Don’t Be a Wallflower: Why You Should Consider “Floating” Your Bed


Here at Apartment Therapy, we like to encourage design solutions that break the rules. A few months ago, Eleanor caused a bit of a stir by saying that, yes, it is totally fine to put your bed on a wall right in front of a window. But what if — what if you didn’t put your bed on a wall at all?

Floating the sofa is a pretty common choice in living rooms, which tend to be larger and have multiple traffic paths that need to be considered. But it’s still a little unusual for a bedroom, primarily because most bedrooms aren’t big enough to allow you this luxury. But if your bedroom does have the space, I think it’s worth considering. Here’s why.

I’ve always been an advocate of smaller bedrooms—if I have that square footage, I’d rather it be in a part of my home where I’m doing something besides just sleeping. But if you do have a big bedroom, placing all the furniture, including the bed, against the wall can make your furniture look strangely lost and emphasize, in an uncomfortable way, the massive scale of the room. Moving the bed out from the wall, as seen in this post’s lead image from Lonny, can make a room feel “full” without filling it to the brim with pieces you’ll never use.

Of course, now you have a new problem, which is that most headboards are designed to be placed against the wall, so the back is not so pretty. This room, from ASH NYC via My Domaine, solves that problem neatly by not having a headboard at all. But if you’re someone who likes to sit up and read in bed, this is probably not going to work for you.

For that you need a headboard that’s finished on the back, or a bed that backs up to a storage piece, like a trunk or a bookcase, that functions as a headboard. Or you can create a super sweet custom solution, like this one from Turnbull Griffin Haesloop, that incorporates storage, nightstands, and a headboard all into the same piece. This has the nice effect of separating a large bedroom into two different zones, one for sleeping and one for storage, and making the space a bit more manageable without completely breaking it up.

If you’re interested in creating some serious drama, you can float your bed and surround it with ceiling-mounted curtains, which will give it a kind of palatial quality. (Curtains in the back are also a good way to hide an unsightly headboard.) This example, from The New York Times, is actually a studio apartment—but I can see this working just as well in a very large bedroom.

Here’s one more example, from Sweet Design Studio, with a custom headboard that’s also a cantilevered desk. If custom furniture isn’t in the cards for you, you can still place a desk behind your headboard, to create a separate home office space right inside your bedroom.

What do you think? Would you consider trying this look in your own home?

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