Design Lies: You Can’t Put A Bed in Front of a Window

How many times have we been told you cannot put a bed in front of a window? Probably by people in my very own profession too. It’s one of those old school rules that are made to be broken.  Sometime you have no choice, especially in tight city living, than to place a bed in front of a window- but sometimes even in large spaces it’s just the ideal spot and as you can see from the pictures below- it can be a dramatic and fabulous!

This amazing pelmet box and drapes create a sort of high headboard/canopy for the bed framing that window perfectly.  Who would argue that this looks bad?  Symmetry is key here, so make sure if you are going to put your bed in front of a window or windows that it lines up in pleasing, balanced way.

Little Green Notebook’s Jenny is queen of DIY and she has a great tutorial on making your own pelmet boxes for those of you who are unable to afford the custom job above (99% of you probably, including yours truly)

But there are other drapery styles that create perfect backdrops for beds while being function coverings for windows too.  This layer of bamboo shades and high hung drapes (please never hang your drapes low- promise me) works wonderful and the fact that it goes from wall to wall makes it look luxurious and purposeful.

Holy custom window treatments, Batman. This set up by Chloe Redmond is stunning- placing the bed in front of a bay window in such a gorgeous way!  Even if there is a blank wall in the room big enough for the bed, I so prefer this!

A cleaner, simpler look that works due to the symmetry of the lamps and paintings hung on each side. Take note.

One single continuous sheer (again hung high- a rule NOT to be broken) works as well too.  Such an ethereal look that may be masking a yucky view while allowing light to filter in.  I this case you might want remote controlled black out shades on the window as to not have to disturb the drapes every evening.

Even Ballard shows beds i front of windows, do you know it’s kosher to do so!

Even dramatic canopy beds work- in this case because of that great mirror as a focal point.

I would have said that only dramatic drapery work in this case, but then I came across this image of romans that totally make the grade. Again, drama and symmetry are the name of the game.

30 Responses to “Design Lies: You Can’t Put A Bed in Front of a Window”

  1. Lindsay says:

    That seriously looks great in all photos – funny how it’s been such a no no for so long. It seems to be a great option when you have one large window in the center of a main wall – like you said, as long as you do it right! Great post! x

  2. i have my bed in front of a window – it was the only wall i could and i hung the draperies as if the window was a bit larger than the width of the bed when in fact it was just a standard window. looks great and balances the whole room.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for the ideas! My bed is also in front of my window, and I’ve been considering my options for months! I think I will go with wall to wall drapes!

  4. Janell Beals says:

    My daughter has a long narrow room and a queen bed, placing the head at the window was the only way to make it all work and it looks fabulous. You can also lay in bed at night and see the sky…a bonus. Rules are so meant to be broken. Janell

  5. blair @ scsd says:

    “Rules” were meant to be broken! In the perfect space, the bed in front of the window can look amazing!

    blair @ scsd

  6. gayle p says:

    thank you – these are all fabulous. My son’s bed is in front of the window – suggested by a designer friend of mine, and at first i thought she was nuts, but it really looks great (i’d send a photo but he is a teenage boy… and his room is a typical shambles) and when you are in it, it’s like sleeping in a tree house. thanks for sharing!

  7. joan v. says:

    On the west coast we do not put our beds in front of windows because of earthquakes…hate to be in bed when one hits and the glass breaks. I do like the look though!

  8. This totally just made me rethink our entire bedroom set up. I smell a rearrange project coming up!!!

  9. Lindsey says:

    Love the idea! Especially the one in front of the bay window! Would have never thought of that. Also, that green velvet bed it to DIE for!!!

  10. I have sheers in front of my bedroom windows like the green velvet shot and love them…I love love that black poster bed with the mirror between the windows and agree, beds in front of windows can be lovely. PS, I mentioned your Etsy shop in my post today:)

  11. L. says:

    Great ideas, Erin! My old house has windows EVERYWHERE! I’m constantly trying not to place anything in front of them, which is really impossible. This post gave me great ideas for my kids rooms which are all windows on two of the four walls in both rooms.

