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How to fit a long dresser in an awkward bedroom layout?

Iza L
2 months ago

Old house, awkward room layouts, little closet space demand more storage. Yet, I am not able to fit my 9-drawer dresser because there is not enough wall space. The bedroom is very long but narrow with strange indentations and a tiny closet. I tried fitting it on what would be my ideal wall - vis-a-vis my bed, but it takes up a whole wall length, which does not look good, and I cannot open the closet door at all. Only the smaller dresser fits there but looks lonely. As for other options - I cannot fit in the other 2 smaller bedrooms because they house different things. And, because it its length and the low ceiling in the staircase to the basement (unfinished, used for storage), I cannot put it there either. I can get rid of it but I still need storage space. I drew my bedroom layout to scale and attached some pictures. The last one shows the bigger dresser in my previous house where space was not an issue. I don't want to get rid of this dresser. Help please?




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Comments (52)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    youre asking us to make room for a dresser in a space that doesn't have any!

    either move the bed and put dresser there.

    put the dresser under the right window.

    Get a new dresser.


    I don't understand what else you would like us to suggest.

    If you get a new dresser for the other wall, you could redo the closet door .

    Can it open inward?

    can that closet door be made into a pocket door?

    a bi-fold door?

    two smaller doors that meet in the middle?


    If you did this, it wouldn't take up as much room when you open the left side door

    Iza L thanked Beth H. :
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The bed (with mattress) is 24" high, the headboard is 30.5" and the dresser is 26". The headboard is part of the bedframe and is 97 inches wide, and that wall is 113 inches wide, so I would not have enough space to get to the dresser if I put it against that wall (8 inches on each side).

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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    or, what if you built this out and made this whole side a walk in closet?

    then you could do built-ins on the inside that would take the place of your dresser

    You might have to redo the trim around the windows.

    Iza L thanked Beth H. :
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    That's definitely a possibility. The current closet is only 25 inches deep. Even if I removed the closet door, the long dresser still does not look good on that wall because it takes it up completely. I think you are right, the dresser has to go and perhaps I can get someone to make a closet that could fit the look of an older house.

  • partim
    2 months ago

    If this works functionally, you can balance the imbalanced look with wall art etc.

    If the closet door doesn't open fully but is functional when partly open, you can use a restrictor to prevent it from banging the dresser. Or add a curtain instead of a door, or use this for open storage.

    I like those dressers and wouldn't get rid of them.


    Iza L thanked partim
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you Partim. I just moved the big one into the room to check this configuration. It is functional, I can open everything, but it does not look good :( It's a lot of wood. I was going to hang curtains instead of the blinds, so I think I ned to keep the window clear.




  • partim
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Long dresser on the far wall with a curtain for the closet, and tall dresser between the windows?

    I'm a use-what-you-have kind of gal - YMMV.

  • partim
    2 months ago

    Thinking outside the box.



    Iza L thanked partim
  • Angel 18432
    2 months ago

    Partim, that looks like a great idea. Maybe moving the tallboy more towards the window wall would give more room to open the drawers.

    Iza L thanked Angel 18432
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Tried the other way. Excuse the sliding towels under the dressers. I even added some temporary art. Suddenly my bedroom looks very cramped. Probably because it was so empty before.



  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    the other side


  • Angel 18432
    2 months ago

    How are you going to get into the closet? Try Partim's idea - i.e. the dresser floating in the room.


    Iza L thanked Angel 18432
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Hahaha! True, no access to the closet. Partim suggested removing the door and hanging a curtain. That's what I had in my previous house. I never understood why the previous owners removed closet doors in all bedrooms, but it worked well. Also, both houses are very old but in this one, the 2ft x 3 ft closet gets very "stuffy" with the door closed. The clothes don't keep "fresh" even after washing. So I see an advantage to removing the door.



  • KW
    2 months ago

    Try moving ottoman out & put long dresser where Partim shows it - against @25” wall of closet & floating into room with tall dresser between windows as you placed it. Maybe ottoman fits in left corner opposite closet door.

  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    And here is the 3rd way Partim suggested.




  • partim
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Hard to tell from photos. How does it feel in the room? For balance, scoot the tall dresser farther to the left, but leave room for drapes at the window. Art and lamp will balance it. Maybe a battery-operated lamp if there is no outlet.


  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yet another way. All of these are possibilities. All feel strange to me for now because I only had the smaller dresser in the bedroom. Thanks so much Partim! Thanks everyone! Moving these dressers around was quite a workout :)



  • Angel 18432
    2 months ago

    Perhaps that big piece of art - put to the right of the tallboy so when you are laying in bed it looks like it's over the long dresser. Scoot tallboy over to left.

  • partim
    2 months ago

    Good exercise - you will sleep well tonight!

  • partim
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I like the one at the foot of the bed too, but I think I like the one with the dresser across the middle of the room best. It`s a long narrow room and it seems to fill it nicely without squishing anything. But always a bit hard to tell from pictures compared to real life.

