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theresa6

Furniture arrangement for special needs teen

8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago

My 16 year old daughter has special needs (physical and medical) and uses a wheelchair. I'm trying to figure out the best placement for her bed and other furniture in her room. Her bed is a hospital bed and I hate it up against the wall like this. I can't access both sides to change the sheets or attend to her personal care needs. Not to mention that her blankets and sheets always rub up against the cellular shades

In the next few months The two doors in the corner will be removed as one is a closet that will be converted into a shower and one is access to the garage which will be closed off.

To the left of the dresser is the door to the room.

Once all the modifications are complete i will paint trim white and paint her walls gray. Of course there will be more artwork and mirrors and things on the walls and the room won't feel so bare.

I need to be able to get her wheelchair around easily and comfortably in the room. Any ideas on placement of furniture and bad in here to help create a nice flow? I really want to move her bed away from this corner.

And also it would be great if I could leave the TV somewhere around where it is because that's with the cable hook up is. My husband does not want to drill into the floorboards to make another hole for cable somewhere else.

Comments (55)

  • 8 years ago

    What if you...put the bed where the bookcase is? Basically flip the room but move the bed away from the corner? It's much nicer to enter a room by the foot of the bed. And the nightstand should probably go on the side that's easy for you to reach, but maybe your daughter would like one on the other side, too? Maybe a wall-mounted swing arm lamp?

    How is the chair used? Trying to think where to put the chair.

    You don't have to drill new holes for the Tv cable, you can run it along the baseboard and cover it with covers that adhere to the wall. Are you committed to the corner cabinet for it?

    That is a really pretty comforter, is it staying? And where did you find the quiltd covers for the head and foot?

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would try to mimic the lay out of a hospital room. As has already been suggested, center the bed more. Take out the corner stand and move the dresser to the wall facing the foot of the bed. Use that for tv placement so it's at a better height for her to see. Instead of a normal nightstand, can you make or purchase two tables that hang from the wall for each side of the bed? (As shown below) Then you can put them at a height that may make it easier for her to reach for something (if she's able to do so) and free up more floor space for her chair to roll around in. I would put the little bookcase on the wall the dresser is on currently, and leave the chair where it is.

    You don't mention sprucing the space up at all, but I'm assuming your daughter spends an ample amount of time in the room, is there anyway you can paint it to add some color? Maybe hang some larger art, a valance and give the room more interest? To be honest without meaning to be hurtful, it looks a bit depressing.

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  • 8 years ago

    Lukk, you must have missed this:

    "Once all the modifications are complete i will paint trim white and
    paint her walls gray. Of course there will be more artwork and mirrors
    and things on the walls and the room won't feel so bare."

  • 8 years ago

    I did, sorry! I got interrupted and missed reading that part.

  • 8 years ago

    The nightstand switch looks good! I also agree with Lukk's suggestion to "take out the corner stand and move the dresser to the wall facing the foot of the bed. Use that for tv placement so it's at a better height for her to see."

  • 8 years ago

    Looks much better. Some paint and curtains will cheer the room up.

  • 8 years ago

    Totally agree that it looks sad and depressing right now! I can't wait until the accessibility modifications are done to make it look nice. This is what her room looked like in our last home.

    Her little sisters like to hang out in the room with her so the TV has to be at a height that you can see it from the floor or when she is sitting in her wheelchair or the bed.

  • 8 years ago

    Bpathome I've never seen the cord cover you mentioned. Do you happen to have a link?

    The chair is used by a nurse or us parents or little sisters.

    Definitely the comforter is staying. I love it :-) not at all committed to the corner cabinet. The cover for the hospital bed was actually made by my daughters school nurse. I bought the bedskirt at Walmart and it's elastic all the way around. Underneath the covers are really hideous brown metal.

  • 8 years ago

    lukkiirish, theresa6 does mention sprucing the space up though

    .."Once all the modifications are complete i will paint trim white and paint her walls gray. Of course there will be more artwork and mirrors and things on the walls and the room won't feel so bare."

