How to Decorate Small Bedrooms

Three Parts:Decorating the WallsSelecting FurnitureUsing Storage Space Wisely

Smaller bedrooms can present a challenge to even the best of decorators. With a limited amount of floor space or low ceilings, it can almost feel like you are trying to solve a puzzle. Luckily, with some decorating secrets, a good attitude, and a little creativity, you'll be able to create a beautiful room that feels larger than it actually is.

Part 1
Decorating the Walls

The name of the game is to make your small bedroom look larger than it actually is. While you can’t actually expand the square space of the room, some decorating secrets can make it look like you’ve increased the room size.

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    Stick with light colored paints. Dark hues have an amazing capacity to make a small room feel like a tiny cave. Instead, stick with cheery colors like sky blue, sunshine yellow, cream, aloe green, etc. (These are not real paint colors, or if they are it is coincidence that they are listed here--these were simply written as examples).
    • If light colors really aren’t your thing and you really want something darker, go with vibrant, bright colors like burnt orange, cherry red, or bright turquoise. These colors will make a bold statement without making the walls seem like they are closing in on a guest.
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    Invest in a lot of mirrors. Mirrors are an excellent way to make a room seem larger. If you already have a closet with a full-length mirror for a door, excellent! Do not replace it for anything. If you don’t have a mirror already installed, consider using mirrors as decorations. Make cool arrangements with odd shaped mirrors on your walls, or hang a large mirror somewhere. These additions really will help make your room feel like it has become larger.
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    Work with what you have. If your tiny bedroom has features like a fireplace, or an odd nook, use it to your advantage. Use the top of the fireplace like a bookshelf. Or, if it is a taller fireplace that has been sealed off, place your bed up against it, letting the moulding of the fireplace act as a headboard. Nooks and crannies can be filled with chairs, a desk, or even a small built-in and cushioned bench for reading, particularly in front of windows.
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    Build a walled storage space. As custom cubby design that incorporates your bed can go a long way in a small room. Imagine it as an extended headboard that doubles as a bunch of cupboards. Of course, its important to remember to build around your bed--leave enough room so that you can sit up in your bed against the wall without hitting your head on a shelf or cubby.[1]
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    Don’t clutter your walls with decorations. Because your room is small, you will want to make it feel as open as possible. When too many decorations are hung on the walls, it can have a similar effect to painting your walls a very dark color--the room suddenly feels like a cave. Instead, go with a few wall decorations (like mirrors) and leave other decorations for the surface spaces.

Part 2
Selecting Furniture

With such a small space, you will have to choose your furniture wisely. Luckily, there are some furnishing tricks that will come in handy, as well as genius ways to make the most of your storage space.

