Box room ideas – clever ways to style the smallest room in your home

These clever box room ideas will help make your small room the most inspiring of spaces, so that designing a stylish box bedroom is no longer a challenge

Box room ideas illustrated by a white gallery wall above a white bed with blue cushions.
(Image credit: Hannah Wilson / Arndt Design & Build)

Looking for box room ideas? Our pick of the best box room design ideas will ensure that your tiny space is used to maximum efficiency. 

Even the most humble of small rooms has the ability to serve as a comfortable bedroom, office or dressing area, and clever use of furniture can turn it into a multi-functional space too, incorporating useful study and storage areas. 

Careful planning and a dash of inspiration are all that’s needed to maximize a small room’s potential – as the small bedroom ideas for box rooms below show.


1. Take an expert view on color in a box room

Box bedroom ideas in a room with blue walls and a four poster bed.

(Image credit: Future / Matthew Williams)

‘Don’t shy away from dark colors,’ says interior designer Suzy Hoodless. ‘You’ll be using the room primarily at night, so it’s the perfect showcase for bold shades. Think cozy rather than gloomy when looking at bedroom ideas: dark blues, mid-tone greys and warm greens are all good choices for a box room.’

2. Opt for fitted furniture in a box room

Pale green fitted storage in a box room with toile wallpaper.

(Image credit: Future / Mel Yates)

While freestanding furniture has its uses for both storage and display, there is nothing more efficient than well-designed, fitted furniture. 

It allows you to squeeze every inch of use out of even the most unpromising corner, and in a streamlined way. The key is to wake up to your home’s hidden potential.

3. Include practical furniture

Box room ideas illustrated in a loft space with yellow stool.

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

'No matter how small your box room is, a chair is always practical,' says Nicola Holden of Nicola Holden Designs. 'If it causes too much clutter, consider plumping for something unobtrusive – such an armless stool. 

'Choose hard-working furniture such as ottomans and chests of drawers, and don’t neglect forgotten areas such as those above a door, where built-in shelving can look effective.’

4. Make do with multifunctional storage

A gray bed and black chest of drawers in a small box bedroom.

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Start planning your box room by considering small bedroom storage ideas,' says Bunny Pocock of Turner Pocock. 'Go beyond joinery – a chest of drawers can act as a bedside table; a divan can hold hidden storage and an end-of-bed blanket box can double up as a laundry bin.'

5. Turn your box room into an office

An example of a home office box room idea with dark blue walls, glass door and built-in shelving

(Image credit: Future)

It's time to stop working from your kitchen table – or bed – and make the space for a dedicated home office. The box room, no matter how small, is the ideal setting – all you require is a discreet desk and an office chair. 

Give home office ideas an element of creativity and fun with a statement wallpaper. It will make the perfect backdrop for all those Zoom calls.

6. Invest is the best lighting you can afford

Box room ideas shown in a pale color scheme with double bed and headboard lighting

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

If your lighting budget allows, add small reading lights to you headboard. This lighting idea for the bedroom is great for nighttime reading as it provides discreet, non-intrusive lighting and negates the need for a space-stealing bedside table.

7. Use a box room as a walk-in closet

A bright white walk-in wardrobe with gold chair.

(Image credit: Future / Richard Powers)

If your box room is looking a little unloved, turn it into a fabulous walk-in closet. Once the domain of the rich and famous, walk-in wardrobes and dressing rooms rank high on everyone’s wish list, and making space for one in your own home is easier than you think. 

When considering walk-in closet ideas, think about your clothing and storage needs and plan around them. Factor in dual-level hanging areas, racks or boxes for shoes, deep shelves for knitwear and casual clothing, and drawers to keep pyjamas, lingerie and socks out of sight. 

8. Transform a tiny box room in a stylish powder room

Leopard wallpaper and a white sink in a box room turned powder room.

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

Make the most of unused space by installing a powder room or cloakroom – it will punch above its weight in terms of household usefulness.

Well designed powder room ideas will make this space a great addition to your home. A properly finished powder room not only adds value, it could also be really handy when you're entertaining.

9. Fashion a utility room 

A utility room with black cabinetry and white walls in a 19th century Dorset barn conversion.

(Image credit: Jonathan Bond / Future)

A box room doesn't have to be a bedroom. It can be what ever you need it to be, and so much more. 

Having a separate utility opens up so many possibilities and there are many different utility room ideas to choose from. It can function as a dedicated laundry area complete with washer, dryer and shelving for freshly ironed linen; it could be a messy boot room where children can fling their football gear after a wet Saturday morning; or it could even be turned into a hobby room, where you have the peace and quiet you need to learn a new craft.

10. Play with pattern and color in a small space

Box bedroom ideas illustrated by a patterned wallpaper and blue patterned headboard.

(Image credit: Future / Matthew Williams)

While it may seem counter-intuitive, color and pattern can work well on walls in smaller spaces, so consider bold wallpaper ideas. A wallpaper with a large-scale pattern tends to draw the eye in and had the effect of visually elongating a compact room. 

‘Similarly, using an intense jewel paint color on the walls in a small room gives it a sense of drama, whereas neutrals can make a box room feel uninspiring,’ says founder and creative director of Designers Guild, Tricia Guild. 

‘Bolder palettes tend to be especially suited when considering how to decorate a guest bedroom – the color comes as a pleasant surprise when the door is opened and helps to give the scheme a more intimate feel.’

11. Create a child's bedroom or play area

White box room ideas featuring a single bed with yellow throw and built-in storage.

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

Putting together a cohesive yet stylish children’s room is no easy feat, especially in a box room. The key is to introduce accessible storage, colorful accents, and one or two striking elements to the small bedroom layout that can be changed easily. 

‘If space is tight, a bed with drawers is a good idea,’ says Blanca Sanchez at Halo Design Interiors. ‘Alternatively, one that incorporates a pull-out bed underneath is ideal for sleepovers.’

What can I do with a box room?

The proud owners of compact city apartments, crash-pads, house boats and cute country cottages know how to be clever with space, and such focused thinking can be good for any home, helping to streamline space and create optimum storage. If you are hoping to create your very own petit designer box room, then you'll be surprised to know that there are many ways to make your small room beautiful. 

The experts – from architects to designers – recommend that you start by focusing on lighting. The right lighting can easily make or break a scheme – so this needs to be your first plan of action. 

Once you've mastered box room lighting, then consider a carefully-curated color palette. While it may seem counter-intuitive to go for a bold color in a small space, a box room is the perfect place to experiment. Be brave with your box bedroom color ideas

What's more, don't be afraid to go big when it comes to furnishings. 
'An oversized accessory in a box room will look much better than a number of smaller pieces,' says Mary Barber-Fray of Mary Barber-Fray Interior Design.

How do you make a box room look nice?

If budget allows, consider having wardrobes built in. A good wardrobe will last you for life, so it’s worth saving up and spending as much as you can afford to. 

A statement wardrobe might seem attractive, but your tastes might evolve over time, so if you’re spending a lot or are at all unsure, it’s safer to err on the side of caution and choose a classic style you won’t tire of, that will slot seamlessly into future decorating schemes.

How do you maximize space in a box room?

The best way to maximize space in a box room is with well-placed mirrors. Not only will a statement design add a focal point to your small box room, but it will help make the space feel bigger and brighter by reflecting light. 

Choose a mirror that suits your existing décor and works with your look. With so many designs available, you’ll be sure to find something to complement your scheme, whether it’s a sleek contemporary design or a shabby-chic piece.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.