Nate Berkus exclusively reveals his 5-rule formula for styling a small bedroom

When it comes to small spaces, Nate Berkus stands by his own rule of 5 – here's what it means for our bedrooms

Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Courtesy of Nate Berkus and mDesign)

Designer Nate Berkus has spent more than two decades shaping some of the most exclusive homes worldwide – but his tips translate to spaces of all sizes – including small bedrooms. 

Lately, bedrooms have been on Nate's mind. He recently launched a premium line of bed sheets and pillows, the Nate Berkus Signature Collection with Bloomingdale's, which gave us the perfect opportunity to ask him exclusively about how he elevates small bedrooms.

'I love the idea of taking a smaller space and doing an enormous edit. Anything that isn’t beautiful or practical has to leave. This is the most important thing in a small bedroom,' Nate says. After this, he says that bedroom styling comes down to five elements: our bed, bedding, bedside tables, lighting, and repeated motifs.

Nate Berkus

(Image credit: Courtesy of Nate Berkus and mDesign)
Nate Berkus for 1stDibs
Nate Berkus

Since Nate’s first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books and stars alongside his husband, Jeremiah Brent, in HGTV's Nate & Jeremiah Home Project.

'In a small bedroom, you don't have the square footage to make a lot of decisions. There's no seating area for you to address, and there's typically not a working area or a desk. So, what you're limited to is your bed, your bedding, your bedside tables, and your lighting. You need to take your time with those four decisions.'

Firstly, Nate says that bedding should be the best you can afford (starting with picks from his Bloomingdale's line below is a failsafe place to invest). Meanwhile, when choosing a bed, we should look for something that isn't enormously scaled – but instead, opt for a smaller frame that won't overwhelm the room. 

'I'd recommend going vintage with your night tables and bedroom lighting if you can,' Nate says. 

'You can find a pair of beautiful bedside lamps or a custom shade in a design you really love from Etsy. How wonderful to have something that no one else has. You genuinely have four decisions to make about the pieces in that room (paint colors and window treatments aside), so go for luxury.'

Nate Berkus

(Image credit: Courtesy of Nate Berkus and mDesign)

Rule number five? Nate explains that we can elevate a small space further by repeating a textile around various parts of our room.

'I love repeating. Repeat a headboard – that is the same wallcovering – that is the same as the drapery in your window. It's a little bit of the granny in me. It may not be chintz or floral, in my case, but pinstripe or a flannel – something that gives texture. It's a classic and historical English decorating trick, and when paired with modern lighting, it's a real win.'

As promised, we've listed our top picks from Nate's collection (the perfect starting point) below. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.