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'Everyone forgets about plug sockets': 6 common bedroom layout mistakes - and how to fix them

Do you really need two bedside tables? Caroline Foran shares some common errors and solutions.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

WE MAY NOT typically think of the bedroom as a multi-functional space, but it’s more hard-working than we give it credit for.

Ours bedroom have to function as spaces for us to sleep, relax and get dressed, as well as being a store for clothes and shoes. On top of that, they often become work areas, study areas, exercise zones or somewhere to escape and get some peace in a busy house.

If you share your bedroom with a partner, the space has double the work to do, double the needs to fulfil, and double the clothes to store.

Unless you have the luxury of ample bedroom space, you’ll have to do some hard work yourself to get the most out of your square footage. Think multi-functional furniture and a thoughtful layout that means everything is exactly where you need it, when you need it.

There’s a lot to get right – and there’s plenty that people commonly get wrong. Read on for some common bedroom layout and furniture mistakes, and how best to avoid them.

shutterstock_1331783273 Source: Shutterstock/bmphotographer

Mistake #1: There are no plug points near your bed

Unfortunately the room where we could really do with the most floor space requires the largest piece of furniture in the house: the bed. Location is vital here. First things first: is there a socket nearby? A commonly made mistake is overlooking the need for nearby electricity.

Solution: If you can’t change the bed location to better suit the space, can you run (and conceal) an extension lead to reach your bedside instead? This way, your bed stays where you want it, but you can still plug a charger or bedside lamp in without hassle.

Mistake #2: Your bedside table is taking up too much space

Often we buy two bedside tables without thinking about their usefulness as this is what we visualise when we imagine a bed. Are they really necessary? Remember, you’ll spend a third of your life in your bedroom, so it’s important to get the layout right.

Solution: If the room is on the small side, you have two options: one, invest in a headboard that comes with its own shelving or hidden storage with space a for bedside lamp, doing away with the need for bedside tables entirely.  Or, two, consider pushing your bed into a corner, so it’s accessed from one side but you save space on the other side. Ideal for those sleeping solo (or with a partner who doesn’t mind sacrificing their ‘side’).

shutterstock_1140943013 Source: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

Mistake #3: You have too much furniture

Failing to consider furniture that serves more than one purpose is one common mistake, as is overfilling your bedroom with furniture. Two bedside tables plus a chest of drawers plus a dresser/desk plus a wardrobe… all of the above may feel essential, but are they eating up floor space?

Solution: Think multi-functional. Can a chest of drawers double up as a bedside table? Can that same chest of drawers also function as a dresser with a mirror on top? Can your dresser double up as a desk with a quick swap from free-standing mirror to laptop? Dressers are wildly under-used pieces of furniture. If you use yours mainly for the mirror that sits on top of it, and you can’t think of another use for it, consider whether a full-length mirror attached to the wall would do the same job while taking up far less space.

Mistake #4: You have too much clutter

You might technically have the space for it all, but when sleep and relaxation is the main goal, you want to avoid overcrowding. Filling space is a common mistake throughout the house. Yes, the piece of furniture, the shelf, the side table or the free-standing mirror you have your eye on might physically fit when you take out the measuring tape, but is it going to crowd out the room?

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Solution: When choosing your key items, try to always leave a little room for clean wall space or floor space. Even one or two square feet without any clutter or furniture will make a huge difference to your experience of the room.

shutterstock_1421368229 Source: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

Mistake #5: Your art faces the doorway rather than the bed

When we look at decor inspiration for beautiful bedrooms we are often looking at the bed, but you’re not going to spend your time standing in the doorway, are you? And while getting a nice Instagram pic is always a bonus, it’s your experience of the room, when you’re in it, that really matters. Often we prioritise wall art in and around the bed, but when you’re lying on it, what are you looking at? An overflowing laundry basket?

Solution: Take a few minutes to sit on your bed, and have a look around the room, while thinking what would suit you best visually. Would your favourite wall prints be better off on another wall where you can see and enjoy them? Do they settle you down for a good night’s rest? Function is important, but so too is how you feel in the room. It’s your safe space. It’s your ‘get away from it all’ space.

Mistake #6: Your bedroom is filled with tech

Nothing ruins a beautiful bedroom decor like a clunky TV (sticking out from the wall, messing entirely with your sense of balance) complete with wires hanging here there and everywhere. For a start, the more screens we have in the bedroom the more we’re contributing to a poor night’s sleep. So it’s never advisable if sound sleep is the goal. 

Solution: Scale things down a bit. If you do want a cheeky Netflix indulgence from time to time, would a laptop or small tablet do the trick? Tablets or small laptops can be quite reasonably priced, depending on the brand you go for, so you’ll be able to pick one up for less than a TV would set you back. This will give you back that wall space too, perhaps for a nice shelf with some trailing greenery. Far nicer on the eye… and the mind.

More: ‘The rocket mural is wonky but he loves it’: 5 design fans share their kids’ bedrooms>

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