Small bedroom ideas – how to decorate and furnish a compact box room

Keen to make the most out of a small bedroom? Consider these points when it comes to creating a practical and welcoming space

Small bedroom ideas with grey and white color palette
(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Looking for small bedroom ideas? Our pick of the best small bedroom design ideas can turn a box bedroom into a warm and cozy retreat with practical storage solutions, curated color choices and enviable interior design schemes. 

Read on to find out how to create a small bedroom – and for more bedroom ideas, don't miss our inspiring gallery.

How do I arrange my small bedroom?

Like any small space, the key to a successful compact bedroom is to create adequate storage within a functional layout. Often in a small guest room, a couple of large, hard-working pieces of furniture will create a less cluttered look than several small pieces. 

Consider how the space can serve more than one function, such a doubling up as a workstation too. When square footage is at a premium, try incorporating a wall bed instead of a traditional sofa bed. It takes a standard mattress, offering greater comfort, and can fold away to look like a wardrobe or cabinet, freeing up valuable floor space for a desk and chair. 

Ensure that the surrounding furniture is lightweight so that it can easily be moved to accommodate a pull-down bed. If you have adequate ceiling height, look at bespoke options, such as a simple mezzanine incorporating a sleeping area on a raised platform with a wardrobe or shelving below.

1. Play up to a room's assets in a box bedroom

Small bedroom ideas with large lamp and red walls

(Image credit: Future / Alexander James)

'If it’s small and dark, don't try to change it – painting it white will make it look cold, so opt for a cozy feel instead,' says Mary Barber-Fray, Mary Barber-Fray Interior Design. 
'And don’t be afraid to place a large piece of furniture – or an oversized accessory – in a small space. 
It will look much better than a number of smaller pieces.'

2. Paint or wallpaper a headboard in a small bedroom

small bedroom ideas with painted wall

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

Try to think creatively. If there is no space for a headboard, then paint one on the wall. And in all bedrooms, small or large, a sense of real luxury comes from a good mattress, high thread-count sheets, and a soft rug to step out of bed onto. These are the things that make the most difference to a sense of well-being.

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

3. Prioritise form and function 

Small bedroom ideas with loft storage

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

Another option is to go for a statement bed and little else. If you follow this route, use a bed that offers plenty of in-built hidden storage, or space underneath to store boxes and vacuum bags. Choose bedside tables with multiple drawers either side, or if room does not allow, choose ergonomic wall-mounted lights as seen here.

4. Fit in furniture in a small bedroom

Small bedroom ideas with storage

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lewis)

Maximise storage by using clever multi-functional furniture where suitable, using the walls and height of the room as well as the floor space. Bespoke fitted furniture is a good option for a small space. 

5. Add interest in a box room

Small bedroom ideas with loft space and color

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

Provide one or two key focal points to draw the eye to the outer spaces of the room, for example a striking piece of artwork, patterned wallpaper or headboard covered in stunning fabric. It only takes one wall to give a room the wow factor. Generally your feature wall will be the one you see first when entering a room but you could choose one behind a key piece of furniture such as behind the bed or sofa

6. Paint a small bedroom in white

Small bedroom ideas with white painted walls

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

Decorating schemes will never tire of white but an all-white scheme can make a real statement. Glamorous yet relaxed, mix up different tones of white for a fresh and airy feel. Avoid the 'clinical' look by make sure that there are some elements of natural materials in the room – perhaps wooden furniture or wicker storage baskets.

7. Convert a loft into an extra bedroom

Small bedroom ideas with single bed

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber)

A loft conversion can be one of the most straightforward ways to introduce extra space into your home. Given the right loft space, the addition of another bedroom, office or just extra storage will make all the difference and can mean you’re able to stay on in a house that you may have thought was too small – plus it will add value to your home, too.

8. Enhance light in a small room

Small bedroom ideas with loft room and single bed

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

Ensuring adequate light is crucial. When it comes to decorating, light colors are a safe and effective choice: sunlight flooding through a roof lights onto crisp, white walls creates an uplifting sense of space. You will also need to think carefully about furniture placement in a loft bedroom, as sloping walls may limit your options.

9. Make a small bedroom feel more luxurious

Small bedroom with hanging lighting

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

A small bedroom can really benefit from rich, luxurious soft furnishings. Your bedroom should be a haven of peace and it should reflect your true self. Simple pattern, subtle textures and soothing colors will create the perfect refuge from the stress of a long day.

10. Think about doors in a compact space

Small bedroom ideas with opening doors

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

Think about the entrance door too – if you can’t re-hang so that it opens away from the room rather than in to it, consider sliding pocket doors that neatly slide out of view when open and don’t eat in to the usable space,' says Mary Barber-Fray.

11. Get the lighting right 

Small bedroom ideas with lights

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

Lighting will help to visually maximize the space. For example, try lighting the narrower sides of the room to provide a sense of width, whether with wall lights or recessed spotlights that can be tilted. Choose lampshades that allow light to reflect upwards if you need to give some height to a low ceiling too.

12. Add visual interest 

Small bedroom ideas with fabric wall covering

(Image credit: Future)

Provide one or two key focal points to draw the eye to the outer spaces of the room, for example a striking piece of artwork, or headboard covered in stunning fabric.

13. Make the most of available space

Small bedroom ideas with multifunctional storage

(Image credit: Future / Jonathan Gooch)

Maximize storage by using clever multi-functional furniture where suitable, using the walls and height of the room as well as the floor space.

What is the best bed for a small room? 

The best bed is one that will easily fit into your bedroom – and won't encroach on comfort. If your bedroom is on the small side, a single bed may be the only option. But if possible, a double bed will provide much needed comfort and coziness, especially in a guest bedroom.

What are the best colors for a small bedroom?

The best color for a small bedroom is white. Decorating schemes will never tire of white but an all-white scheme can make a real statement. Glamorous yet relaxed, mix up different tones of white in the bedroom for a fresh and airy feel. 

Not all whites match but it’s ok to layer up different tones including buttermilk, cream, nearly-taupe, soft white and pure white as long as you feel they blend. The variety of tones will add a depth to your scheme.