Besides the sofa, your bed is probably the piece of the furniture in which you spend the most time. Granted, you're probably asleep for most of that time, but there's nothing that says your bed can't have some real style. Our bedroom is the room in which we start and end every day, and the interior designers at JASON BALL interiors firmly believe this room should be given some real thought and attention. Everything that goes into your room should have some purpose in setting whatever the desired mood - relaxing, sexy, sophisticated, playful, or whatever you want. Beyond atmosphere, your bed frame also plays an important role in the design of the room. Shape, size, height all are important design elements in selecting the right bed for the right space - this post is definitely not about fabric or finishes, but instead about the structure of the bed and how that plays into the overall design of the room. Here are some of the rules we use at JBi.

Play with scale for something unexpected. Most designers would say that in a small room, you choose scaled down furniture. While this is true, there is something to be said for playing with scale to create a look that's eye-catching. Of course, we don't want to crowd a room so that it's unlivable, but something slightly over-scaled creates a moment of wonder and amazement. Maybe select lights that are a little larger or make the headboard a little taller. These small changes in scale are a fun way to change the overall feeling of the design.

interior designers in Portland talk about the design of bed frames

As a corollary, if you have the height, go up! I love the idea of a tall bed in a tall space. Again, it's one of those small changes in the shape of a bed that makes the room feel a little off, but also really well designed. If you have high ceiling, consider taking the structure of the bed up in some way. Might be a taller headboard (as in the above picture) or maybe a grand four-poster bed, like the one below in an amazing room by Thom Filicia.

Use scale in your bedroom design - a tall room can have a tall bed

In a smaller space, keep the bed off the floor. Now, I don't literally mean to suspend the bed in some way. I simply mean that in a smaller space it's important that the floor visually extend under the bed. If the bed were to sit squarely on the floor, this would break up the space in an undesirable way and make the room feel smaller than it really is. The continuation of the floor under the bed is a simple and easy trick.

Use a platform bed or one with legs in a smaller room

Sometimes a headboard will sufficeIt's important to know when to use a footboard and when not to. If a room is large enough to allow for nice flow around the bed, the a footboard will probably work just fine. If, however, space is limited, then consider a bed with only a headboard. A footboard adds length to a bed and a visual break in the room that could make a small room feel even smaller.

Use a bed with a footboard in a smaller room

Headboard shape can be a key design element. In certain situations, the headboard shape can be used to strengthen the overall scheme of the room. A more ornate shape fits nicely into a traditional room with numerous elements just the same as a simple headboard would bit in a more contemporary space. Don't be afraid to try something daring or unexpected.

Shapely headboard fits the traditional style of this room

No matter your design aesthetic, there are some important design rules to follow when selecting your bed. Consider the size and shape of the room, your design theme, the flow through the space and scale of the furniture. If you do all these, rest assured that you'll make the right decision.


About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see examples of our design work, visit the Portfolio page. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at We look forward to being your interior design team.