19. Bunk Beds Take Advantage of Vertical Space
If you’re decorating a small bedroom for your kids, it might make sense to have a bunk bed. After all, having two twin beds in a room on either side of the wall takes up a lot more square footage than simply having a bunk bed. Obviously, the bunk bed will take up vertical space instead of horizontal. This leaves a lot of room open on the other side of the room.
Now that a lot of kids are homeschooled or have some form of hybrid schooling, it might make sense to transition to a bunk bed. The other side of the room could have their school desks. Alternatively, You could choose an elevated bunk bed that has a desk underneath, instead of the second bed. This style of bed is popular even up through teenage and college years. (As long as your kids aren’t afraid of heights.)
18. Make the Room Feel Happy
One of the best ways to decorate a small bedroom is to simply make it feel happy. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how big or small the room is. It matters so much more how you feel when you walk in. There are a lot of ways to make a room feel happy. Make sure that there is some sort of sunlight coming into the room. Light, bright colors help to open the eye and make you feel light. Hanging artwork that you enjoy, or anything else that makes you happy makes a big difference.
When your bedroom feels happy, it immediately becomes an oasis for you. You could have had a really difficult day. But once you walk through your bedroom door, you know that you can relax. I personally try to make my bedroom and living space very happy. And I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it may need them to gravitate towards wanting to spend more time in my room. This really does work, so try to make it as happy as possible.
17. Install Sconces
When you are decorating a small bedroom, there isn’t a lot of space for you to have floor lamps. So it only makes sense to install wall sconces. These are lights that flank both sides of the bed. Not only does it work in a small space, but it’s also popular even in large bedrooms. There are a lot of different wall sconces out there, and not all of them have to be put directly into the wall. There are even hanging lights and sconces that you can plug into the wall without actually changing the electrical wiring inside of your walls.
Having wall sconces is also very convenient. If you like to read books at night before you go to sleep, it’s a lot easier to lean over and turn off the light, instead of getting out of bed to flip the light switch. It can also help to calm you down at night. A large overhead light fixture might be too bright at night, which will keep you awake much longer than dim light coming from sconces.
16. Change the Layout
Sometimes, a bedroom only feels small because of the layout. Sometimes, all it takes is to move your furniture around in order to help make it feel bigger. Before you get started, it may be a good idea to measure the square footage of your room. Once you know how big the space is, you can create a sketch of the room. Play around with possibilities of how you can change the layout. You could also use programs like Sketch Up to do this on the computer.
Like many people, living circumstances change during the pandemic. My brother was supposed to go to San Francisco in 2020, but he moved back into his childhood bedroom in New Jersey. In order to make this work, he completely changed the layout of the small bedroom. Instead of having a full size bed in the middle of the room, he put a twin bed up against the wall. And instead of having bookshelves in the room, he placed them in the closet. Now, he has plenty of space for his TV and desk, despite it being a small bedroom. He was able to achieve all of this without buying any new furniture at all. In fact, he got rid of a lot of things that were in the room in order to make this work.
15. Skip the Headboard
For some people, the idea of skipping a headboard seems like a terrible idea. After all, the headboard gives a lot of style to space. However, when you’re trying to decorate a small bedroom, it can sometimes be difficult to make a headboard work. This is especially true if you need to put a bed into the corner of the room. It won’t make sense to actually have a headboard in that situation. So instead of trying to figure out how you’re going to make a headboard work in a tiny space, just skip it completely.
Years ago, a headboard was used to block a draft while you slept. In modern insulated houses, we don’t really need a headboard for its original purpose anyway. It has evolved into something that is purely decorative. But if the back of your bed still looks bare, you can always hang a piece of artwork instead. Just make sure that it is light enough so that if it were to fall in the middle of the night, you’re not going to give yourself a concussion.
14. Paint Everything White
When it comes to decorating a small space, one of the biggest tips that everyone knows is to keep the colors light. There are a lot of small bedrooms out there where the owner decides to make everything white. Some people even go as far as to paint the hardwood floors white too. After the base has been painted white, you can add colors on top of it with the furniture and accessories. This makes a room feel a lot bigger than having dark walls and dark furniture.
For some people, the idea of painting a room white is way too drastic. They believe that it takes away from personalizing the room, or that it’s too boring. If that’s the case, you might want to choose a light color instead. Pastel paints are beautiful, and they are reminiscent of the English cottage look. Just remember that paint always gets darker as time goes on. For example, I painted my bedroom a light lavender color. A few years later, the room had become such a dark purple that it felt suffocating. I ended up painting it a white cream color. this ended up being the right choice. Not only does it feel bigger and brighter, but it also gives me a lot more freedom to have colorful objects in the room without worrying that it clashes with the walls.
