Many bedroom designs revolve around one piece of furniture in particular. While the bed is usually main event, it’s the oft-overlooked supporting cast of furniture and décor that can help to bring out the best in bedroom style. From minimal designs to more layered and lived-in spaces, the foot of the bed is an unsuspecting focal point for most bedrooms. In fact, it’s frequently the first sight you see when you walk in.
A functional space for getting dressed or undressed, a spot for storage, a surface to set things on, or even providing a relaxing moment for morning coffees or the occasional nightcap: When it comes to the foot of the bed, there’s a lot to consider.
Setting our sights beyond the basic bench, we enlisted the help of twenty top interior designers for their tips for how to furnish the foot of the bed. Light and dark, casual and luxe, colorful and neutral, the bedrooms they shared all have one thing in common: They're incredibly chic.
To make a fashion statement at the foot of the bed, Wendy Blackband of focuses on two factors: color and scale. “In master bedrooms, we like to make a big impact with the bed, but we always like to include large scale seating at the end,” she says.
To amplify the style of the room further, Blackband creates major contrast using color and pattern. “We like to use a really wild or colorful fabric on benches because most of our bedding is white linen, so we like a pop of color against it,” Blackband explains.
Juliette Arent of acknowledges the emotional impact that bright and muted hues can create together in a room. "Emotional design is an integral element in our philosophy,” she explains. “We incorporated this custom ottoman at the foot of the bed to inject some character and soul into the muted bedroom, whilst simultaneously creating a feeling of intimacy and luxury.”
At the same time, Arent notes the importance of selecting the perfect shape for the foot of the bed to maintain the openness of the room: In this case, an ottoman. She adds, “It allows the room to be uncluttered and streamlined and frames the bed beautifully!”
Designer Natalie Myers of layers her bedroom designs from the ground up — and is careful to make all placements very purposeful when laying out the room. “Floor cushions are family- and pet-friendly, but they always seem to annoy and be in the way when placed in the center of a room,” she says.
Her simple (and stylish) fix? Floor pillows at the foot of the bed. Myers expounds, “They provide a nice change in elevation to move the eye through the room as well as easy to grab and move for weekend family lounging time in a master suite.”
Mat Sanders, co-founder and creative director of , suggests mixing things up to create a more social moment that blends comfort and style. “Eschew the traditional end-of-the-bed bench in favor of a couple of comfy chairs,” Sanders recommends. “Not only do separate chairs provide more flexible, movable seating, they also break the room into distinct livable zones for sleeping and lounging.” Sticking to softer colors like the pastel palette featured in this bedroom sets the tone to sit back and relax.
Hamptons-based designer recommends a bench for the end of the bed and remarks, “It fills in large rooms and allows for another layer of decorating.” With a bench being a classic choice for that spot, Magel’s fresh twist involves selecting a piece that will turn up the brightness of the room, as she did with the white version in this bedroom. “I usually keep the fabric light and bright,” Magel says of the bench used in this chic space adorned in shades of white and cream.
Both fashion and function are important in even the most glam of bedroom spaces, according to renowned potter, designer, and author . “When it comes to the end of the bed, think seating — a spot to tie your shoes, a place to pop your purse, the perfect site to stash the next day’s sartorial masterpiece,” he suggests. Stools, benches, and tables will all do the trick, but Adler also offers up an even chicer twist: “A small sofa cranks up the glamour,” he shares.
Designer likes to dive into bedroom design foot-first. “We like to think of the bedroom as a calming retreat and the foot of the bed as the beautiful welcome into that rest area,” she explains. “It's the anchor of the bedroom space and the first thing that catches your eye in the room.”
Feldman’s recommendation for a piece with maximum design impact? A bench in an interesting fabric, pattern, or texture that plays off the design of the bed itself for a complementary pairing, like the tufted style in this bedroom. “We love creating benches that waterfall seamlessly off the bed frame, elongating the room and the overall space.”
Benches are a natural choice for furniture to place at the foot of the bed, but for that reason, sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out how to infuse a bedroom bench vignette with your own personality. Interior designer and television personality advises, ”Just because it’s a bench doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity to showcase the things that you love.” From books to bowls to your favorite boots, this bedroom proves there’s no shortage of ways to personalize the space.
takes a minimal approach to bedroom design, pointing out that simplicity is key — to the tune of not putting any furniture at the food of the bed. “Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, an oasis, a getaway, so keeping it simple is always a good thing,” she explains.
