Nothing poses a tricky design challenge quite like a small space. Furniture selection aside, your chosen decor can either create the illusion of a larger room, or further accentuate the obvious lack of square footage. While small living rooms and kitchens present their obvious challenges, we'd argue that designing a well-appointed bedroom, no matter how cramped, is vitally important. The room should promote a sense of relaxation and tranquility, which can be all the more difficult when you have roughly 150 square feet to play with.
Though we fancy ourselves amateur designers, we decided to turn to the experts on this one. We tapped Leanne Ford of Leanne Ford Interiors, interior designer Jeremiah Brent, Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors, interior designer and Queer Eye design expert Bobby Berk, interior designer Brady Tolbert, Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design, Hyphen & Co designer Eliza McNabb, Becky Shea of Becky Shea Design, and Tina Rich of Tina Rich Design for their go-to small bedroom decor hack. We weren't disappointed; keep reading to see how all nine interior designers manage to breathe life into a small bedroom.
Leanne Ford: Always center the bed
No matter how small the room is, "still center the bed," Ford told MyDomaine. "Even though you don't have much space on either side, it will feel better for both parties to be able to get out of the bed easily and prevent the college style technique of the bed against the wall." She also recommends using a chair as a bedside table to save more space. "They are pretty enough to live there as a surface with books on them, but handy if you need to use the chair."
Jeremiah Brent: Focus on scale and proportion
"Most people believe that a small space means you need to use small furniture—that’s simply not the case," said Brent. "Instead, focus on scale and proportion." For example, "if you have tall ceilings, hang the drapes as high as possible to create the appearance of a much grander space. If you have shorter ceilings, use low furniture to help give the illusion of depth and create the feeling of an overall larger room."
Amber Lewis: Invest in aesthetically-pleasing storage
"A few easy things come to mind," muses Lewis. "Declutter, declutter, declutter. Then, make the most of storage [by using] pretty baskets like the below to keep things out of sight. Also, anchor the room with a couple of key pieces, like a piece of art or rug or furniture. Let that be the focal point and keep the rest simple."
Brady Tolbert: Go vertical
"Go vertical," Tolbert told MyDomaine. "A small space means that there is very little actual floor space in your room, so to combat the lack of floor space go vertical with your storage and décor." He recommends installing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, which "add extra space for storage as well as a place to display some art or decor," he explains. "I love to keep things contained in decorative boxes or bins so that everything visually works together and feels clean."
Bobby Berk: Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors
"[Utilize] the magic of mirrors," Berk told MyDomaine. "Using a large mirror on one wall will not only help to bounce the light around the room but also to visually open up the room with its reflection. I love going for something with a simple frame and a round or large rectangular shape."
Emily Henderson: Simplify your color palette
"My biggest overall small space tip is to go for a tone-on-tone color palette. The more high-contrast colors you use, the busier the room can look which will make your space feel smaller," Henderson explains. She also echoes Berk's mirror recommendation. "Large mirrors are your friend," she adds. "They bounce around light as well as trick the eye into thinking the room is larger because of the reflection."
Becky Shea: Go for dark colors
"When working with small bedrooms (or rooms in general), my initial recommendation is to paint the room a darker color," Shea explains. "One may think white has the ability to make a space feel larger, but in fact, this trick of ours can accomplish the same effect but with more depth."
She goes on to explain how darker shades actually absorb light, which blurs where walls and ceilings begin and end, making the space feel larger. "Another perk to having a finish that can absorb light [is that] it'll lend itself to a better nights sleep, and who doesn't want more sleep?"
Tina Rich: Hang curtains high
"To make a small bedroom feel larger, I try to heighten the room by hanging curtains as close to the ceiling as possible," explains Rich. "I love to do curtains wall-to-wall, which also makes the room appear wider and makes the tiny window appear larger. Sheer curtains are a great choice because they create a soft backdrop for furniture and allow light to come through which makes a room feel bigger and brighter."
Eliza McNabb: Install bedside sconces
"In any bedroom, lighting by the bed is essential for unwinding before going to sleep. But a table lamp on a nightstand is wasted real estate in a small bedroom," explains McNabb. "Instead, opt for sconces on either side of the bed. Whether plug-in or hardwired, make sure they're on a dimmer—that way you can adjust the amount of light needed for reading or relaxing."