Small modern bedroom ideas – 10 decorating tips for this contemporary space

These small modern bedroom ideas will have impact and inspire you to create your dream scheme

small modern bedroom ideas
(Image credit: Future)

Small modern bedroom ideas and contemporary architecture can make a style statement in the bedroom. Success depends on using the right materials, color combinations and opting for a sleek design that results in an effective blend of old and new. 

Less is often more when it comes to contemporary bedrooms, so be careful not to over design. Bear in mind too that very modern designs can sometimes feel stark and clinical, so balance this by introducing warmth with plenty of texture, wood and layered lighting to add interest. 

The use of texture is vital when it comes to bedrooms, and no more so than in small modern bedroom. Let our carefully-curated selection of small bedroom ideas and modern bedroom ideas to inspire you to be brave with your color scheme, try a new bedroom layout or tackle the latest bedroom trends.

Small modern bedroom ideas

Beautiful fabrics, textiles and wallpaper are at the heart of every standout scheme – but how do you begin to decide the best approach for your small modern bedroom? Our gallery of bedroom ideas is a good place to start for looks and details that are full of finesse.

1. Use textures and contrast for depth

small modern bedroom with wooden wall, off white modern bed, wall light, hardwood floor, pile of books with vase on top, neutral and earthy bedding and blankets

(Image credit: KING Living)

'Sometimes we need to distract the eye from the size of a space – a useful interior design trick is to use textures on the walls, we'll naturally be drawn to it visually,' says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief, Homes & Gardens. 'If so, use paler furniture and accessories as a contrast, this small modern bedroom is a great example of how to make it work with its lovely tactile materials of wood, linen, silk, metal and glass.'

2. Layer your textures and add a small chair

small modern bedroom with black bed, neutral scheme, black pendant light, chair in corner, check rug, cream drapes, stripe blanket, stripe cushions, plant

(Image credit: Interior Fox/Veronica Rodriguez)

In small modern bedrooms it’s important to trick the eye and play with proportions. Use floor to ceiling curtains to draw the eye up and elongate the height of the space. 

'Contrary to belief, a single bed in a compact bedroom can actually make the space feel smaller,' say Jen & Mar, co-founders of Interior Fox. 'A double or even a king size works best at creating a comfortable bedroom where you’ll feel excited to unwind in at the end of the day.'

'Layering the bedding with throws and cushions in different sizes will add dimension to the space, while creating visual interest. To finish off, look to introduce a bonus furniture item like an accent chair or small stool, this will make the scheme feel more considered as well as an area to pop on your shoes, or use at your dressing table.'

3. Zone a small modern bedroom with a room divider

small bedroom with green focal wall, Ercol bed, black crittall doors, wooden floor, magenta quilt, turquoise cushions, pendant, industrial style space

(Image credit: Ercol)

Room divider ideas are the new, practical alternative to open plan spaces. Room dividers allow you to create a wide range of clever and inspiring ways to make your bedroom work for you. They are also a great way to divide an apartment bedroom in a small studio. 

'Bedroom dividers are a wonderful way to make use of unexploited space and to create a broken-plan layout within the home,’ says Simon Tcherniak, designer at Neville Johnson. ‘

4. Consider the style of bed carefully 

bedroom with wood panelling, retro wooden armchair, floor lamp, low table with artwork, graphic bedspread, printed drapes, wooden floor

(Image credit: Naturalmat)

'When designing a small modern bedroom, it’s easy for the space to be overpowered,' says Mark Tremlett, founder and director of Naturalmat. 'Whilst a footboard is a nice addition for more spacious bedrooms, it can feel bulky in smaller spaces. Instead opt for a low headboard and pared back materials that won’t fight with the mood and tones of the rest of the room.'

5. Replace a headboard with tactile wallpaper 

small modern bedroom with textured wallpaper, mini side table and light, natural bedding and cushions, fringed blanket

(Image credit: Arte)

'Small modern bedrooms are the perfect room in which to create a warm, comforting retreat, a space that’s elegant and sophisticated as well as a sanctuary in which to relax and unwind,' says Philippe Desart, managing director at Arte

Natural textural wallcovering such as linen patterns, wood inlays, jute or grass cloth all bring with them a sense of calm. These rich textures in gentle neutral tones layer exquisitely with natural textiles and wood surfaces, and work beautifully in place of a headboard to create a cozy room and welcoming bedroom interior.'

6. Create impact with bold shutters

bedroom with blue shutters, blue and white tie-dyed duvet, copper Moroccan side table, brass pendant light, artwork

(Image credit: Shutterly Fabulous)

'Window treatments are one of the most impactful features in the bedroom, especially when space is limited,' says Sally Denyer, digital marketing manager at Shutterly Fabulous. 'Therefore, paying attention to window details will impact the overall look and feel of the room.'

'Opting for colorful shutters will reflect the natural daylight from the window, making the impact of your chosen shade more striking, they will also draw the eye to the window which makes the bedroom environment more inviting.'

7. Make the most of every inch

white bedroom with neutral elements, large black framed mirror, storage

(Image credit: Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop/Chad Mellon)

Bedroom alcove ideas offer a wealth of options for small modern bedrooms. Large versions are the perfect place to locate the bed or seating, while smaller nooks provide space for small bedroom storage or display.

Alcove ideas – no matter how small – can exploit everything from the smallest of niches to spaces big enough for furniture in the bedroom. If you space is on the smaller side, keep the alcoves painted in the same color as the rest of the room.

8. Choose a light that's wall mounted and flush

modern bedroom with neutral scheme, low side table, modern wall light

(Image credit: Gong)

'Choosing wall lights for a small modern bedroom has the practical advantage of saving on space, particularly if the design is slim or fairly flush to the wall,' says Jo Plismy, founder of Gong. 'Considered, contemporary designs which blend in with the rest of the room will create a modern understated look.  For flexibility, adding a dimmer function will allow the light to be used for a number of functions from reading to providing general ambient light.'

9. Choose a headboard with built-in nightstand

black and white bedroom with built in storage, wall leith, wooden floor, artwork

(Image credit: TR Studios)

A bespoke headboard with slim built in bedside table or shelf also frees up a lot of space and is ideal for small rooms. 'Often headboards can be quite bulky and bedside tables in a small room can add lots of visual clutter, so this idea allows for space saving whilst creating a contemporary look,' says Tom Rutt, director at TR Studio



10. Embrace 'modern maximalism'

maximalist bedroom with dark pink bed, bold floral wallpaper, yellow side table, yellow cushion

(Image credit: Button & Sprung)

'When we think of the word 'modern' it conjures up thoughts of minimalism, sleek lines and contemporary pieces, but, the current 'maximalist' decor trend can also be seen as modern as it's a new way of using plains and patterns together in a decorative way. 

'The bed here is classic but in a contemporary color and the side table in bold primary yellow gives a modern edge that will work in a small bedroom perfectly,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living.

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributing Editor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.