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Ideas for How to Arrange a Small Bedroom

By The Inside

Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, where we unwind, dream, and recharge. As the first thing we see when we open our eyes each morning and the last that sends us off into sweet slumber, how we feel in that space matters…a lot.

A bedroom that is short on square footage can sometimes feel more of a bummer than a blissful retreat. But arranged well, a small space can feel every bit as serene, cozy and restful as the grandest master bedroom suite. Here are some small bedroom ideas to create a sanctuary that soothes your mind and satisfies your soul. We can guarantee, square footage will be the last thing on your mind.

Shop the look: Art Deco Bed in Multi Bamboo Garden | Image courtesy: Lauren Haden

Make Your Bed the Star

In a small bedroom, too many big items will make your room feel chaotic and crammed, with every piece of bedroom furniture fighting for attention. Keep things simple by building your room around your bed. Being the biggest (and most necessary!) item, it should get top billing! To maximize square footage and visual impact, think height rather than width; a tall headboard or even a canopy will draw the eye upward and give the illusion of expansiveness without taking up precious floor space.

Ideally, place your bed so it faces the door. Do this even if that’s not the longest wall in the room, to allow your headboard and pillows be the focal point when you enter.

Shop the look: Modern Wingback Bed in Ocean Velvet | Image courtesy: Clarke and Sons Design Group

Get Creative with Nightstands

There was a time when a pair of matching nightstands flanking a bed was the only acceptable concept of “good design” in a bedroom, but that is long over! Today, when it comes to the bedside table, anything goes – and you don’t even necessarily need a piece of furniture to do the job. Consider using small floating shelves, narrow bookcases, storage ottoman cubes with a tray on top, or even a stack of attractive, oversized coffee table books (secondhand bookstores or eBay are a great source for these).

Mount Your Bedside Lighting

A scaled-down nightstand means you need every inch for personal items, so forgo the table lamps in favor of wall-mounted sconces or wall lights. There are hundreds of affordable options to suit every taste, ranging from traditional swing-arms with pleated fabric shades to industrial metal-shade sconces. The ideal placement for bedside sconces is a about five inches above where your head would be if you are reading in bed. Be sure to choose lighting with enough wattage; 60 watts incandescent usually does the trick (this translates to 8-12 W for LED and 800 lumens).

Shop the look: Modern Wingback Bed in Delft Chintz | Image courtesy: The Inside

Create the Illusion of Space

A small bedroom calls for employing tried-and-true interior design tricks for making a small room feel more spacious:

  • Elevate your window treatment. Mount your shades or curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. Like a tall bed, this will draw the eye upward and make the windows appear larger.
  • Bling that ceiling. Don’t be afraid to use a fabulous chandelier in a small bedroom! It doesn’t have to be diminutive, either. As long as you don’t have a canopy bed competing for space (and assuming you don’t choose a fixture that is insanely oversized), a statement ceiling light will again help draw the eye upward and dress up your room like a beautiful piece of jewelry. Since you are likely going to be hanging this at least partially over your bed given the space constraints, be sure to keep the weight of the piece within reason and/or hire a professional to install it safely.
  • Get reflective. Beyond serving as inexpensive wall art, mirrors can double the visual space of your bedroom by increasing the ultra-valuable natural light in your room. Consider placing a large mirror opposite the window or use a collection of small mirrors in various shapes to create a gallery wall.
  • Go all in. A great way to trick the eye is to choose one color family or pattern and wrap the entire room in it, from paint color to curtains – even bedding! By doing this, the eye isn’t stopped by anything and it “reads” the room as one harmonious whole. Perfect for the bold maximalist who’s always game to make a statement.
  • Keep it light…or don’t. There’s a lot of debate about whether it’s best paint a small space in light colors to make it feel roomier or to go dark to create a little jewel box-like space. The answer is simple: it depends what feels best to you. But yes, in general, lighter colors like ivory, pale blues and greens, misty gray, millennial pink, and buttery yellow will make a room feel airier whereas darker colors such as a regal navy, rich chocolate brown, charcoal, or eggplant will make it feel cozy and intimate.

Shop the look: Square Back Headboard in Pink Stripe | Image courtesy: Mackenzie Schmidt

Maximize Storage

Every square inch of a small room (whether bedroom or living room) can and should be maximized for storage space. Here’s where you can really get creative:

  • Choose a bed frame with built-in storage drawers; alternatively, under-bed containers are great for storing off-season clothes.
  • Go for tall armoires or free-standing closets rather than dressers to get the most out of the vertical space.
  • If you’re an avid reader but lacking suitable wall space for all those paperbacks, use a bookshelf as a dividing wall to delineate different spaces without the room.
  • Mount a row of glossy white laminate cabinets along the top portion of a wall for hidden storage above.
  • Splurge on a good closet system. For a minimal investment, you can hire a professional to personalize your closet to your needs. No more giant piles of shoes or overstuffed racks of wrinkled shirts! Or, if you love DIY projects, visit your local hardware store and go to town designing it yourself. Either way, it’s well worth the time and energy.

By employing even a few of these tips, your boudoir can become a beautiful and serene haven that will have you forgetting all about square footage and reveling in your well-arranged personal retreat.

By: Debra Goldstein, Staff Writer at The Inside

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