How to arrange a small bedroom - make the most of even your tiniest spaces

We've covered everything you need to know about how to arrange a small bedroom

How to arrange a small bedroom Kit Kemp
(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

Designing the more petite spaces in your home can be tricky, so we've broken down how to arrange a small bedroom.

From tiny box rooms to awkwardly shaped loft gable spaces, small bedrooms all come with their own unique set of problems. People often struggle with storage, how to create an effective furniture layout and also how to simply make these small spaces look bigger than they really are.

Bunny Turner, of Turner Pocock, explains why small bedrooms can actually be a blessing, 'We actually really enjoy designing small bedroom spaces as it’s much easier to make them feel cosy and inviting and it forces you to put the practical wardrobe storage elsewhere.'

For ways to make a small bedroom work for you, read on to discover our favorite solutions.

How do you arrange furniture in a small room?

How to arrange a small bedroom Turner Pocock

Photography/Alex James

(Image credit: Turner Pocock)

Fitting furniture in a smaller space can seem tricky, but there are some things to keep in mind which simplify the whole process.

For more inspiration, see these great small bedroom ideas

'The key is to try to avoid placing furniture on all sides of the room - keep spaces clear between furniture to allow for flow and make sure that the pieces that are selected serve their purpose well,' advises Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock.

Being selective and clever with the types of furniture and their purpose also helps when considering what you need in the room. ' We often use chests of drawers as bedside tables to maximise on the storage achieved and we usually hide additional storage within the bed divan room,' says Bunny.

Where should a bed be placed in a small bedroom? 

How to arrange a small bedroom alcove

Photography/James Merrell

(Image credit: Future)

By their very nature, beds can be a fairly cumbersome problem when designing the layout of a bedroom, particularly when space is tight.

To make a beautifully dressed bed the focal point place it in the middle of a wall, with equal space on either side for small storage units and lamps. If, however, you wish to prioritize floor space, then you have to think outside the box.

One solution, illustrated here by this Wendi Wolf Lewitt design, is to create a sleeping alcove. No only does this add floor space, but it creates a restful nook where you can switch off - perfect if the person living there has to work or study in the same small space. As a bonus, if you build in an alcove you can include storage space under the bed and shelves behind the bedhead, too.

What is the best way to organize a small bedroom? 

How to arrange a small bedroom Ben Pentreath

Photography/Simon Bevan

(Image credit: Ben Pentreath)

Organization is key in any small room, but in bedrooms where rest is the endgame, it’s even more important.

‘I think the key in a small bedroom is still to try and fit in the ingredients that everyone needs – really good reading lights (if needs be, wall lights, but I always prefer a table lamp if possible) – and a bedside table with a drawer or two,’ says Ben Pentreath.

Make use of every awkward space you can. Bespoke fitted shelves can turn a tight corner into a useful spot of storage. Solutions like placing a mini Lazy Susan in the corner of a unit can add space and practicality.

It’s not only the practical things that are worth consideration. ‘It’s lovely if you’ve got space for a small chest of drawers which means that you can put out some books and bits and bunch of flowers if you’ve got friends staying,’ advises Ben. 

How do you create storage in a small bedroom?

How to arrange a small bedroom Beata Heuman

Photography/Simon Brown

(Image credit: Beata Heuman)

Storage is one of the biggest issues with small bedrooms. The trick here is to be clever about how you use your space. 

Gather more ideas for your room with our small bedroom storage inspiration

Beata Heuman made the most of the small room by including a beautifully upholstered chest at the foot of the bed. By using a gorgeous fabric it becomes a focal point for the room and doesn’t scream the fact that it’s actually a practical storage solution. In addition to being the perfect container for thick jumpers, boots or blankets it provides a place to sit and get ready for the day.

Space under the bed, or a divan with built in drawers, can be utilized for items like shoes and bags, too. And if you're investing in a new wardrobe, look for two layered, tall options; you can get hooks to pull the top layer down so you're not constantly stretching upwards.

With your storage, make sure to also consider the use of the room. For example, if it’s primarily a guest space then you can get away without a wardrobe; a generous hook over the door should suffice.

How can I rearrange my bedroom to make it look bigger?

How to arrange a small bedroom Thorp

(Image credit: Thorp)

When considering how to lay out your bedroom to maximise space, there are a number of things to take into account.

The pictured design from Thorp illustrates a few other ways to arrange the room to look bigger. ‘The triple panels on the doors are proportioned to make the room seem much taller than in fact it is,’ notes founder Philippa Thorp. 

Further, symmetry will make the room feel calmer and more spacious than it might actually be, so see if you can fit in matching bedside tables and lamps. Kit Kemp suggests to, ‘add mirrors either side of a fireplace with a foxed mirror glass to maximise the feeling of light and space.’ 

For rooms with wardrobes, Kit adds to, ‘mirror the back of the wardrobe space so when you open the wardrobe door in a bedroom the mirror makes the cupboard feel more luxurious and bigger

How do you make a small bedroom look bigger? 

How to arrange a small bedroom Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

How you decorate a small room can have a huge impact on how spacious it appears.

Discover more ways to design for a small bedrooms, check out our ideas for decorating guest rooms 

‘If it is a small bedroom in an attic or with sloping walls we often continue the wallpaper over the ceiling to give an overall effect and maximise the feeling of space, says Kit Kemp. ‘Using a very large painting or wall hanging in a small room often makes a room feel bigger, too.’

Statement prints on headboards also trick the eye into the space feeling larger, but distracting you from the rest of the room.

Take into account prints used on the wall, a slightly larger repeat in a wallpaper can suggest the feeling of more space than there actually is.

How do I arrange a child’s small bedroom?

How to arrange a small bedroom Ham Interiors

Photography/Alex James

(Image credit: Ham Interiors)

Children’s rooms are often comparatively smaller rooms than the adults in a house. While of course the kids are small, they tend to accumulate an awful lot of ‘stuff’ very quickly. Which is why Katie Cox, interior designer at Ham Interiors says that, ‘when designing a small space for children, incorporating clever storage is always a good idea!’

Find more great ideas with our guide to small bedroom ideas for kids

Consider built in joinery to maximise space. Katie then suggests to, ‘use oversized baskets to make clearing away toys quick and easy,’