Placing The Bed In Front Of A Window: A Decorating Faux Pas?

It’s Friday, y’all! That means I only have two more days of working on my hardwood floors, and they’ll be DONE! They need two more coats of finish on them, so I’ll put the final coat of “original” sheen on today (which is a semi-gloss sheen), and then I’ll put the satin finish on tomorrow, and they’ll be finished!!!

It’s been such a long process, but I’m so glad that I stuck with it. They’re looking gorgeous! This is definitely one of the (if not THE) longest and most difficult DIY projects I’ve ever done, but it has also been the most rewarding. If you missed the picture I posted on the A2D Facebook page of the first coat of finish going on (and me working my way out the front door), here’s a peek:

First coat of Waterlox going on the hardwood floors

I’ll post the final before and after of the floors on Monday, and give a run down of the process, tips, etc. If y’all have any questions about how I did my floors, I’d be happy to answer them. Just leave a comment below and I’ll see it.

But now let’s move on to the real topic of this post…

Placing a bed in front of a window

As I shared a couple of days ago, that’s my plan for our master bedroom. I have had it so engrained in my head that placing a bed under a a window is bad design, but it’s really the only option we have in our bedroom. So I went in search of inspiration, and as it turns out, lots of people (including decorators and designers) place headboards under windows! And more importantly, if done right, it looks great!

I think one of the keys in making this work is hanging the draperies high and wide, so as not to cover any more of the window than is absolutely necessary.

Headboard in front of window - room design by tati4design, via Houzz

Room by tati4design, via Houzz

While I do generally like the draperies hung high and wide, the exception for me seems to be when they’re used with a four-poster bed. I saw several examples of them being hung just inside the “frame” of the bed posts, and I think that looks just right.

Headboard in front of window - photography by David Duncan Livingston, via Houzz

Photography by David Duncan Livingston, via Houzz

That concept also works well with a draped canopy bed, where the window almost becomes part of the whole bed.

Headboard in front of window - room design by Michael Merrill Design Studio, via Houzz

Room design by Michael Merrill Design Studio, via Houzz

But sadly, I don’t think our bedroom is big enough to accommodate a four poster bed or a draped canopy bed, so I’ll need to stick with something much simpler in design.

The “wall of draperies” idea is one that I’ve always loved, and I think could work well in our bedroom.

Headboard in front of window - room design by Buckingham Interiors + Design, via Houzz

Room design by Buckingham Interiors + Design, via Houzz

I also really like the idea of using a long valance with the draperies. This look almost creates the look of a canopy over the bed.

Headboard in front of window - room design by Jane Lockhart Design, via Houzz

Room design by Jane Lockhart Design, via Houzz

So after seeing so many beautiful examples of beds used in front of windows, I’m feeling more confident in my decision. I’m also feeling less like I’m settling on a less than ideal arrangement, and more like I can really make a big design statement that will look beautiful and intentional.

What are your thoughts on headboards/beds in front of windows? Is yours arranged that way?

And P.S. — I know the whole “bed in front of a window” thing is considered bad feng shui. As I don’t really follow (or care about) feng shui, that’s not really a concern of mine. :)

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Comments

  1. Cathy B. says

    Kristi,
    I think there are general guidelines one may want to follow (how high to hang a light over a table, etc.) but my thought is that if YOU like it in YOUR house, do it! I think it will be nice to enjoy those fresh fall breezes while snuggled under the covers! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the transformation.

  2. Vivian says

    I love all these examples … you’re creating a home, not designing a showplace … do whatever you want if it works for your family!

  3. lindyb says

    If anyone can do it you can, Kristi! We did have the bed in front of the window in our old master bedroom because I also couldn’t stand not having the bed on the correct wall. I didn’t make any kind of design statement with it, but it still looked and felt so much better than the bed sharing the wall with the bedroom door which was how we had it originally. I’m excited to see what you do with it!

  4. says

    Kristi – Like the first commentor – I truly believe there are no “rules” to decorating and furniture placement is truly a personal choice. We currently have our bed under the window – I like the option of changing the furniture around in my room…so sometimes its under the window and sometimes its against the long wall…don’t stress over it – You have a great sense of style – go for it!!

  5. ChrisE says

    I think the bed in front of the window will be lovely! However, what I really want to say is that I am majorly impressed with your refinishing of your floors. That seems like a big crazy diy and I’m so amazed that you just tackled it head on and are doing it. Can’t wait to see the end results!

