Suzanne’s Strategies: For the End of the Bed

The award-winning Chicago-based designer Suzanne Lovell shares advice on making a master suite feel complete.


One of the biggest challenges non-designers can face when furnishing a bedroom is deciding what to place at the foot of the bed (if anything at all).

A tufted footboard alone can be fabulous, but is it functional? Does it complement the way you use the space? To find the right arrangement, consider your requirements, and what else you have or don’t have in the rest of the room. Do you have a place to sit while getting dressed? If not, create a spot to put on your shoes at the end of your bed! Do you need additional storage for things like bedding and sweaters? A chest at the end of the bed is a great solution.  If you crave a serene oasis to enjoy a cup of tea or read a book, create an additional seating zone by adding a settee or lounge chairs.

Need inspiration? Consider these very different ways I’ve made use of the space beyond the footboard when designing for my clients.

All images courtesy of


A low bench

We designed an upholstered headboard for this bedroom, but a footboard-to-match would have cut off the space.  Here, the bench is a nice transition from sleeping to conversation area.  The bench also provides a place for the duvet to fall on warmer nights.

A storage chest

This low chest provides extra storage, and again, it offers a nice place for the duvet to fall when not in use.  It’s also a wonderful place to organize your current before-bed reading.

A pair of chairs

If you’re looking to maximize the usability of every square foot, placing two chairs at the base of the bed can provide seating that is separate from your private sleeping space. In this example, the curve of the chair backs reinforces the soft, draped feel of the environment.

A small settee or sofa

If you have a room with a long, vertical footprint, there can be a lot of wasted space at the base of bed. A small sofa creates a seating area at the base of the bed; plush-looking styles keep the look soft and bedroom-appropriate.

A hidden TV

In a room with fabulous views, it’s nice to go with a minimal interior concept that keeps the vistas unobstructed. In this tight design, the footboard houses a 42” flat-screen TV with a 360 degree pivot, so it can be viewed from anywhere in the room.


Interior designer Suzanne Lovell, Principal of Suzanne Lovell, Inc., has joined Plume as a contributing writer. Her Curator’s Collection, “International Flair,” appeared on Joss & Main in September. Look for more of her professional design advice in the coming months.