You’ve found the perfect home—it’s in your dream neighborhood, it’s within your price range and it comes with a dishwasher that actually works—but the bedroom is a little small. It doesn’t seem like a big issue, but come move-in day, you’re faced with the inevitable conundrum: Where the heck do I put my bed?! You’ve heard it’s bad feng shui to put a bed in front of a window (all that outside energy disrupting your Chi, apparently), but is it “asked for the Kaia Gerber and got a mom bob” bad? Or “rogue meteor strikes your parked car and totals it” bad?
To get some answers, we turned to San Diego–based designer Darcy Kempton, of Simply Stunning Spaces. She’s worked on homes of all sizes and styles (including some for HGTV’s Flip or Flop), so she’s well versed in coming up with smart fixes for design challenges. And she’s not afraid to be honest.
“We try to shy away from doing that, but sometimes you can’t get away from it,” Kempton admits. When you have to put a bed in front of a window, the key is to make it look deliberate. To make that process as painless as possible, Kempton broke down four basic scenarios that work, regardless of your bedroom’s weird angles.
Option 1: Go for a Double-Layer Window Treatment
On the most practical level, having your bed directly under the window could mean the sun’s rays are directed right at your face as you wake up. So, no matter how minimalist chic it may seem to leave your windows bare, resist the urge, Kempton warns, unless you’re an early riser.
“Fill the wall with draperies to soften the backdrop,” she suggests. And when you do, install two layers of curtains: one sheer, so you can still let light filter in during the day, and one blackout, so when you’re ready to crash, you’re not at the mercy of the sunrise and sunset.
If you can’t center your bed under the window, wall-to-wall draperies are crucial for restoring a sense of symmetry, so things don’t seem perpetually “off.”
“We’ve put a rod across the whole wall and run full-height panels from floor to ceiling, which you can play with to make things look more balanced,” Kempton explains.
Option 2: Try a Low-Slung Bed
For large, statement-making windows, you’ll want to consider your bed’s height. In some cases, that might mean going for a low platform bed that won’t obstruct your view or overlap with the window frame. “That’s an easy thing anyone can do,” Kempton says. “Just pair the bed with really low nightstands or wall-mounted ones.” After all, nobody wants to reach up in bed to grab their phone off the side table.
Option 3: Choose an Open Headboard
Platform beds aren’t for everyone (where my grandmillennials at!?). If your style skews more traditional, there’s still hope for you: Simply opt for an open, metal-framed headboard. It’s a classic design and it still lets you see through the bars to the window behind your bed. “That way it’s not totally blocking the view,” Kempton adds.
Option 4: Soften Awkward Windows with Wall Art
It’s one thing if you have a gigantic wall of windows directly above your bed. It’s another when you’ve got one wonky little window that’s just off center. In that instance, you’ll want to get creative with a coat of paint—like the diagonal stripes in the little girl’s room above—or make the window part of a gallery wall so it feels like a deliberate part of the room’s design.
However you decide to style your bed, Kempton has one pro tip you can’t ignore: Spring for remote-operated window treatments. “With your bed in that position, it’s hard to get to the shades, so having motorized ones will make it so much easier to adjust them throughout the day,” she explains. Otherwise, you’re likely to keep the blackout curtains drawn all day, every day, making your bedroom seem like a gloomy place that you’ll generally want to avoid for most of the day. And if that’s the case, what’s the point of having that glorious window in the first place?
But how bad is it to have your bed in front of a window from a feng shui perspective? Well, it might be considered disruptive to a good night’s sleep, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. As long as your bed isn’t facing the doorway head on, you’re all right.