  6. Brenda Stratton says

    I think it will be beautiful in front of a window! I’ve also seen examples of it being very well done. My headboard is not in front of a window for two reasons. 1) The way the room is oriented, placing the bed in front of the window would put the bed crosswise of the room and would constrict the flow of traffic. And, (2) I have a massive 4-poster bed with an extremely tall, ornate headboard. If it could be put in front of the window, it would cover most of it. Not only do I think it wouldn’t look right, but it would also cut off much of the light source.

    I have lived in homes where I was able to place the bed (a different bed) under the window, and I loved it.

    Good luck with your reno! The floors are gorgeous! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  7. Lisa E says

    I say if it works for you, go for it. I tried to avoid putting it in front of the window in my last house. When I finally gave in and put it under the window, the room felt so much bigger. Same with this house. I put the bed where “they” say to, so when you first walk in, where it’s the focal point in front of you, however, it only fit one night stand. I wanted to put it in front of the window because again, I knew it would make our room feel bigger, however, we have those darn window cranks at the bottom of the window and with a headboard, I would not be able to get to them. So the headboard is now on the same wall as the doorway because it accomodates a nightstand on both sides. Sometimes you have to do what works for you. BTW – the floors are looking fab. Again, I say, I wish I had your energy!

  8. says

    We had a slightly off centered window on the wall we wanted to center the bed on, so I did a wall of draperies, with cheap white IKEA curtains, which still allows the light to filter in through them. I never have them open like in the picture above. I prefer the look of them closed, it definitely adds softness to the room.

  9. Gail Lawson says

    Kristi, Wow! What a transformation of the floors. I am going to be glued to your blog watching you transform this house. Can you explain how to apply the finish coats without getting bubbles or streaks?

  10. Monique says

    Hi! Love the pictures. I have the same issue. The best place for my bed is in front of the window….haven’t don’t it yet. I have maybe a silly questions….but, when you have curtains behind the headboard how do you keep it from moving? I feel like it would wiggle or tilt if you leaned on it at all. Mine is connected to my bedframe but it still has a little wiggle in it, even tho it is up against the wall. Like I said probably silly…but things I think about. :)

  11. says

    Way to go with those floors gal. Looking good. Regarding the bed in front of the window situation, I’m currently dealing with the same issue. My bedroom is 18 1/2 x 13 1/2 feet and we want to upgrade to a King bed. My main window however is on my short wall and is not centered. I could keep the bed where it is on the long wall but every time I picture my new bedroom in my head, the bed is sitting in front of the window. I think my heart is telling me something. I’ve just got to figure it out. Anyone got any suggestions?

  12. Sue says

    The floor looks so pretty – rich and homey! Can’t wait to see the final before/after photos next week. You do GREAT work!

    It is your home and if you want to arrange the bed in front of the window – Do It! As in a lot of homes, our master bedroom is a bit on the small side so the only place to put our king sized bed is in front of 2 windows. It works because we made it work and we like it. You will make it work for you as well.

  13. Lindia says

    I love beds in front of windows! I don’t think any “rules” should be set in stone. Instead, you should do what works for you. One caveat, since my daughter’s day bed is in front of the windows… we can’t open the windows. It would sure be nice to get a breeze going through the room. If you are replacing the windows, maybe try to find something that opens from the top- either a slide down or a tilt down- so you can have that breeze on a spring or fall night. Still lovin’ your floors! :-)

  14. Diane Mansil says

    Always go with what FEELS right to you. That’s good feng shui. Feng shui is mostly about how you feel, not just a list of rules. If you do “proper” feng shui and it feels wrong, it is wrong and that is then bad feng shui.

    My living room is *supposed to* be grey or grey/blue. Uh…no, not in this house. This house wanted a soft but bright color on its LR walls and argued with me when I tried different proper colors. The color the house wanted showed up on the mistake paint aisle. I resisted. I even left the store without it and found myself going back inside before I drove off to buy that can of paint. It’s PERFECT and nowhere NEAR grey or grey/blue. While the color isn’t proper feng shui, the way the room feels is happy, comfortable and appealing. That makes it good.

  15. Dawn says

    I will be following your bedroom design for sure. Our bedroom is super small and putting the bed under our window is the best option for the layout but I’m always frustrated when I want the curtains closed at night (for dark sleeping-in mornings) and finding a headboard that looks good under the window, otherwise our pillows are constantly falling between the bed and wall. I’m counting on you for inspiration!! :-)

  16. says

    I say it’s your bedroom…you can put your bed any darn place you please. I don’t follow the “rules| of decorating…if you love it & it makes you happy…that is all that matters!