  • KW
    2 months ago

    I like long dresser floating in front of closet. Will tall dresser fit between windows if ottoman not at foot of bed? Maybe ottoman can go into corner on wall behind long dresser & where tall dresser is. Hang large something - art or mirror - on that wall opposite the wall bed is on - behind long dresser.

  • Jj J
    2 months ago

    Can you re-home the small dresser to another room and have just the long dresser placed under the window? Then the empty short wall adjacent to window wall can have art and allow access to closet.

  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Rehoming the small one is easy. But the long dresser by itself under the window just elongates that already long room even more. Such an awkward layout! Tried adding a piece of art but I'm not sure it would help even if I hanged it.



  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    And here I tried just keeping the long dresser on the back wall. It is too huge for that wall (regardless of whether it blocks the closet). Looks squished.




  • ker9
    2 months ago

    Does the tall dresser fit between closet and door? (With drawers facing window)

  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    No it doesn't :( It is 5-6 inches too long.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    I am missing something - in one of your comments you say the longer of the two short walls is 113"


    Queen bed is 80" long

    Which should give you 33" from the end of the bed to the far wall if you turned the bed.


    60" wide should fit between the two windows.


    Does not look like it will fit this way when looking at the pictures.


    If it does that leaves you plenty of space for the dresser and ottoman.




    Iza L thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yes, the longer of the short walls is 113, my bed is queen size, the frame is 64", but the headboard is one big piece which includes bedside tables, at 97" long. The wall space between the windows is 69.5" But I would not position the bed this way. "t's considered bad for your health because dead bodies traditionally are removed from a bedroom feet first. It's also believed that when you sleep with your feet facing the bedroom door, you'll feel restless and dissatisfied at home, and a sense of relaxation will escape you." I read this a while ago and obey this rule ever since :)

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    @Iza L , My dad was a pathologist. We played in the morgue when my mom got fed up with us and dad took us along to work. Not too worried about which direction dead bodies will be carried from the room and sleep like a baby no matter which way the bed is facing.

  • mdln
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Like this layout.


    BTW, have done EMS, dead bodies are removed from bedrooms head first just as often.

  • momof5x
    2 months ago

    Have you tried it underneath and between the two windows? Also, another idea but not sure how it will turn out but you could try- angle it in the corner in front of the closet and use it to display your jewelry etc. like an extension to the closet or even add books etc and arm chair next to it like a reading nook.

    Iza L thanked momof5x
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yes, I have tried between the windows, but I can't get in my bed from the side if I do this. So not functional. By now, I have tried various solutions for a day or two to see if I could live with them and I can't. I think I need to get rid of all my MCM pieces and start over. They don't fit in this house and somehow look very dark and heavy here. They were not looking this way in my previous place. For now, I'm not doing anything yet, but I am 95% sure that they all have to go.

  • KW
    2 months ago

    @Iza L Could you change out the bed only? Seems like the built in headboard and bench at end of bed take up a good amount of floor space. Maybe the tall narrower dresser could fit between the windows without those two pieces? We all seem to favor the longer dresser against the end wall & removing the closet door so we know that part works well.

    Iza L thanked KW
  • decoenthusiaste
    2 months ago

    Initeresting "rule" you follow. Apparently Feng Shui, not western thought; more spiritual and less practical. I've always gone on the proven idea that you feel more safe, secure and rest better when the bed is directly opposite the door with your feet pointing toward it. You can see who is coming in and you can take better aim! lol

    Iza L thanked decoenthusiaste
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The headboard does not actually interfere. I moved the ottoman from the foot of the bed to another place. The dresser is really long, so it will not let me get in my bed or open the first column of drawers if I move it between the windows. And it does not look good there either....



  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    This configuration has bothered me the least. I still don't think this is a way to go, but i lasted 4 days without moving things :)


  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Oh yes, I measured if I could put the bed in such way as to have it face the door (against my rule) and nope. I won't have enough space to enter the room. The room is 107 inches wide at the level of the door and the bed with the frame (no headboard) is 86" long, and to the right of the door, I have that wall indentation where the closet is, so the bed will take up that space meaning....I could only enter the room by squeezing to the left and would not have access to the right (closet) without going over the bed. This is probably the most dysfunctional option of all the ones I tried ;)

  • KW
    2 months ago

    @Iza L Your picture isn’t what I described when suggesting changing bed to one without the current headboard. I suggested the tall dresser between the two windows & that long dresser on the shorter wall parallel to bed at end of room at inset by the closet. My thought was with the floor space gained from no headboard & the narrower tall dresser between the windows, you could open the drawers as well as get around the end of that corner of the bed.

    Iza L thanked KW
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Oh I see! Yes the tall dresser fits there. They both fit in the room but it's hard to live with that all that bulk in such narrow awkwardly shaped bedroom. And to not be able to access the closet -which will still be the case even if I remove the door - is frustrating. I think I have to accept that this furniture has to go. Or I have to sell the house (which is not an option since I just got it, lol).