    I agree with your other suggestions. I personally like a lot the look of shelves (instead of bedside tables) that you've posted, but I'd be hesitant to go for it myself because it is kinda permanently keeping the bed in one specific place..I know, it all can be changed if needed, just my personal reservations.

    Theresa, I like how the bed looks centered on this wall. I don't think it looks awkward at all. And it's going to be balanced more by nightstands, whichever type you decide to go for.

  • 8 years ago

    (OK, Lukkirish, disregard the first part of my comment please..while I was writing, you guys already left several posts))



  • 8 years ago

    Question, if I take out the corner tv cabinet where do I put all of her DVDs?

  • 8 years ago

    Is there room between the window and the wall to put the bed in the corner where the TV is? With the foot extending to the shower door? Then the dresser along the wall where the bed is currently. And maybe a different tv stand, to go where the dresser currently is? The chair could go in front of the window.

    I know this is the second time I've suggested moving the TV, but it might work better?

  • 8 years ago

    Bpathhome, then she couldn't look out the window.

  • 8 years ago

    If I put the bed in the corner where the TV is then one side would be up against the wall again and I would be back in the same position where I can't access both sides.

  • 8 years ago

    Ok, I didn't know how wide that space is. Can it go where the bookcase is?

  • 8 years ago

    I am jumping in to say I love that comforter and with the hot pink that you have I think it works great. And, I dont usually like the words on walls but I do LOVE the way you have her name spelled out........( I am challenged with furniture placement).

  • 8 years ago

    I have no advice for furniture placement other than what's been mentioned, but I like the comfortor and hot pink and love your daughter's name. I might have named our daughter Celeste but it didn't go well with our last name.....sigh. Good job mom for making your daughter's room cheerful and comfortable for her.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I roped my husband into helping me move some furniture around and here's how it looks. Thoughts on the updated placement?

    Does it look like there is too much space now On either side of the bookshelf and then either side of the dresser? Should I try to put something in there to take up some of that space? If so what?

    Also, I took a matching bookshelf from my little daughters room upstairs. Now she need something else in her space. I could either get my little daughter a nightstand or I could move this bookshelf upstairs to the little daughters room and buy a bigger bookshelf for this bedroom. Any thoughts on what would be better?

  • 8 years ago

    I think that looks lovely! How is it for you functionally? Is there still enough room to get around easily with the wheelchair? In the photos you show the dresser in two locations and I don't see a bookcase?

  • 8 years ago

    That looks so much better! You don't have to fill every little bit of space.

    I think you posted the wrong pic (old dresser placement) instead of new bookshelf???

  • 8 years ago

    So sorry everyone! I just fixed it up.

    So I moved the bookshelf that was here upstairs to my little ones room because it fit well and she needed it for toy storage. But now I need something to go along this wall for this room right away.

    Should I go for a short and wide bookshelf? Or should I get something taller? My husband thinks that go something tall will make the room feel unbalanced. I just know that I need something ASAP because she does not have a closet and I have a lot of stuff that I need to put somewhere!

  • 8 years ago

    Would something like this work? It is slightly wider than the one I had before and the bottom is slightly deeper and it is a little bit shorter, it would end where the top shelf on the previous bookshelf was.

  • 8 years ago

    I think something taller would look good on that wall. I'd look for something that combined open shelf storage with behind door or drawer storage.

  • 8 years ago

    Awe, that bedding is cute, and I love the story behind it. I don't blame you for wanting to keep it, I would too!

    That book case you posted is nice, but aren't you worried about her having enough floor space to move comfortably with her chair? Did the modular off the floor night stands appeal to you at all? If so maybe you can also incorporate storage either into the wall hung night stand or get a separate unit that can be hung from the wall as well. The positives about that is not only will the floor space be more open for her, but you can also put it at a height that will make it easy for her to access it. And you can paint it any color you want so it will fit in with your color scheme. Something like this maybe that you can get at a reasonable price from IKEA

  • 8 years ago

    Forgot to add, I think that the new placement makes more sense and is going to make access a lot easier. Really good start! I'm just curious, is that chair something that gets used a lot in her room?