    In one of our three bedrooms…the bed is under a window. And we haven’t found a headboard…I’m on the hung for something to use has a headboard..but for now…the bed sits well below the window. The room is so small…there is no choice but to have the bed under the window.

    Your floor looks ama\ing…..great job!

  17. julie says

    It’s all about working with ya got! And I think you’ll come up with a great looking solution. So excited to see your progress with your floors — I’ll be doing that in my kitchen in the next couple of months. (only I’ll have to lay the unfinished oak flooring first — yikes!) I just love being a courageous, strong woman…don’t you? :)

  18. Guerrina says

    Those are beautiful inspiration pics and I particularly love the wall of drapes! I’ve had my bed in front of windows and not! It all depended on the flow of the room and what fit well. I think you have a winner in this room in front of the window. The floors are looking great!

  19. Gail says

    I agree you should put the bed in front of a window if you like it there! But, not to be a Debby-Downer, years ago I put my bed in front of a window, and could NOT sleep with it there. I felt like my head was not protected – like an intruder might come climbing in right on top of me! Just sayin’…. give it a shot before you do anything permanent!

    I look forward to your posts, and LOVE your new floors. Can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Great job!

  20. says

    Kristi! I think it is perfectly fine to put your bed in front of your window. In our last home, we put our bed in front of a window, and I loved the look of it. Of course, I was a little unsure if I should until my mom said, “Of course you can!” So I did it. :)
    And I am glad I did.

    Here is the link for that bedroom.
    http://www.beneathmyheart.net/2010/04/before-and-after-pictures-of-my-master/

    Love the progress you are making.
    xoxo
    Traci

  21. says

    I think the bed in front of the window will be beautiful. I personally will never do it again because last time there was so much condensation and moisture by the window that we had a very bad mold build up behind the bed. It even got to the mattress and we had to buy a new one. My worst nightmare. We would also wake up with sore throats from the draft. All this said, we were also living by the ocean in San Francisco so of course the moisture levels were going to be a problem!

    It should be fine in a dry climate.

  22. Holly says

    Let me just say I am loving being able to renovate a house vicariously through you. I so look forward to your posts and think you are doing a great job. I love the floors. I too am not into feng shui and think a bed under a window is very cool. Your first inspiration picture is so inviting. I can just picture myself walking by that room and being pulled in to flop on the bed and listen to the birdsong outside the open window. Don’t worry too much what “everyone” thinks. If you love it, then go for it!

  23. Bev Jones says

    I too am a do it yourselfer, not of your caliber, but nonetheless, if there is one thing I’ve learned if you love it do it and next week, month, year, it will be all the rave. Everything I love at some point, either before i discover it…or after, becomes the latest craze. So you go girl. Put that bed wherever your little heart desires and fix your house just the way you want it and next week, month, year…..designers will be following YOUR lead. Love your blog!

  24. Gilmer Gal says

    Kristi, floors are marvelous! And as for the window over the bed, go ahead. I saw from your “future master” that you are going to put 2 windows on that wall when the time comes. Anyway, from the interior design photos you’ve posted, you’re in pretty good company! If you decide to leave only the one window, you can place it a bit higher on the wall. Whatever you decide, we all know it’ll look more than fine. Jump in! You can change it if you don’t like it.

  25. Genelle McDaniel says

    Every one of the inspiration photos were beautiful. It just shows a challenge can be turned into an outstanding feature wall. Go for it.

  26. Melanie says

    Floors are beautiful. As for the bed under the window, I, too, used to think it was bad design, but I have changed my mind and see it done quite often. My own bed is that way now. I will say, I greatly prefer the top example pic. Not sure about the cornice one or canopy..

  27. Joanne says

    Your floors are looking fabulous! You are doing an amazing job on your new house. You’ve accomplished so much already! Doing the floors first was absolutely the right choice. You have one of the biggest, most difficult projects out of the way, and seeing your new floors will be like seeing a great big shining beautiful pearl every time you walk into your home. I think your master bedroom will be lovely with the bed arrangement in front of the window. Loving the “wall of draperies” idea too, I’ll bet it makes the room look huge too..