13. Create Custom Built-Ins
Not every room is going to have the option to push a bed into a custom built in, but if you have the ability to do it, you should really consider it. For example, some people will take an existing closet space and use it as a built-in for their bed instead. This works if you already have a dresser where you put your clothing. The only downside to this is that you might feel claustrophobic when you wake up in the morning.
Obviously, this suggestion would be very expensive if the room didn’t already have the capacity to use a built-in space. With that being said, there are some people that will actually construct a wall where they have a built-in molding to give the room some drama. This is far more interesting than looking at a blank wall. And when you purchase a house that doesn’t have a lot of space to begin with, it’s difficult to figure out how to make a small bedroom look stylish. Some people see this as a solution that is worth the amount of money they put into it.
12. Layer Your Linens
One of the most common tricks that you can use to make a small place feel bigger is to layer your linens. It’s difficult to explain how and why this works. But if you have a bed with multiple blankets laying on top of it, it somehow helps the room look bigger compared to a bed that has just one blanket.
Throw blankets are affordable to purchase almost any store. If you want it to look stylish, I recommend checking out websites like Anthropologie and then trying to find a cheaper dupe for that look. There are a lot of DIY tutorials out there that will teach you how to make blankets that look more expensive than they actually are. If you have just one or two of these blankets in your life, it can make a small bedroom look way more luxurious than an actual is.
11. Buy Fold-Up Furniture and Accessories
If you’re trying to decorate a small bedroom, one of the best tactics might be to find fold up furniture and accessories. For example, there are a lot of end tables that fold up and can be put away. Same goes with card tables, chairs, and so much more. When you have furniture that can be folded away, it becomes very easy and light to pick them up and move them whenever you need to. And they can often be talked away into a closet space.
For example, my grandmother had a very small cottage near the ocean. And her guest room, the space was so tiny that you barely had enough room to walk around the bed. She had a director style chair that folded up. The chair was a place for you to put your suitcase, or sit if you needed to. It was sitting in front of the window, which got in the way if you needed to use that space. But it was easy enough to pick up the chair, fold it in half, and move when you needed to. This was a lot more logical than buying an actual piece of furniture that you wouldn’t be able to easily move from one area of the room to the other.
10. Put Everything on the Floor
When all else fails, just put everything on the floor. In Japanese homes, people sleep on the floor all the time. They will even roll out tatami mats when it’s time to sleep and put them away in a closet when they want to use the room for other things. This helps to make the room feel bigger in the daytime when you’re awake. It also ensures that the room never gets dusty. If you’re putting your bed away every night, there is no chance for dust bunnies to accumulate underneath the bed.
I can personally speak to sleeping on the floor, because I spent a few years having my bed on the floor after my bed frame fell apart and I was too broke to buy anything else. Having your bed on the floor helps make the room feel bigger, and gives you a lot more vertical space. There are definitely a lot of pros and cons to this lifestyle. It was perfect for what I needed at the time, and it made it a lot easier to move things when I need it too. However, there are plenty of people who need to step out of bed instead of launching themselves or rolling out onto the floor every morning.
9. Put the Bed Against the Window (Even Though It’s Bad Feng Shui)
In feng shui, they say that you should never put your bed up against the wall, because they believe that your energy will be zapped out the window. Whether you believe it or not, this really could deplete your energy if the window has a draft. However, despite the fact that it’s bad feng shui, you can’t deny the fact that there are some bedrooms where it would make the most sense for you to just put the bed up against the window.
In certain bedrooms, having a bed up against the window actually works out for a number reasons. It could be the center of the room, and the only space where it’s possible for you to have room to walk on either side of the bed. Remember that it’s much better to give both sides of the bed space for each person to get in and out of the bed. And in the summertime, it might feel good to open the window and have a nice breeze blowing on your face to keep you cool.
8. Let Your Kids Pick the Colors
If you’re looking for small bedroom decorating ideas because you’re helping to create a room for your children, ask them for input. Your kids are most likely going to have a favorite color, character, or theme that they are hoping for. As the parent, you might want every room to look stylish and match the rest of your house. However, your kids are only young once. They are much more likely to look back with fond memories if they had some kind of input in decorating the room.
A great example of how to do this right is interior designer Nathan Berkus and his husband Jeremiah Brent. On their Architectural Digest house tour, you can see that they allowed their daughter Poppy to pick out her colors, wallpaper, and fabric that she wanted. At first, they didn’t know what to do, because they thought it was so drastically different than any of their interior design projects. There was so much pink, they thought it would be too much. However, it ended up being amazing. And since they helped their daughter with the design, it still looks like something out of a magazine. It’s totally possible for you to let your kids have their say in what they want, and still make it stylish.