  • 8 years ago

    Unfortunately she cannot move independently at all and requires complete care. So having her access things isn't so much of an issue, it's more for people hanging out with her and her caregivers.

    I really like the new TV placement because I feel like she'll be able to see it better from her bed. If she wants to watch TV from her wheelchair I can angle of the TV set and put her between the bed and the big pink chair so she can see.

    The chair is used by anyone in the room with her. We have nursing care a couple of nights per week and I need to provide somewhere for the nurses to sit and care for her or chart. Also, It pulls into a bed and her little sisters will have sleepovers in here with her sometimes.

    One idea I had was maybe two taller ladder type bookshelves on that wall with the pink chair in between them? I'm not sure if that would impede access too much.

    She has DVDs and books on tape as well as some of her personal care products but I need to keep on a shelf. Also some medical supplies that go in baskets on the shelf because your closet is turning into a shower and I have nowhere else to put them!

  • 8 years ago

    Have you looked at Target?


    5 shelf bookcase

  • 8 years ago

    I actually have a bookcase from Ikea almost identical to the one linked from Target. Unfortunately it looked really bulky and huge in the room... I think I need to go with something with more open sides or a softer design so it doesn't feel so harsh.

  • 8 years ago

    I know you want to paint her room grey, but is that her color choice, or yours? I'd be tempted towards something more bright and cheerful, as your daughter will be spending so much time in that room.

  • 8 years ago

    She actually liked the gray :) her room was purple in our last home and she was sick of it. We went through lots of pictures on pottery barn teen.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Sorry for all the questions everyone! If I bought a bookshelf that fit the taped dimensions would that be too small? It leaves a lot of open floor space on either side of the bookshelf.

  • 8 years ago

    I like where you are going with the furniture placement. Once you have that finalized, you might think of an on the wall TV mount that can swivel and tilt up or down.

  • 8 years ago

    It works and gives people room to move around. Maybe a future chair, lamp or stool next to the book case?

  • 8 years ago

    I'm going to beat my horse one more time and suggest a flip. Here's why: when you enter the room, you have to walk around the bed to get to the other side. If you flip it to the other wall, you don't have to do that. And, the chair can be on the wall between bed and shower, and someone can sit there and they can watch tv together.

  • 8 years ago

    Maybe you could get a counter height stool with a back to tuck next to the right of the dresser for the little ones for when they come in to watch tv since now they won't be able to watch sitting on the floor.

  • 8 years ago

    I like how everything is coming together. A question, about a shelf you've been looking for..you mentioned your daughter won't have a closet because the closet is about to be converted to a bathroom(right?)..so this shelf you look for, is it supposed to be open storage, closed, or maybe combined?

    I'm lately perusing Craigslist a lot, and I've noticed plenty of people willing to let go of their armoirs..of all sizes, styles, and price points. Some of these are really cute, and some have combination of doors, solid and glass ones, making them appear lighter. The prices are usually great, and some owners even offer help with delivery. I don't know about Craigslist in your area, but in mine-you can say it's like swimming in the armoire ocean)) Maybe worth checking.

    The room is very girly and sweet, maybe a little armoire, with combined storage, would look good here, being functional too?

  • 8 years ago

    PS I think something taller might be quite nice, giving more storage options too

    if you feel the room is kinda lopsided-you plan to add art over her bed, in a little while? That should take care of the unbalanced feel. Unless you're in earthquake country (like yours truly)-then no art, except for maybe soft wall hanging. Also. Whatever you buy for this wall-if you decide to go for the higher piece, screw it to the wall..saves so many worries.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ok! Gotcha! Now it makes sense. So just a thought, what if you got something like this? I got these from Ikea and use them in my pantry. I love how much storage they offer and the bins come in two different depths. You can customize them to store clothes, medical equipment and things you don't want out. The top can be used as a shelf for cd's and books. I have three, but 2 would be a decent width.

