Genius Small Bedroom Ideas to Maximize Space
Experts share their best bedroom tips for when you're short on square footage.
Our bedroom should feel like a safe haven, so it's important to create a sleeping area that makes you feel calm, cozy, and comfortable. But if you have a tiny space, you might feel stuck when it comes to small bedroom ideas. Remember, size isn't everything. In fact, it could actually be your bedroom layout that's making the room feel more cramped and cluttered—and luckily, you can fix this without needing any extra square footage.
By utilizing a bit of strategic styling, new storage solutions, or thoughtful color changes, you can make even the smallest sleeping quarters seem 10 times bigger. Not sure where to start? We created an expert-backed guide that can help anyone develop a better bedroom design, whether you're sleeping alone or sharing the room with your significant other. Check out the list below to explore different ideas for small bedrooms to maximize your space.
9 Strategic Styling Ideas for Small Bedrooms
Redecorating and rearranging can have a huge impact on your compact space. From switching up the look of your walls to adding in new furniture finds, strategic styling choices can suddenly make things feel more open and manageable. Here are nine different ideas to consider for your small bedroom design.
1. Use a striped wallpaper.
Both vertical and horizontal stripes can make any area feel more spacious, according to Raf Michalowski, interior designer and founder of Meble Furniture.
"Stripes draw the eye upward or outward, tricking the mind into perceiving more room than there actually is," he explains.
Vertical stripes can create an illusion of height, while horizontal stripes visually widen the space.
"You can also play with different stripe widths and colors to add depth and interest," Michalowski shares.
2. Choose a fun headboard.
A headboard can add a lot of character to your bedroom, Michalowski says. But it can also be helpful in creating texture and depth to distract from a small space.
"Choose something with a unique shape or pattern to make it stand out and serve as a focal point in the room," Michalowski advises. "When a visually appealing headboard becomes a focal point, it diverts attention from the room's size and adds personality."
3. Get creative with patterns.
Patterns are another way to add personality to your small bedroom, Jacky Chou, home design expert and director at the architecture company Archute, tells Best Life. Get creative with combining different patterns on your bedding, throw pillows, curtains, rugs, and wall art.
"The key is to balance the patterns with some solid colors so that they don't overwhelm the space," Chou notes. "You can also use patterns that have similar colors or themes so that they complement each other."
4. Layer your rugs.
Rugs can instantly create a cozy feeling in your bedroom, but they may be hard to incorporate into a tiny space. That's why David Mason, interior designer and founder of Knobs.co, says you should layer them.
"Not only does this add visual interest and dimension to the space, but it also helps create defined areas within the room," he explains.
Mason suggests placing a larger, neutral-colored rug down first as a base and then layering a smaller, patterned rug on top of it.
"This will help break up the monotony of a small space and make it feel more inviting," he says.
5. Combine your vanity and your work desk.
When your floor space is limited, don't use it all up on different desks. Instead, Chou recommends combining your vanity and work desk into "one multifunctional piece of furniture."
"You can use a desk that has drawers or shelves for storing your makeup and accessories and then add a mirror on top of it to transform it into a vanity," he suggests, adding that you can even use this desk as a nightstand if you place it beside your bed.
"This way, you can save some space and have everything you need within reach," Chou points out.
6. Use your artwork to create a focal point.
If you're not sold on the idea of getting a new headboard, think about adding some artwork in instead.
"This is essential to create a focal point in your bedroom," Robin Aebischer, interior designer and co-founder of BUYnBLUE, says. "Choose pieces that reflect your personal style and use them strategically to draw the eye towards a specific area."
7. Invest in a textured wall treatment.
Changing up your walls could make all the difference for a tiny bedroom. Consider investing in textured wall treatments such as faux brick or wood paneling, according to Aebischer.
"This can also add visual interest without taking up any extra space," she says.
8. Use floating shelves.
Joy Aumann, licensed realtor, interior designer, and co-founder of La Jolla Life, says floating shelves are one of her "favorite design elements for maximizing space in small bedrooms."
Floating shelves are another way you can keep your walls from looking bare and empty while also adding personality and style into your bedroom, according to Aumann.
"Through displaying treasured photos, books, plants, or accessories, they help small rooms feel warm and inviting," she shares. "And since they take up vertical wall space rather than precious square footage, floating shelves keep bedrooms feeling spacious."
9. Make use of vertical space.
Utilizing vertical space when you're redecorating and rearranging your small bedroom is a "game changer," according to Samantha Odo, real estate sales representative and Montreal division manager at PreCondo.
"Don't forget about the power of vertical decor elements," Odo reminds. "Consider hanging curtains close to the ceiling to make the room appear taller. This little design trick can work wonders in making a smaller bedroom feel more spacious and inviting."
8 Small Bedroom Ideas for Couples
If you're sharing a tiny space with your significant other, it can make your room feel even smaller. With two people and twice the amount of stuff, things easily get cluttered and overwhelming—unless you know how to manage it all. Here are eight small bedroom ideas for couples to make your space feel bigger for the both of you.
1. Embrace symmetry.
Want a sense of balance and harmony in both your relationship and your small bedroom? Then learn to embrace some symmetry in your tiny space.
"This could be achieved through matching nightstands or lamps on each side of the bed, as well as using similar patterns or colors on both sides," Mason says.
2. Turn your nightstands sideways.
When it comes to your nightstands, turning them sideways can also help you optimize space, according to Janice Ruste, an interior designer sharing her expertise through the blog A Calming Home.
"This unconventional approach can free up floor space and add a unique design element to the room," she says.
