While a small bedroom may seem like a sentence for a cramped and claustrophobic space, there are design tips and tricks that can make it feel expansive and cozy. If you, like many, have a less than large bedroom, keep reading to find out how to make it work for you.
Small bedrooms are uniquely difficult to design and decorate because of one essential piece of large furniture: the bed. However, just because you have a large bed in a small room, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sense of style and, more importantly, sense of space. By following some simple bedroom design rules and color schemes, you’ll be amazed how quickly a room transforms. I personally have a fairly small bedroom, but have managed to use pieces of furniture, colours, and layout to make it feel perfect, and not feel cramped with two people and a dog.
While it is nice to have a large bedroom, a small one can be extremely cozy and surprisingly quite convenient. If you develop an efficient system for yourself, everything will be closer to reach. Because you don’t have a huge amount of space, it will force you to organize properly and pair down your possessions. It will also force you to focus on the things you love, instead of cluttering with things that you just have because you were gifted them at your wedding. Having limited space limits the amount of junk you can keep, and pushes you to become creative and effective at organizing your space. Keeping things tidy is essential, you don’t have a far away corner that you never go in where you can throw clothes. Everything is essential to the space, so it becomes a vital part of
15 Tips to Make your Bedroom Look Bigger
1. Use Light and Bright Colours
You’ve probably heard that white opens up a room, and that is generally true. But that doesn’t mean that your bedroom needs to resemble an operating room. You don’t need to decorate in all white, but it helps to stick with a soft, light palette. Pastels work wonderfully in small rooms, as do whispery-light shades of gray. Try white mixed with one bright or mid-tone color, such as the blue and white shown here. For the most impact, stick with cool colors—shades of soft blue, green, and purple help enlarge a space, while the warmer hues have the opposite effect. White color schemes can work effectively to make a small space feel open and spacious. You don’t have to keep every wall a sterile shade, but you can play around with texture and shades to see what works best for you. Adding in lighter neutral accents like the wooden bed frame shown here can add a small amount of diversity without cramping the space—or the style.
2. Use Space Saving Furniture
While you may be familiar with floating shelves, but what about floating nightstands? Rather than tables that have bulky legs or boxy styles that take up floor space, installing the floating versions allows for plenty of extra space to be revealed. This gives the illusion of more space while still giving you a place to place a lamp or alarm clock. Smaller spaces aren’t always forgiving enough to easily fit multiple beds, making the room feel cramped. Bunk beds can be a simple way to use some of the vertical space you have available without taking up unneeded square footage. Bunk beds don’t have to be basic, though—there are plenty of stylish and modern options that will wow your kids or even guests who are staying over. To free up your bedside tables, take advantage of wall space with sconces. Minimal wall-mounted and hanging lights not only maximize potential bedside storage but also contribute to an airy, open feel. Minimize furniture in the bedroom with two-in-one pieces such as a bed with incorporated drawers. Ikea has several budget options.
This is one of the best ways to open a space up. Too many small cluttered items can make any space feel so much smaller than it is. Especially on counter tops and the floor, it’s important to keep clear open space. While books can be a wonderful way to decorate, too many can create a sense of clutter and make the space feel small: try creating floating shelves or have one bookshelf for your books, as opposed to having them scattered all over the room. Other small items like candles and plants can work really well decoratively, but a good rule of thumb is one per surface. In addition, it’s important that personal items like jewelry, socks, clothing, or glasses have a dedicated space. It’s great if they can have a home that is hidden, like a drawer or a box. Using a jewelry box is a great way to decorate, while hiding the clutter of jewelry from view. It simplifies the line of sight, reducing visual clutter and making the room feel less crowded. Adding a large piece of furniture may seem counterintuitive, but the idea here is to minimize the total number of pieces in the room. For example, if you share a room, finding the floor and wall space for two dressers can be awkward and make the room look busy. By taking advantage of the height in the room, you reduce clutter and maximize floor space.
4. Transparent Furniture and Accessories
Opening up a space can be done by letting the eye pass through the space uninterrupted. Heavy wood furniture can create blocks that make the space feel much smaller than it is. Lucite and glass, due to their transparency, allow the space to feel more open and expansive. The eye can continue to pass through the space to the furthest corner of the room. Try replacing your wooden desk with a glass table top. This takes up the same amount of space, but tricks the eye into feeling like it does not. Pair your desk with some acrylic or lucite chairs and you have a minimal visual impact work space that will help make your whole bedroom look bigger. This lucite chair and small desk combination do the trick for a small room.