  • KW
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Iza L Seems you’re going shopping then! Maybe you have another room or two you could repurpose the dressers to as they look nice & great shape.

  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I really don't want to get rid of them :( Sentimental value. You're so right, they are good quality and in great shape. I will keep them and see if I can learn to live with having them in the "wrong" place. I could probably live with the long dresser under the window. I'll have to figure out the curtain situation. My long dresser was in the spare bedroom until now - I got a small sofa-bed so that I could have guests. Actually I think it can only accommodate one guest. I could fit the smaller dresser there, but my plan was to put my desk there. I work from home. For now the desk is in the living room, where there really is no space for a desk (and it is a small desk). I could move it into the dining room, which only has a small table and 4 chairs and art on all walls. But it does look a bit weird there. Probably because everything I have is the same style, so too much of it in any room is just too much. So I don't know. It's a strange problem to have.

  • ker9
    2 months ago

    So I know this will sound weird and may not work…but… what if you pulled the bed away from the wall and put the dresser behind it with enough space to walk and open drawers? Sort of like a sofa table concept. Possibly add lamps on top. The drawers would face the wall the headboard is on. Would the bed be too far out in the room? Probably a crazy idea.

    Iza L thanked ker9
  • KW
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Iza L The windows in your bedroom have very nice casing around them - a nice feature and too bad to cover up. Don’t know if you need light control or privacy for the windows but think about either Roman shades mounted at ceiling - above the window trim. Or, maybe wood matchstick rollup blinds also hung above window trim. Both treatments would soften the windows , can provide both light control & privacy, can be used in addition to the blinds currently on the windows. Both treatments will work with the long dresser under the window & both will leave wall space for art & not take visual space into the room as drapery panels would.

    @ker9 has a good suggestion - I think it was already suggested or something similar.

    As for guests - we downsized from 4 bedrooms plus den to 2 bedrooms plus den. We now have air beds for when we have more than 2 guests who could sleep in same bed. Air beds have come a long way! We have a full size & 2 extra long twin size. I will admit to also having a upstairs bonus room but we have set the full size up in downstairs den too. All that's needed is to be able to clear floor space. They aren't expensive & it beats having empty bedrooms! And they don't take too much storage space - in a closet or maybe under a bed.


    ETA - meant to say that trying to fit furniture one already has into a new home isn’t at all unusual!

    Iza L thanked KW
  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @KW that's a great idea about air beds! Its kind of nice to have this little sofa in what was going to be my office :) I'll figure it out eventually. For now it's a bit difficult because I can't quite unpack since I don't know what's happening with the dressers! So I have containers with clothes, towels, sheets around me!

    As for curtains, I was dreaming of these white light flowy curtains that can make the room appear taller. It calls for no furniture of course! Looks so pretty! I also want to cover the contrast between the white windows and natural wood trims. It doesn't look great. The trim is unusually thick, there's only one window in the hallway with original trims and they are not this thick and grainy at all! But one contractor said that whoever changed the windows most likely 'butchered" the plaster around them so it had to be covered with these thick frames. I think I believe him. I tried to install curtains and made horrible holes in the plaster. I think I need different screws, so I patched everything up and I'm kind of afraid to try again. But I think the curtains could camouflage it a bit or at least take attention away from them.


  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @ker9 Pulling the bed away from the wall is definitely an idea. The headboard would have to go for me to get to the dresser though. Not the end of the world. It may be nice if the dresser faced the room so that it is visible, without the headboard in the way. But you're right, I'd have to move the bed into the middle of the room and it would visually "block" the door, which I'm not too crazy about. And I've seen dressers behind the bed but in really large rooms. With all these possibilities I ask myself - what would my stager say if I were to sell the house? And I know she'd tell me to get rid of the dressers :)

  • KW
    2 months ago

    @Iza L are your walls real plaster as in really old house? My parents lived in a vintage 1940’s house with plaster walls, lathe underneath etc. Hanging items was done very carefully so plaster wouldn’t be too damaged. Even painting was an adventure as paint rolls onto plaster very differently than drywall!

  • Iza L
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @KW Yes, my house is from 1930 and the walls are lath and plaster. It is even exposed in one part of my closet! Have to fix it. It is much smoother in this house than in my previous house which was from 1905. That plaster was somethign else! I love it except for the curtain disaster. I think there is a way to install curtains and hang pictures. I bought "kwik-hang" rod brackets that are supposed to be nailed to the top of the window trim for the other bedroom where there is very little room between window trim and the ceiling. In the master bedroom I'd like to install the rods very close to the ceiling to make the room appear taller, but if the kwik-hang works, I may stick to those.

  • ker9
    2 months ago

    @Iza L, I love your furniture and want you to be able to keep it all. :)

    Iza L thanked ker9
  • momof5x
    2 months ago

    Maybe you can put it in the hallway outside the bedroom if enough space, then you can access it whenever you want to, if not you could find a new purpose for it in another area of your home.