  28. Jamie K. says

    I had a similar situation and struggled with the “rules” that I had so firmly planted in my mind. I decided, however, to try placing the bed below the window, and I really loved it. If that’s what your home calls for, go for it! I’m sure it will be beautiful.

  29. Bonnie Robinson says

    I would first place bed in the room in front of the window. Then, I would sleep in for one night to decide if it worked for me. Just saying…

  30. Diana W. says

    I am no feng shui expert, but as I understand it as long as you have something solid behind your head you are keeping all your ‘positive energies’ from leaving through the glass. That said, our bed is in front of a window and we don’t have a headboard. Our bedroom is still in transition, but will be completed in about 8 months (hopefully). Go with your gut and what you love. Chuck the rule book. You’ll love whatever you come up with and I have no doubt it will be gorgeous!

    • Abby says

      I don’t see any design issues with it- I think it can be beautiful. But I think people need to be aware of how well the windows are insulated in order to not be sleeping next to drafty windows on cold nights. Also depending on the region it could be unsafe. We live in earthquake country and I was always taught that it’s safer not to have your head under the window for an earthquake and not to have heavy art & glass mounted on the wall over your bed (or your child’s!) I see pictures of bedrooms in earthquake areas where designers have done this and wonder what they were thinking. Likewise people living in areas of hurricanes should be careful about bed placement unless they use shutters/boards over windows in hurricanes.

  31. Sheri says

    My only problem with placing furniture in front of windows is the difficulty in operating the windows and curtains/shades. I like to open my windows whenever possible. But it is more important to have the bed in the spot that feels comfortable or “right” to you. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble sleeping. I had to move my bed after one night in the wrong spot.

  32. says

    Normally, I don’t like beds underneath windows, but some of the examples you showed really make it work! I guess that the important thing is to make the two items, the bed and window, work together and not compete with one another. A lot of people just slap whatever bed they have in front of the window and it just doesn’t look right. When designed like some of the examples , the two compliment each other and work as one unit. Love the look of the draped canopy and the wall of windows! I’m sure you’ll pick something just perfect! So many decisions to make but it has to be fun! Enjoy! Hugs, Leena

  33. Teija Nelson says

    Love your floors! On the bed placement- I have always wanted to do that! It would be a nice change of pace to have the window behind the headboard. These pictures are an inspiration to me. Thank you!

  34. says

    I love the ideas you’ve shared. They are beautiful, your bedroom is going to look great when it’s finished, I can’t wait to see what colors you decide to use and how it looks! :) The floors look great! :)

  35. Lynne says

    Kristi- I love your floors and can’t wait to see your house come together! I’m as excited as I was with my own house!
    One thing… Can you please do something about the pop up ads that appear and reappear while trying to read your posts? Every time I go to click on the x to close it it moves and it causes the ad to open! It’s sooo annoying! Just thought you might want to know. Thanks!

    • says

      Lynne, can you tell me what you’re using to view my blog? A desktop? Phone?

      When I view it on my phone, I get an annoying pop up ad at the bottom of the screen. I have tried and tried to figure out where the heck it’s coming from, but with no success. But if that’s the one you’re talking about, I’ll try again to figure out the source. I agree, it’s so irritating and aggravating, and impossible to close!! So sorry!!

  36. Andrea says

    I think if anyone can make it look gorgeous and lovely- it would be you. I would rather have it against the window than a weird layout that just doesn’t work. Our new house we will have 3 square windows above our bed and I loved the way it was laid out.

  37. Naomi Williams says

    I think bed/window placement is primarily a matter of sleeping comfort. I love having a cool breeze washing over me while I sleep. I also like reading on the bed during the day, with the natural daylight coming over my shoulders.

  38. Ron Harris says

    Since I live in Maine, I generally try not to put anything in front of windows. I not only don’t want to block the access to remove snow or ice, but there’s also a cold draft (although closing curtains would solve that).
    I think the “wall of curtains” has a cozy feeling, whereas the valance makes the room more formal. It all depends what kind of a look/feeling you want to evoke.
    I don’t have the problem with windows because i’ve combined two small bedrooms into one, and I will be placing the windows so they would fall on either side of the bed.
    My problem is that I like to walk into the room and face the bed (as you are wanting to do), but that would mean putting the bed on a much narrower wall. If I place the bed on the long wall between the windows, I’d be seeing it sideways when I walk in. Just curious, what would you do?

  39. says

    I don’t mind it at all!! My daughters bed is in front of her window! I think it can frame out the bed with some window panels. I like it! Go for it!