7. Incorporate the Kid’s Play Room
There are some parents out there who are determined to give their kids an entire playroom outside of their bedroom. So they might transform an extra dining room or basement space into the toy room. This is very generous of parents, and it comes from a place of love. But it often creates a lot of mess and chaos. And unfortunately, a lot of those toys and activities end up going untouched. If you were limited on space, it’s actually much better to keep your kids toys in their bedroom. You can create designated play areas in the room so that it feels like it is a play room and a bedroom in one.
When I was a kid, my mom made it a strict rule that we needed to keep our toys in our bedrooms. The rest of the house was her domain. Even without a designated play room, we still ended up with tons of toys and video games. My parents didn’t make a lot of money, but they received a lot of secondhand toys from friends, family, neighbors and thrift stores. We always had plenty to play with, and we almost never felt like we were doing without.
6. Use Symmetry Whenever Possible
Human beings are attracted to symmetry. In fact, there have been multiple scientific studies that prove it. Whether we’re looking at symmetrical faces, spaces, or aspects of nature, or brains simply like to see things that are well-balanced. So if you walk into a small bedroom and you feel like something is just not right, it’s most likely because there isn’t any symmetry in the room.
The easiest way to create symmetry in a small bedroom is by putting the bed somewhere that has an equal amount of space on both sides. Next, add side tables to either side of the bed. Make sure they match, and that they are both the same size. You can also add two pieces of artwork, or two wall sconces on either side of the bed to create symmetry as well. Keep in mind that you don’t have to go overboard and spend a lot of money on this kind of project. Doing one or two things should be enough.
5. Have Less Furniture in the Room (Even if it’s Bigger)
One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make in their bedrooms is by having too much furniture. If they have a small closet, they immediately think that they need an extra dresser to fit all of their clothes. And if there are two people sharing the room, it means that they have two small dressers. The list goes on and on. These small pieces of furniture end up cluttering a room, and it can be a huge disaster.
If you want a small bedroom to feel bigger, it makes more sense to have larger furniture and fewer pieces. For example, if you can figure out a wardrobe system for you and your partner to share in one larger piece of furniture, it might actually take up less square footage than having two dressers in the room.
4. Consider a Padded Wall Instead of a Headboard
For some people, the suggestion of having a padded wall in the room makes them think about One Flew Over The Cuckoo‘s Nest. But in reality, a padded wall is actually something that you see in a lot of luxury hotels. Years ago, royalty covered their walls in fabric. This was seen as being far more luxurious than having wallpaper.
Whenever you walk into a room with a padded wall, the immediate reaction everyone has is to say, “Wow”. However, this is going to be expensive, because it’s often something that often needs to be customized to fit the size of the room. But if you’re feeling crafty, and you trust in your own DIY skills, you may be able to create a padded wall of your own. They also sell peel and stick upholstered wall panels online, which is the most affordable option.
3. Floor Length Curtains
One of the best tricks that you can use to elongate any space is by using floor length curtains. This works in any room in the house, but it obviously can also be a great idea for decorating a small bedroom. Instead of buying curtains that only cover the size of your window, find something that goes all the way to the floor.
If you’re looking for inspiration, you can always find it on Pinterest. But one of the best examples I’ve seen of using curtain length to your advantage is on the Lone Fox YouTube channel. When he gave his apartment bedroom a makeover, he decided to go one step further and hang his curtains above the window frame, near the ceiling. Even when the room was totally empty, the curtains alone made a huge difference in how big the room felt before and after.
2. Choose Artwork That Pops
When you are designing a room, it’s important to pick the right artwork. Art should always reflect the owner of the house. And when it comes to the bedroom, there is so much that you can do to show the interests of the individual person. When you’re decorating a small bedroom, it’s important to have artwork that pops. In some cases, that means having something that’s bright, colorful, and eye catching.
But it doesn’t always have to be colorful. Black and white artwork also works incredibly well. This is especially true if you can find an amazing and striking black and white photograph. And you can see in the photo above that this black painting is very cool, too. If you’re on a tight budget, consider making your own artwork. Remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive to be cool!
1. Mount the TV on the Wall
If you believe in Feng Shui, then you might be a proponent of never putting a TV in your bedroom to begin with. However, if you’re the type of person who likes to cuddle in bed with Netflix, you’re going to want a TV in your room. The obvious move to save space would be to mount your TV on the wall. This can be accomplished with around $20, and the help of a friend.
Once your TV is mounted on the wall, you are immediately clearing up the floor space. It also eliminates the need for extra furniture, like a TV stand. There are even TVs out there like the Samsung Frame that are made to look like artwork when you’re not watching a show. The only downside to this is that if you’re renting an apartment, you may have to get permission from your landlord. And if the mount causes damage, you will have to patch the wall when you’re reading to move out.