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    Select a focal point of your room. For most small bedrooms, the focal point will either be the bed or the window. Because you don’t want these two items warring with one another for attention, its best to choose one as the focus of the room. Whichever you select, dress the other focus point neutrally. For instance, if you choose to focus on the bed, play the headboard space up with a few bright throw pillows and a fun duvet cover. At the same time, use neutral colors like white, cream, grey, or tan for curtains on your window.[2]
    • You can also create a win-win situation by placing your bed under your window--the two will combine into one pretty focus point.
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    Pick out a smaller bed. While you may be inclined to buy a large bed (who isn’t?) you should probably stick to a smaller bed that can fit in the room without taking up all of the floor space. Fulls and doubles are generally the way to go in a small space. However, if your are decorating a kid’s small bedroom, definitely stick with a twin bed--they take up the least amount of space.[3]
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    Consider building a loft bed. If you really want to maximize your space, a loft bed is a great option. You can sleep up above and still have enough room for a desk, couch, yoga area, or any other item you are hoping to fit into your room.
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    Try out a floating nightstand. If you are short on floor space, you might consider a floating nightstand. Purchase a closet shelf, which can be bought at a home furnishing store, and install it upside down on your wall. This will provide you with a place to store things, put an alarm clock, or add some decorative touches to your bedside area.[4]
    • You can also install regular shelves that will work the same way as the closet shelf, but won’t have the blocked ends to keep things from falling off.
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    Think thin. If you do have enough space for a bedside table, try out a console table that has thin legs. Rather than having a bulky or cabinet-filled side table, this sleeker side table will take up less room while still allowing you to display keepsakes or place a lamp next to your bed.
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    Stick to flat screen TVs. If you want to put a TV in your room, opt for a small flat screen that can be installed on the wall, placed on a thin console, or kept housed in a bookshelf cubby. The key here is to take advantage of the thinness of the TV--place it somewhere where a larger TV couldn’t go (like on the wall).
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    Keep your room neat. Because you have such a small space, you will need to keep it neat and clutter free. While a pile of t-shirts might not look like much in a larger room, in your bedroom it could potentially look like a mountain. Make a point of keeping your area tidy by making your bed everyday, putting things away after you have used them, and hanging up clothes at night.[5]
    • It is also a good idea to have a laundry basket or bag somewhere in your room--like your closet.
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    Consider installing hanging lights or wall lights. If you find that you don’t have much surface space to put a light on, you might want to install some wall lights or hanging light. In particularly, hanging lights, like a funky chandelier, can really spruce up a room. Because they are hanging from above or off the wall, they also take up less space than a standard desk lamp does.

Part 3
Using Storage Space Wisely

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    Invest in some under-the-bed storage boxes. One of the most classic tricks to fitting everything you need into a small bedroom is by storing things under your bed. Of course, this requires your bed to be on a frame, which is a necessity if you are living in a small room. As for the boxes, boxes on wheels work well on wooden floors. Plastic storage bins are also great for under the bed storage.
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    Place a shelving unit at the foot of your bed. Shelving units can double as footboards. Place a cushion on top of the unit and it can even become a place to sit. These shelving units can have cabinets, cubbies, or both, for storing things you want put away and things you want to display.
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    Buy a storage headboard. With a small bedroom you have to get sneaky about your storage. A headboard that actually acts like a cabinet is one of those great storage secrets. You can buy these types of headboards online or at home furnishing stores. Place it behind your bed, lift up the panel, and place the your stuff in the cupboard.[6]
    • You can also consider purchasing a headboard that has cubbies built into it. Place books, decorative objects, or bedtime necessities in the cubbies and cabinets.
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    Get creative with your treasures. It is best not to clutter the surfaces of your furniture with the little trinkets that you hold dear but don’t necessarily need to see everyday. Instead of having them out all over the place, try out some unique storage options that allow you easy access to them when you want them. One of the best options is the hollowed out book method. You cut out the center of the pages so that a chamber forms in the middle of the book. You can then put small keepsakes in the book and place it on your bookshelf or in a drawer of your bedside table.
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    Cut out parts of your wall to make shelves. If you don’t have enough space to hang shelves on your wall, why not make them inside your wall. To do this, you will need to cut a vertical rectangle out of the wall in between the studs in the wall. Once you have done that, you can recover the space with drywall or wood. In the insert you have now made in the wall, hang shelves. You have now effectively made a bookshelf inside your wall.[7]
    • You can also try out ‘invisible’ bookshelves. These shelves will help you store stuff you would normally put on shelves, without actually needing the wall space to put the shelves up. Click here for more information.
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    Work with your angled ceiling. If you have an angled or triangular ceiling, there are still ways you can make that low space for you. Because the ceiling is angled, you probably won’t use the space where the angled ceiling meets the wall very often. Install a built-in row of cabinets and cubbies along the wall. While doing this will take up some floor space, it will also provide you with plenty of storage and surface space, allowing you to use other parts of your room for things other than storage.


  • If there is a home furnishing store in your area, go see their model bedrooms for ideas. They often show how their furniture can accommodate a very small living space.

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Categories: Bedroom Style