  12. Shannon says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have this problem in my master bedroom, and I’ve just been ignoring the problem. This gives me some inspiration to do something about it.

  13. casie says:

    I have always loved a bed in front of a window!! My old roommate actually found the most adorable drapes and just styled it perfectly because she didnt have a headboard. It looked so cute. I love the bamboo shades but what about the sunlight? either way– so chic :) Glad you busted the myth!

  14. Cecilia says:

    I think a bed can look fine infront of a window—just as you have shown! My bed was infront of two windows at our last home. :) xoxo

  15. meenal says:

    when placing the bed in front of a window ..going for high drama seems to be the best bet…the first image is a perfect example of how to make a decorating no-no a striking focal point of the room..and you are right..symmetry is really the way to go!! a lovely post, erin..have a beautiful day..do check out my fabulous finds from jaipur when you have a moment..xx meenal

  16. Great post. My bed was in front of my window growing up— just made the most sense. And prevented me from sleeping in during myteenage years!

  17. Gorgeous bedrooms ! Love the sheer curtains hung high !

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

  18. Christina says:

    Absolutely an outdated rule! Just like the pictures prove placeing a bed in front of a window can be so dramatic and pretty if done right! Great post!

    http://www.ChristinaMarieInteriors.com

  19. Kathleen says:

    Pray tell, WHERE can I find that orange and white bedding? Would be perfect in my BR with the Chiang Mai dragon fabric on pillows.

  20. These pictures can definitely pull off the look!!! So much of it depends on the lighting. I love all of these rooms though!!! Can I move in?
    Star Hughes Living

  21. Thanks for sharing the pelmet box tutorial. I definitely want to try and make those for my bedroom.

  22. Teach Chic says:

    This is the best idea! I have a SMALL townhome- so arrangement is tricky. Love, love, LOVE that green velvet bed.

  23. Honestly, I’m all about comfort when it comes to my bedroom. And so long as the sun doesn’t rise or set in the direction of that window, I will always put my bed in front of the window. I love the natural light and it’s a very dramatic place for it.

  24. Thanks so much for this timely and informative post. The bed in our master bedroom basically has to be in front of windows because two of the bedroom walls are windows, one is a sheet of glass and the fourth is a double door into a walk-in closet. It’s a really challenging space because of all the windows and also because of the lack of symmetry (the two walls with the windows are not at right angles to each other!). Plus the window sizes and spacings mean that the bed ends in the middle of a window on both sides. The images you posted with the bamboo shade flanked by long curtains and with the black canopy bed are super helpful in helping me think about the layout. I don’t have a bed or curtains yet so they couldn’t have come at a better time.

  25. Erin says:

    Yay Chloe! One of my good friends and a fabulous designers is the owner of the lovely fourth bedroom with the poppy yellow bird lamps.

  26. Sara says:

    Erin,
    I’m in love with pic number 7 (black chair)… Those drapes look gorgeous!! Where is the picture from??
    Thanks!
    Great post BTW, as always, love your blog!!

  27. Beds in front of a window is definitely a rule that can be broken! Placing a bed in front of a window creates a wonderful focal point and adds interest. I love the look!

  28. Sasha says:

    Thank you! Feeling a tad validated at the moment. I’m currently re-doing my bedroom (it’s been a long journey) and everyone that has seen it “in progress” thinks I’m crazy. It’s kinda funny…they (friends & family) tend to question my design choices (since I didn’t go to school for it), yet I am always the one they come to when they want help. Thanks for the morning boost of confidence! Have a fabulous day, Erin!

  29. Kim says:

    Gorgeous! I wish our solution were as easy as putting the bed in front of the window. But what do you do when you HAVE to put the bed against a wall that has an off-center window?

  30. Staci says:

    I love this, and I’m a big fan of pelmet boxes!