wall of the bedroom is obviously the position of the window and the radiator, which made it difficult to center the bed on the wall and do a symmetrical arrangement with the nightstands on either side. I thought about maybe putting some tall piece of art on the opposite side of the wall (by the other nightstand) to balance it out. However, at some point I decided to try centering the bed and kind of pretending the radiator wasn’t there. Instead of nestling the nightstand in next to the radiator, I moved it forward so it would overlap the radiator. This created about a half a foot of space between the wall and the back of the nightstand which kind of bugged me – they were kind of floating next to the bed. (The green tape on the floor is where I was taping out for a rug to figure out what size to get).
That space between the wall and nightstand bugged me so much that I decided to try the bed in the spot where I had originally thought it would go, against the left side wall. For a while I liked this arrangement. PS, here’s the rug! I really like it and it was very well-priced. Here you can also see my Ikea bookcase which from the start has been living on that little wall next to the doorway.
I hung my inspiration board on the little slice of wall between the doorway and the closet. I was okay with this arrangement for a little while. What changed next was that I was talking to my Mom about the living room and she suggested the idea of putting my desk in the bedroom – because while it looked totally cute in the living room, it was blocking off a LOT of space (that desk is big), and obstructing the walkway between the coffee table/restricting what size of coffee table I could get, etc. And we knew extra seating would really be better in the LR than a desk. And thus the idea of bringing the desk into the bedroom was born…
I’m a doer, guys (sometimes). Once I got the idea of putting the desk in the bedroom there was no stopping me. I had to execute this plan. I had already dragged my bed around my bedroom and acquired sore arms and back in the process…why not drag my massively heavy secretary desk into the bedroom? Seemed like a great idea.
We decided to put it on the wall where the dresser was…and then we couldn’t decide where to put the dresser, which was another issue. Also why is my bed now pushed all the way into the back corner in the left photo? Who knows. I was trying everything! Tried the dresser next to the bed – bad.
My Mom suggested moving the dresser next to the doorway (where the bookcase had been), and the bookcase to the little nook by the window (it’s hard to see, but the wall goes in a little over there, creating a little “nook” which the bookcase fits perfectly into). But no, I didn’t like it and I was really set on having the chair over there (what? like why?). And hey – the bed is back on the back wall! Ok.
Next up – again, at my Mom’s suggestion after many late nights discussing the situation – the desk moves to this spot. PERFECTION! Hello, why did I not think of this? Because I was obsessed with having the bookcase there. The desk fits perfectly in this spot and it’s like a cozy little desk corner.
Hot mess alert! And you can see what happened with the dresser – the paint peeled off of it. Great, huh? I think it was a matter of being wayyyy too hot and humid when I painted it but anyway, more on that later. With the desk in the corner, that left only the nook by the window for the bookcase. And it worked perfectly.
Remember the issue I had where I was annoyed by the nightstand being pushed in front of the radiator and having that big space behind it? Well, by placing the bookcase in that spot, it sort of visually blocks some of the radiator and also visually brings that west wall in a bit…so what I was able to do was put the nightstand right next to the radiator, and visually the bed looks centered on that back wall. Also the bookcase kind of balances out the window and hides the radiator pole which was also messing up the visual by the window. It was awkward having that tall window and tall pole with the relatively short chair in front of it…now the bookcase it tall like the window and the pole, so visually it just looks less awkward.
Kind of confusing but guys, it works! This is how the layout stands now, and I can confidently say, having tried everything else, that this is the best arrangement – and all thanks to my Mom, whose suggestion of where to put the desk and bookshelf made it all come together. Yay for Mom! Thanks for bearing with me through all of these hideous photos…hope to have a good after to show you soon!
it’s official, I just realized I’m totally spoiled with space here in Belgium!
we are moving in March and I can’t wait to start decorating.
You’re lucky! I’m sure it’s a beautiful city as well!
I love seeing the progress and transformation – iPhone pics and all! I think part of the process is the frustration of trying the furniture in all kinds of places, but not everyone exhausts all their options. Happy you found something that works with all your pieces!
I’m so happy to hear that! It felt weird at first to share ugly in-progress photos but I think seeing the progression can be more interesting than just seeing the picture perfect end result. Glad you agree!
I moved in August from a studio to a one bedroom on the UES too. This was the realest post ever as I had serious debates on the furniture layout and my family ultimately came up with the best suggestions. I was going crazy (and I’m still not totally done but just wanted the big stuff done so fast I rushed it a bit but still have some more to do)!
Same here! Not done at all and I definitely feel like I should have more done since I’ve lived here since June…but the big stuff is so hard to commit to! And I’ve made various mistakes so trying to be very careful going forward!
I think you did a great job and ended up with everything where it should be. I love seeing other people’s apartment layouts. Mine is very different from yours but it has pros and cons as well. And I have dragged furniture all over my apartment many times. hahaha
Thanks Anita! So. Much. Furniture dragging! Haha, glad I’m not the only crazy one killin my back over here 🙂
I love seeing the photo evidence of all your ideas evolving! My dream is to have a space big enough here in Chicago to not be forced to push my bed agaianst one wall. What I wouldn’t give for some symmetry! Anywho, beautiful job on this space!! And yes, Mom’s are the best!
So glad you liked the post Christine! This will probably be my only apartment ever in NYC where I don’t have to push my bed against a wall! Haha, it is very rare :).
Boy, that was a lot of work! But it all worked out well. I’m a fan of the final arrangement. Please repaint that dresser white. It looked spectacular. I love the pink and white combo. Are you into white Christmas lights? Or is that too overplayed for you. Maybe that would brighten up the space. I am waiting for the much anticipated kitchen decor reveal. By the way, are you trying out new things in that new kitchen?Are you thinking about an “apartment warming” party with family and friends? There’s more space now 🙂
It was kind of a lot of work but I actually kind of didn’t mind it! It’s almost like figuring out a puzzle. So glad you like the final arrangement – I think it’s the best option. And I also loved the dresser in white! But I’m a little on the fence because literally every other piece of furniture in there is white painted wood! Just kind of happened because I already had the desk and bookcase and then I got the two nightstands without really thinking hmm, maybe I should switch it up (but at the point the desk wasn’t even in there, so I didn’t really think about it). Anyway still figuring it out! And I love twinkle lights 🙂
I loved so many of your ideas as well as your moms too. I also thought your IPhone pics were just fine! Your space is gorgeous and I know you will be happy in the end!!
Thanks Christina! It’s coming along, slowly but surely. More to come soon!
I could not love those lamps more if I tried. And nice bedside tables.
Can I ask where your bed frame is from?
I love the walkthrough of this! It’s so difficult to arrange furniture sometimes (especially in small apartments in old buildings)! I feel like I am constantly moving my furniture around and it helps to get ideas!