“Hatchet Bedroom” Have you heard this phrase before? I’d be amazed if you have because I made it up (™ pending) but it is possible that you have your own name for this condition. It has to do with bedroom design, specifically where the bed is placed in the bedroom.
Let me get a few things out-of-the-way:
- I wasn’t traumatized as a child
- I am not a gun advocate
- I don’t have any personal experience that would reasonably explain my rationalizations
- You won’t change my mind
It would appear that most speculation home builders are not using architects on their projects, architects who would take the time to actually lay out and draw furniture into their plans because if they did, I don’t think I would see as many “hatchet bedrooms” as I do. A “Hatchet Bedroom” is a bedroom where the head of the bed is placed on the same wall as the entry door into the room. Most people will psychologically attempt to arrange their bedroom furniture in a way so that the door into the bedroom is visible while they are lying in the bed without being aware of that they’re doing it. Don’t believe me? Just put it on your mental radar and see how often this happens when there is an option.
People don’t want to be surprised by having someone show up in their bedrooms right by their head. It’s disturbing and most people unknowingly try to avoid it.
I’ve sketched up a typical bedroom to help illustrate what I mean. Let’s go to my favorite educational design technique – the “narrative”.
Night time, new house, couple sleeping in their new bedroom for the first time
Future Victim A: Don’t you love our new bedroom? It’s perfectly sized and I love being able to look out the windows.
Future Victim B: I do love this room but since it’s night-time, uhm … there isn’t really all that much to see out the windows. I told the movers to put the bed on the other wall between the windows. Wonder why it’s over on this side?
Future Victim A: Yeah, well, this seems okay for tonight … right?
Stranger: It’s perrrr-fect … Ka-Chopey!!
Okay … maybe that’s a bit dark but you probably understand my point. You’re lying there in your bed and someone can just show up immediately into what is your most personal of personal space (other than perhaps your crotch – but that’s a different sort of website).
Here is the same room – the architecture has been unchanged. In this sketch, I’ve rotated the bed 180° so that the head of the bed is opposite the entry and when the occupants are lying in bed, they have a clear view of the door. There are other furniture driven reasons why this arrangement is better but that’s not really the point of this post.
I think it’s really, REALLY important that furniture is drawn into the plan when designing the rooms. Thinking about how the room will work is paramount to its success as a space and without considering the furniture arrangement, you haven’t really addressed all the possible concerns that might exist. I also think that if you design a bedroom with its entry door, closet and bathroom doors in such a way that you create a “hatchet bedroom” you haven’t designed a very good bedroom. I would like for everyone who ends up reading this post – whether you agree or not – to think about how their bedroom is configured. I am 100% positive that the vast majority will have their beds in a position where they can lie in their bed and comfortably see the entry door.
It’s all about options buddy and I opt to keep my head attached to my shoulders. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking; if someone is coming into your bedroom with a hatchet, maybe it’s better to NOT see that sort of thing coming. That’s a reasonable conclusion to draw, but … 1) it’s just a phrase and there are other reasons having someone just show up by your head is bad, and 2) that’s what “pulling the covers up over your head”* is for.
Good night, Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs chop your head off,
* “pulling the covers up” over someone else’s head is also a different sort of website