Ford lets textures speak for themselves between walls, floors, and furniture, not to mention slightly tousled bedding. After all, leaving things a little undone always goes a long way to give a bedroom that effortless, “I woke up like this” look.
“Sometimes you need a piece that provides double duty,” notes designer . She recommends thinking about the functionality of the furniture in the bedroom, particularly in smaller layouts where storage can be at a premium. “A storage ottoman or bench at the foot of the bed gives a place to sit and store when space is more limited,” she offers."
The foot of the bed is an ideal spot for a statement piece that brings signature style to a bedroom. premier designer acknowledges that a bench is a classic go-to for this space, so his recommendation is to select something unique (where you can still tie your shoes, of course).
“The more sculptural, the better,” he suggests. “I incorporated this beautiful handmade alligator bench into a preppy Cape Cod-style home I recently designed, and it quickly became my clients' favorite piece in the house.”
Bed height and the total size of the space are crucial in deciding the function of what goes at the foot of the bed for designer , including whether additional seating exists in other parts of the room. “If there is another area for seating — a corner chair or master sitting area for example — adding a table to the foot of the bed is one of my favorite options,” she notes. “This antique chinoiserie table provides an elegant and unexpected touch and is the perfect home for a potted plant, tray or stack of books."
Thanks to her signature colorful bohemian aesthetic, designer, artist, and author is no stranger to bold style. That said, she also understands that big style can still fit into smaller spaces and offers a practical approach for decorating a bedroom that’s a little bit short on square footage.
“Often times, a bedroom is one of the smaller rooms in the home, and while I love the look of an upholstered chest or bench at the foot of the bed there isn't always space,” she says. “In smaller spaces, using bedding with a fun trim (like fringe or tassels) that hangs over the edge of the bed can add some visual interest to the area without the need for added furniture.”
Designer recommends a pair of stools at the foot of the bed to add to the texture, pattern, and color scheme of a bedroom space. From there, her approach is to focus on layering up. “My work always speaks to layering in a big way,” Hepfer says. “Adding bedside reading materials or home accessories on top of the stools or bench can add many different levels of interest.”
's sophisticated design aesthetic calls for two key ingredients at the foot of the bed: a textural throw and a bench. “When decorating the foot of a bed, I like to add a throw for texture. It immediately makes the room feel glamorous,” she says. “Adding a bench is also a great option because it is the perfect place for items that you wouldn't want cluttering your bed or floor. I use the bench at the foot of my bed when I'm folding clothes or packing for an upcoming trip.” The combination of the h throw and sleek bench in this bedroom definitely caters to the most cosmopolitan of travelers — and that’s pretty glamorous, indeed.
Portland-based interior designer embraces the challenge of small spaces, showcased in this tiny bedroom design. “There was only room for a single accent chair, which is perfect for throwing your extra bed pillows on at night or as a place to stack your clothes for the day if you don’t have a walk-in closet,” Humphrey recommends.
Bonus tip: “For small rooms like this I like bed frames with no footboard which gives you a little extra space and keeps the room feeling open. To finish the look I use interesting throw blankets or quilts so you don’t have to worry about hospital corners when you tuck in your sheets.” With benefits like these beyond the obvious cost savings, could tiny bedrooms be the next tiny houses?
Designer Joshua Greene of has a simple solution in mind for a new way to make your bed. Hint: It all starts with textural bedding. “We’re big on textiles, and a well-made bed is all about the right mix of texture,” he explains. “If there is a enough variety between your sheets, blanket, and shams, then a rolled up duvet at the foot of the bed might be all that you need."
Vanessa Alexander of notes the importance of connecting colors throughout a bedroom space and recommends using a bench at the foot of the bed as a place for the eye to land. “Instead of an afterthought piece of furniture, I recommend using the bench to tie in the colors of the throw pillows, art, and nightstands so that it completes a cohesive vignette in the room,” she says. Take note of the inviting palette in this bedroom along with Alexander’s advice: “Let these pieces be your pops of color and keep the rest of the palette neutral for balance.”
Interior designer recommends mixing textures and finishes with a bench at the foot of the bed. In addition to adding character to the room, he states, “It also caps off the end of the bed and is a good place to put on your shoes.” Cozy fabrics and shiny chrome in a tight grey-and-black neutral story between the bench and the bed give this bedroom an elevated, modern look.
Shea McGee opts for layering classic pieces in textured neutrals when it comes to designing and furnishing bedrooms for . "Start from the floor with a soft rug that expands the area visually and feels cozy to wake up to. Then add a statement bench,” instructs McGee. For the last step, “A throw or really great textural blanket is always the finishing touch!”