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A bedroom is a room defined from a bed. Bedrooms are claimed or assigned to individual dwarves (or families of dwarves). Once a bedroom has an owner, it becomes the private quarters for that dwarf, where he/she will sleep and store any belongings that are not carried. To remove a bedroom, query the bed that the room comes from and free it. The bedroom will be removed, and the bed will become a normal, constructed bed.
Setup and ownership
To set up a bedroom, you must first make a bed in a carpenter's workshop, then build it. (Dwarves will not sleep in beds which have been produced in a workshop until they are placed via the build menu). Dwarves will sleep in beds that are built, but will not claim them until it is turned into a bedroom. To do so, you must query the bed and make a bedroom out of it.
A dwarf will claim an unowned bedroom upon sleeping in it. The player can also manually assign bedrooms or change the ownership from one dwarf to another. Married couples have joint ownership of a single bedroom and sleep in the same bed; babies will also share a bedroom with their mother until they grow into children.
Turning a bed into a bedroom makes all other pieces of furniture in the room (such as cabinets and coffers) usable by the dwarf that owns the bedroom. Owning furniture (especially high-quality furniture) gives dwarves happy thoughts, and cabinets and coffers give them a place to store their possessions.
Who will sleep where
Prior to the start of the dwarven economy, civilian dwarves will sleep in any constructed bed that doesn't belong to a different dwarf. Their preference for where to sleep appears to be: own room, unclaimed bedroom, barracks, constructed bed not yet designated into a bedroom, and finally the cold hard floor (preferably in the barracks). After the start of the economy, they will only sleep in owned rooms or in the barracks.
Military dwarves will sleep in the barracks, unless told to sleep in their own bedrooms via their squad's settings.
Dwarves with the hunting labor enabled will sleep anywhere.[Verify]
The living quarters of a fortress can take up a very large area, and since there will be constant traffic of dwarves going to and from their bedrooms, it is important to put some thought into the placement of the bedrooms. Simply making a long hall with rooms branching off from it is a simple method, but dwarves living at the end of the hall will have to travel a long time, and there will be a lot of dwarves bumping into each other at the entrance of the hall. Making more elaborate living complexes can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes for dwarves to travel to their bedrooms, thus giving them more time to do whatever it is you don't want them to do at that particular time.
There is no need to build massive palaces for the average dwarf. They will get happy thoughts just from having a bedroom to claim as their own, though bigger and shinier ones will make them happier (but may also make nobles unhappy if they are too valuable). Three tiles gives enough room for a bed, a cabinet, and a chest, everything a dwarf needs. Also note that beds, cabinets and chests do not block movement.
Living areas should be placed away from workshops and other work areas, or else inhabitants will get unhappy thoughts due to noise.
Barracks • Bedroom • Dining room • Jail • Meeting hall • Office • Sculpture garden • Tomb • Zoo
Lever • Pressure plate • Trap • Support
Archery target • Kennel • Shop • Siege engine • Trade depot • Wagon • Well