  • 8 years ago

    Can I add again too, that I think the bins are available in black but could be painted in a fun color as well.

  • 8 years ago

    I'm wondering if a rug would be nice in this room maybe make it feel a little cozier?

    I was at home goods today for something completely unrelated and I saw a rug that I thought would look nice in here. It was a light gray with white damask pattern. I don't know though, if once the walls are painted gray to have gray in the rug would be too much?

    If so, what color rug should I try to get? Something with black or something with more pink? I think that a white rug is a terrible idea.

    The room size is 12 x 13. What an 8 x 10 rug be the right size? Or do I want to try to get a 9 x 12?

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If the walls are painted gray, it actually makes sense to repeat color somewhere else, for example in a rug, especially when it's patterned and not solid, and has other color that you already have in the room-white. Just try to see whether the white in the rug is similar to color of the furniture..

    BTW the black and the pink would also work, but the room will be more energetic. Totally depends on personal preference))

    What I don't know if the rug won't be a problem for moving the wheelchair, but I guess you're on top of that.

    As for sizes..depends where exactly you want it to go. If just all over the room-of course try to get the biggest size possible. If, say, next to the one side of the bed-8 by 10 will work

    (that's why I own no rugs..can't afford the right sizes, LOL)

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I like the way her room is coming along and that you are focusing on cute and social as well as functional.

    Would absolutely add a floating bookcase mounted to that wall. It will give better access to whomever is guiding the wheelchair and will look better IMO with no feet on the floor. Another thought for storage that doesnt need to be at the point of use is to move her dresser into someone else's clothes closet and put the dvd and book storage there. Or clear out a drawer in the dresser for that stuff and mount a couple of great prints or side by side posters at her eye level (sitting) on the wall where the bookcase was.

  • 8 years ago

    I have no particular suggestions, but just wanted to say she's going to enjoy it, given how much thought you've put into this, looking at all aspects of how the room will be used.

  • 8 years ago

    I like the placement now much better. How about instead of shelves, a smaller size armoire type storage. They make them in sizes for kids rooms. Then you can have some hanging area as well as shelves but behind the door so it always looks neat. You can get the type you assemble yourself. Ikea has them, Walmart has them most furniture stores have them.

  • 8 years ago

    I have no practical suggestions to add, but just wanted to say bless you for making such a pleasant, attractive space for your sweet girl.

  • 8 years ago

    I've just mostly been watching this thread, but you are creating such a fun, practical space for your little girl. Love the bedding and what you've accomplished so far.

    Have you thought about a taller, open bookcase with baskets or 'leather' (maybe in black or dark finish) for some of the storage? BB&B has nice sturdy ones for CD/DVD storage. I think you could go a little wider than your taped dimensions, unless you have some reason for not doing so. The examples shown in plastic, although practical with the pull-outs, seem so industrial to me. I think some fun art such as posters, or wrapped-canvas prints, on the walls would be great too. And the rug you mentioned sounds like a good way to tie the new color paint into it all and would be a great place for guests to lounge with her.

  • 8 years ago

    I think that it looks terrific where you moved it to, but I don't understand the chair blocking the doors. Doesn't it get in the way of the traffic pattern in the rm?

  • 8 years ago

    Thank you, everyone, for being so helpful and mindful of my daughters limitations and needs! I think the room already feels much better than it did. In fact, I've noticed Celeste's little sisters on the bed with her watching tv with her, which tells me the placement is much more comfortable for everyone!

    I can't wait until I can paint and put up some wall art. Maybe some curtains, a rug. Though I'm saving up for a 9x11 so it might be a while :) Her room was always very inviting, and I hate that it feels cold and sterile right now!

    K sissy, in about 2 months those doors will be gone :) One is to the garage and one is to her closet which will be extended to fit her roll in shower. The bathroom is on the other side of that wall and it will be extended back.

    bpathome, your suggestion of flipping the room placement makes sense. Maybe after the bath is completed and I paint I will do it :)


  • 8 years ago

    Are you going to paint the adjoining bath a coordinating color. I think it is important that it flows well.