3. Use multifunctional furniture.
Multifunctional furniture is also a must-have for couples trying to fit all of their stuff in a small, shared bedroom.
"Look for pieces that serve more than one purpose, like a storage ottoman that can also be used as a seating area," Aebischer recommends.
4. Keep your bed against the wall.
One of the best bedroom layouts for couples involves putting the bed right against the wall.
"This cozy and efficient arrangement opens up the center of the room, making it feel more spacious and inviting," Ruste says.
5. Use wall-hung bedroom lights.
Lamps can make the bedroom a more romantic and relaxing space for your relationship. But if you don't have a lot of room, consider changing up where you put your lighting.
"When it comes to lighting, wall-hung bedroom lights are a great option," Aebischer says. "They free up nightstand space and add a modern aesthetic."
6. Use curtains to separate your space.
A compact space may make even the closest couples feel suffocated at times. To help provide a bit of privacy while still maintaining an open and airy feel, Ruste suggests using curtains.
"This is a flexible and stylish way to partition different areas within your bedroom," she explains.
7. Add a canopy.
Couples should also consider bringing the curtains over to their bed.
"Canopies add a sense of luxury, drawing the eyes upward and giving the illusion of a larger, more grandiose space," Ruste says. "At the same time, it makes a room feel more intimate and cozy."
8. Use your nooks.
When you're sharing a smaller space, don't shy away from utilizing any nooks and corners in the room.
"They can be turned into a cozy reading corner, a mini-office, or even a small closet," Aebischer advises.
10 Storage Hacks for Small Bedrooms
One of the biggest problems people face when they have a small bedroom is feeling like they don't have enough room for both themselves and their stuff. But trying out new storage solutions can automatically free up available floor space. Here are 10 storage hacks to help you make the most out of your limited square footage.
1. Use mirrored storage.
When you're considering storage options for a small bedroom, go for furniture with mirrored surfaces to "add a reflective quality," according to Ruste.
"Mirrors create an illusion of more space and brighten the room by bouncing light around, making it feel more open and expansive," she points out.
2. Or use modular storage with sliding doors.
If mirrored storage isn't meshing with your design preferences, try modular storage with sliding doors instead. This kind of customizable storage solution "provides ample room for organizing belongings while maintaining a modern and uncluttered appearance," Ruste says.
3. Think about modern bed alternatives.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your bed. A Murphy bed (or wall bed), for instance, can be folded up into the wall when you're not using it to sleep.
"Conventional, stationary furniture can make a room feel much smaller than its true potential," Challie Stillman, vice president of creative for the multifunctional living brand Resource Furniture, explains. "Wall beds, on the other hand, unlock additional square footage by hiding the bed, the single largest piece of furniture in the home, doubling up on functionality where a traditional bed would otherwise be sitting idle."
4. Make use of the space at the foot of your bed.
If you feel like you're running out of square footage, look no further than the space at the foot of your bed. As Aebischer points out, "this is the perfect spot for a bench or storage ottoman."
5. Get creative with shelving.
Shelves are the perfect storage solutions for small spaces, so don't shy away from using them in different ways. The design team at Strictly Beds & Bunks tells Best Life there are several hacks they suggest when it comes to using shelves to "squeeze space out of a compact bedroom."
"Install a shelf above your desk to double as a monitor stand, and stagger shelves at different heights for visual interest and storage flexibility" they recommend. "Also consider using transparent or translucent shelves near windows. This can help light filter through to highlight displayed objects and add a touch of radiant beauty to the room."
6. Stack your books on the floor.
There's no strict rules when it comes to how you should store the books in your bedroom. So if you have a tiny space, try stacking them directly on the floor.
"This not only adds a touch of eclectic charm but also eliminates the need for additional bookshelves, making it ideal for smaller bedrooms," Ruste notes.
7. Keep your closet organized.
An organized closet is crucial in keeping your small bedroom functional and uncluttered, according to Sarit Weiss, founder and lead organizer of the NYC-based professional organizing company Neat & Orderly.
"Use slim hangers, closet organizers, and storage bins to maximize the space," she recommends. "This ensures that the closet is used efficiently and reduces the need for additional storage furniture."
8. Use the room below your bed.
We've already discussed how you can use the space at the end of your bed and above it. But under-bed storage is also a "valuable asset in a small bedroom," according to Weiss.
"Use drawers, bins, or even bed risers to create space beneath the bed for storing items like clothing, shoes, or seasonal bedding," she suggests. "This hidden storage solution keeps the room clutter-free."
9. Look into hanging racks.
Hanging racks can be "particularly beneficial in small bedrooms where every inch counts," Weiss adds. You can use them for clothing, accessories, or even plants.
"Hanging racks can also be installed on walls or the back of doors to maximize storage," she says.
10. Embrace "ghost" furniture.
Ghost furniture is also a good way to get your bedroom looking and feeling bigger without sacrificing the things you need.
"These are pieces made from clear materials like acrylic or glass," Aebischer explains. "They take up minimal visual space, making the room feel more open."
What Colors Are Best for Small Rooms?
It's not just about the pieces you might be able to add or rearrange within your space, however. Changing up the colors you use can also make a big impact on how your bedroom feels. So don't be afraid to get particular with your paint preferences.
"Choose colors wisely for small rooms," Aebischer advises. "Warm, deep hues create coziness, an all-white palette enhances brightness, and accent walls add a pop of personality without overwhelming the space."
That's it for our list of the best ways to make it feel like you have extra space in your small bedroom, but be sure to check back with us soon for more home hacks. You can also sign up for our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on what's next.