Small bedrooms can often times pose a challenge to home owners, but with the right lighting, smart storage solutions, beautiful artwork, and impactful objects, these spaces can become not only practical, but true visual masterpieces.
Knowing how difficult it can be to tackle a decorating project of this sort, we’ve decided to ask 15 interior design experts what their best advice is for maximizing space in a small bedroom. Read their answers below:
“Invest in good lighting; it’ll make your bedroom feel like a romantic boite instead of a cramped shoebox. Any time I’ve skimped on lighting, I’ve lived to regret it.”
“With limited space, it’s always a great idea to maximize functionality and select items with a dual purpose – beds with drawers below, a completely organized and efficient closet, shelves along with perimeter of the ceiling. Storage space is key and if there’s no room to go out, go up the walls.”
Interior designer, top 200 most influential people in the home design industry for 2017. Check out her work at pattijohnsoninteriors.com.
“In a small bedroom, where storage is essential, wall space is at a minimum. Consider having a platform built for your bed with lots of storage. Also consider floor to ceiling built in cabinets that are 12″ deep vs 21″ deep for a dresser. Doors that close can hide the shelves and give a sleek appearance to the room! Keep colors in the same color family for a cohesive and serene outcome.”
“Colour is your best friend. Tone on tone elements are the way to go and in my experience, painting or wallpapering a room with a darker ground and then including furniture such as beds or cabinetry in a similar hue/tone will blur the stop and start points and visually expand the room.
Custom Millwork for organized storage or semi-custom millwork (Ikea Hacks) are the best way to go for clothes storage. Dressers and flea market finds are usually a waste of money as they don’t provide the flexibility that millwork with a combination of hanging, drawers and other cool storage fixtures will provide you. Hiding the clutter behind doors makes the room feel bigger.
Layering for depth. Our Master has wall to wall carpeting but I have layered a Persian rug on top of this boring beige-ness to repeat the same navy from my walls back on to the floor to help blur that definition of space and I love how it makes the room feel more eclectic and cozier in the winter months. Pattern, much like colour, can be your best friend in a small space. The bigger, more elaborate the pattern/scale of the pattern, adds volume to the room making it feel more spacious.”
“My biggest tip in maximising a small space is to paint your ceiling out the same colour as your walls. It blurbs the boundaries (makes the walls look taller) and creates instant infinity.
Next up (and this will sound counterintuitive just to warn) add something supersized. Like a large plant, painting, lamp, vase anything that throws the eye off. If everything is scaled down and pint sized, it actually makes you more aware of the smallness of the space. When you add something supersized you’re instantly making the room look grander, cooler and more impressive.
Reign in the colour palette if you can reduce the number of hues in your room to a few it will feel far more sophisticated, harmonious and therefore cohesive which in turn will make it feel less of a mess and larger and more balanced. Soothing hues fool the eye into thinking they’re more spacious than they actually are!
Again, trick the eye by adding mirrors – mirrors add instant depth and expansiveness. Customise – Bespoke built ins, nooks, areas tailored to your exact storage needs will mean you will be utilising every available area of space.
Think vertically – Go up as high as you can with your storage and cabinets, art even it will draw the eye upward and make the space appear bigger. Create sight lines – As odd as this sounds in a small space create visual stumbling blocks with cabinets, shelves, large plants that automatically force you to take in the space slowly. Believe it or not your room will appear larger than it actually is for this very simple reason – if you can’t read a room in a second it atomically engages more and feels bigger.”
“Small spaces can be like treasure chests. You can use a hyper sense of sumptuous materials and exuberant finishes to refurbish the space, give character to it and play with limiting proportions. I specifically enjoy bold iconic wallpapers, that inspire a sense of grandeur and work as a frame for all the furniture pieces in the space.
If you get the mood and the feel right, you will be able to make the space look like a jewel box and always feel welcomed and embraced in it.”
“To maximize the look of a small bedroom I actually like to paint or wallpaper an accent wall behind the bed. Using less pieces that are multipurpose like drawer chests as nightstands is helpful, too.
Less pieces that can serve dual duty is a good thought process for a small room like a dressing bench at the foot of the bed that can hold an extra blanket or linens. Proper closet organization to minimize clutter is also key.”
“One of the best ways to maximize space in a small bedroom is by using 3 drawer chests on either side of the bed instead of nightstands. Use the top drawer for personal necessities, and the bottom two drawers for socks, underwear and lingerie.
Purchase the widest chests that will comfortably fit in the space, and if necessary add dividers or shallow bins so you can keep your drawers neat and tidy.”
Decorator, stylist, trainer and internationally sought-after color expert. Follow her on Twitter at @mariakillam.
It’s best to invest in some built in storage upfront that makes use of the full height and width of one whole wall for the cleanest looking most effective solution. Then you can avoid bulky traditional storage furniture such as dressers and wardrobes.
I would also install wall sconces flanking the headboard to free up important space on the end tables. Create a clear focal point when you dress the bed and keep the rest of the room relatively clear to avoid a cluttered feel.
And most importantly, make sure you get the colour exactly right, in a minimally furnished room, it needs to be perfect.”
“My best tip for maximising a small bedroom is to use restraint, restraint with the colour palette and the amount of furniture pieces in the room. I’m a fan of cool greys, soothing whites and soft pale blues in a bedroom – all light and dreamy and calming for a bedroom.
Keep furniture practical and functional. A bed and bedsides and storage are all you need – and don’t be afraid of going large with an artwork or print above the bed head and of course I always love to add a pop of colour perhaps with the bedside lamps.”
Vicki Gladle Bolick
“To make a small bedroom feel grander, outfit it with a few larger scale pieces rather than a lot of smaller ones. Eliminating clutter also gives the illusion of space, you want a small bedroom to feel, airy, light & peaceful. So banish the clutter!”
“Lofts for the bed allow furniture to be placed below – a storage and/or sitting area. Platforms are great too with built-in storage. Neither the loft or platform need to be boring – consider make the shape of them part of the design.
For example, if the person is a piano player, make the loft the shape of a grand piano. It’s interesting and self-expressive. My friend did that in her home – it’s fantastic.
Don’t forget the power of a floor mirror. It serves two purposes – to see how you look AND to enlarge the space. Mirrors are wonderful design tools.”
“We love full wall murals for interest and maximizing spaces, including a small bedroom! Find a great, high resolution picture that you love, and have it made into a full-sized wall mural to create an absolutely impressive, unique, and totally custom accent wall.
Even if it’s just a simple texture, such as a brick background, or an outdoor scene, or even a massive photo of your dog playing in the yard, it will completely transform the space.”
Scott Meacham Wood
“Any time we’re dealing with a smaller space (no matter what room), storage, function and decorative details solar right to the top of our required list. Using a dresser as a bedside table can give you more proper storage.
The best part of working in a small space is that any decorative detail you can use will have an enormous impact. Monogrammed pillows or decorative trim on a headboard can really focus the eye on the pieces in the room.”
“One of my top tips when designing smaller bedrooms is to in fact use furniture which fills the space.
A great example is this, rather than smaller bedside tables, find the deepest and widest bedsides that will fit the space and this way you feel like the room is actually larger than it is and on top of this you are creating a storage solution where you might not otherwise have much room.
I also like to hang a large mirror over each bedside to reflect light around the room and trick the eye into believing there is more space.”
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and feel free to share your innovative solutions with us. What strategy did you use to maximize space in your bedroom?