    Laura
    House Envy

  40. Brenda says

    You made a believer out of me! I find myself wishing I had a window to put a bed in front of! I make up my own feng shui as I go along. Something about not letting your feet point toward the door when you sleep?

  41. Elizabeth says

    I have always PREFERRED to place my bed in front of a window, or at least beside/between windows. My very first apartment was a small slice of a big old house, and my bedroom was a big bay with 3 windows. I slid my cheap IKEA bed up under one of them (no headboard) and when I opened the window I had fresh air. I kept it cracked open even in the winter (cooled my face but not the room) and in good weather when it was wide open, I felt like I was sleeping in the woods — all the pleasures of camping with none of the inconveniences! It was so peaceful and restful. Since then I’ve preferred to keep my bed as near a window as I can.

    As to looks — who cares? If YOU like it, nothing else matters.

  42. mary says

    2 thoughts on beds under windows-I like to be able to see out the window when sitting in bed, you might miss the view depending on what it looks out on. Secondly, you will notice in your design sample pics, the window is the visual headboard. It’s only a design faux pas if the headboard covers part of the window or competes with it by being too fussy. At the end of the day the fabulous part of home ownership is you can have it your way and if it makes you happy, go for it. I think you are wise to do the master bedroom first, it gives you a calm finished zone to end your day while other parts of the house are disrupted.
    PS the floors rock

  43. says

    I think that placing a bed under the window as you have it is a wonderful idea. As long as security is not your main concern then it will actually make you feel energized throughout the day, having woken up with the sunlight which is natural lighting. Having the bed in a corner either in darkness or using artificial lighting, causes one to lose some amount of energy by the time one reaches work. I recommend it to all the readers, if they are not yet doing it. And I am going to implement it in my bedroom right now.\
    Thanks for the post and the lovely pictures. Do I have your permission to use any of them. Please let me know.
    Thanks
    Vinton

  44. says

    These rooms are beautifully designed and I would have never though of placing my bed in front of a window until now. I love how the drapes and window frames the bed given it the focal point in the room.

  45. says

    Kristi, your enthusiasm is contagious!
    I’m in agreement with many who expressed the thought that it is your home, and whatever makes you happy is the right way to decorate. I do like the idea of the valance, which almost frames the head of the bed and gives it a beautiful finishing touch.

    The thing I like best about your blog is that you’re not uppity. :) You create beauty but think it through first, and share why you’re approaching it a certain way. That makes it fun to follow your progress. It also makes me feel like I could actually do something equally creative. Thanks, Kristi.

  46. Ann says

    Our bed is in front of an off-center window. To hide the weirdness of it I did the “wall of draperies” thing. We can still use and enjoy the window, and it looks romantic and soft. We’ve enjoyed having the fresh air at our heads, and the curtains protect us from cold drafty air in the winter. I say do whatever you want – it’s your house!

  47. says

    With just a little common sense and an eye for style, your home can be tastefully decorated in a way that will still reflect your own unique personality. Both you and your guests can enjoy the decorations in your home without being distracted by decorating faux pas. Be creative and have fun with your decor.

  48. Nicole says

    I loved hearing someone else likes to put up curtains behind the bed. And I’ve seen that you don’t even have to have a window. I’ve discovered that some of the prettiest bedrooms are hotel suites… the fancy ones like type in “hotel suites+paris”…. Google Images, of course… and also youtube has some walk-throughs. All the really expensive suites have curtains or something dramatic behind the headboard…

    One more thing… are you familiar with wainscoting? It’s the white woodwork you see running up the wall beside a staircase…. I’ve discovered that wainscoting adds so much to rooms. The old houses used to have a lot of it. The other day, I went to youtube and typed,
    “how to”+wainscoting …. and it brought up a couple of videos… I clicked on the first one and a girl was showing how she installed wainscoting to a room in a new house. The room looked so much prettier after she attached it to the walls. I think she bought the pre-fab panels at a hardware store…. she made it look so easy to but I know it’s harder than it looks. But, you have such good taste I think you’ll really like checking into that.
    (Another word for it is “inset paneling” … there’s not a lot on it out there but I love the look of it! Hardly anyone talks about it!)

  49. Dana says

    We have windows on 2 walls and since I am a late sleeper, I built a large upholstered headboard to cover the window on one wall. We have a California King Bed so it looks great and no one would know there’s a window behind it. The other wall has blinds and black out curtains:)

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