5. Use Mirrors
Mirrors are the ultimate trick for creating open space where there is only a wall. They truly work to pull the eye and make it seem like there is double the space. Depending on their positioning, they can also help to reflect light, brightening the space, which in turn makes it feel larger. Use a focal point and angle your mirrors toward it to give the illusion of depth. Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light to make a room brighter during the day and night. Placing a mirror near a window to reflect the world outside is especially effective. Mirrors on the walls and glass table tops also will give your room a more open feel, or use mirrored cabinet doors. Ever considered mirrored tiles on the floor! That’s another clever way to make a room look bigger.
6. Downsize the Bed
If you are trying to make a small room look bigger, put away the Restoration Hardware catalog, because big, chunky beds will overwhelm the space. Instead, opt for a bed with a more lithe silhouette. Think Shaker designs with sleek tapered legs or a delicate wrought iron bed. These styles will create a sense of air flow around the bed. So long as you removed the drapery, you could even go with a skeletal canopy bed, which emphasizes the height of the room. Even a relatively large room can be made to feel small with a massive king sized bed taking up the majority of the space. If you want to make the room feel airy, opt for a double, which can still be spacious enough that it’s not restrictive, but will pair down the scale of the bed to the rest of the room. Opting for no headboard, and a minimal frame can also make a huge difference here.
7. Use vertical space
When you’re dealing with a small room, think vertical. You might not have much floor space, but by using the walls right up to the ceiling, you use the space you have more efficiently while drawing the eye upwards, making the room seem larger. Built-in shelves that extend from floor to ceiling are a great way to add storage, interest, and visual space to a bedroom, but unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone. An easy alternative is investing in a tall headboard and hanging artwork or other decor above the bed, taking up the full extent of the space. The walls are your ally when floor space is next to nothing and you’re looking for bedroom ideas that are inventive with space, so go on up. This also draws the eye upwards – tricking us into seeing a space as bigger than it is with nifty design tricks is what we’re after in small bedrooms. Whether you have a high ceiling in your space or not, you can make a small bedroom look bigger by exaggerating the room’s ceiling height with vertical panels or stripes. This is overt in this room – but even a vertically striped wallpaper will do the trick.
8. Paint all walls the same colour
The movement of light and air is another important factor in making a small bedroom look bigger. If you feel hemmed in by the four walls of your bedrooms, make them “disappear” by painting the entire room the same color, floor and ceiling included. Similar to the effect of being outside whereby the horizon and sky are indistinguishable, painting all sides the same color makes them pull away from each other, creating a more open feel. Usually the effect is most prominent with white walls, but this can be achieved with other colours as well.
9. Work with the Window Treatments
Natural light is one of the best resources at your disposal to help make a room feel larger, so take advantage of it. If you can keep your windows bare and unadorned, it can make your room feel like it’s connected to the outside space, making it feel larger. If you still want some privacy, you can implement curtains—just try to stick to thinner ones and still allow light to shine through. While large bedrooms can make great use of drapes or blinds that contrast with the walls, it’s better to match your walls and window treatments in a small bedroom. This keeps the eye moving across the space, fooling it into seeing the bedroom as a little bit bigger than it really is. Notice how in the small, white bedroom shown here, paneling adds a bit of texture to the walls yet seamlessly blends into the windowpane. That’s how you add interest without making the space look Smaller.
10. Keep the Carpeting Minimal
If you do happen to have a carpeted room, a great way to open it up is to remove the carpet. Depending on the home, there may be beautiful old hardwood floors waiting for you under there. This is, granted, more work and money to do than many of the other options. It will, however, make a massive difference! If you already have hardwood floors, try keeping the rug minimal in terms of colour and pattern, so it doesn’t draw all of the attention down to the floor. We know rugs can play a vital part in a layout and design, and certain tricks can change up the entire feel of the whole room. Placing your rug at the foot of the bed and having only half the bed sitting on it can create an elongated effect, tricking your eye into believing there is more space and what is actually present. You can also use the trick in other parts of the room, placing only the front or the back legs of pieces of furniture on the rug for the same idea.
The bedroom can be a sanctuary, if you let it. No matter this size, it can be open and spacious. There are so many ways to actually decrease the amount of unnecessary items in the room, as well as visual tricks to open it up. If you have a small room and want to make it feel bigger, try some of these tricks!