Small bedroom ideas needn't hold back on ambition. 'Small bedrooms actually present us with an opportunity to be really clever and inventive with space,' says Homes & Gardens' Editor in Chief Lucy Searle. 'It can be challenging, particularly around creating enough storage, but with clever design, you can design a cozy, if small, space.'
Our curated selection of the best small bedroom ideas can turn even a tiny bedroom into a warm, cozy and welcoming retreat.
With practical storage solutions, curated color choices and enviable interior design schemes, these bedroom ideas are bound to inspire your next bedroom remodel.
Small bedroom ideas – 20 beautiful designs for a compact sleep space
Key to the success of a compact space is layout: your small bedroom layout ideas have to be spot on to make the space as efficient as possible.
Whether you're looking for small bedroom storage ideas, box rooms or the best beds for small rooms, these small bedroom ideas come with plenty of useful interior design advice so that your bedroom revamp can be as successful as possible.
We've covered everything from flooring to bedroom lighting and color schemes – and refresh our favorites regularly, so do keep checking back for more.
1. Devise a clever lighting scheme
‘In small bedrooms I really like using wall lights as opposed to table lamps for bedside lighting,' says Irene Gunter, founder and creative director, Gunter & Co (opens in new tab).
'Smaller rooms inevitably call for smaller bedside tables and when the full surface is taken up by a table lamp it just seems to defeat the object. There’s such a wealth of amazing wall light options available, whether wired or plug in – they really allow us to add a statement to the space as well as maximize the surface available for the bits and bobs we like to store beside the bed.’
2. Introduce a small desk
Arranging a small bedroom often calls for compromise. Whether you are working from home or are looking for small bedroom ideas for kids who need to do their schoolwork in their rooms, there’s always a need for a dedicated bedroom office space. It needn’t be imposing, so it’s a good idea to make the most of an unused bedroom corner or alcove.
We love how this bedroom layout idea with desk doubles as a dressing table with a sleek round bedroom mirror, and the design doesn’t take up any unnecessary floorspace while still providing plenty of room to work. Soften up the space with a lamp, flowers and a suitable chair or stool that fits in with the rest of your room’s existing décor.
3. Experiment with pattern in a small space
You don’t have to put your artistic nature to the test when it comes to bedroom accent walls. There are plenty of wallpapers that are designed to do just that with trompe l’oeil illustrations that can quickly add an extra dimension even in small bedrooms.
For a relaxing scheme, turn to images of escapism, like this tropical pictorial wallpaper that evokes the memory of faraway shores. Complete the look by choosing furniture, bedding and cushions in earthy ochre and a pinch of ginger for a fully immersive design.
4. Play up to a room's assets in a box bedroom
When it comes to box room ideas, sometimes it's best to embrace the size and coziness of a small space.
'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 of Mary Barber-Fray Interior Design (opens in new tab). '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.'
5. Decorate with stripes
Never really out of fashion, the classic stripe is having a particular moment right now and it's less about the country ticking look and more about adding personality.
'Decorating with stripes brings order and structure to a space and have the ability to redirect the eye. When incorporated into a small bedroom scheme, they inject a dose of understated elegance and sophistication.
'I'm drawn to layering when designing an interior scheme, and incorporating stripes into the design provides the perfect structure that can then be contrasted with other designs, pattern and color,' says Roselind Wilson, founder of Roselind Wilson Design (opens in new tab).
6. Introduce lively pattern
‘In this tiniest of bedrooms, to make the most of the space, I created a bed nook on the side of the room where the sloped ceiling became very low,' says Sarah Peake, founder and creative director, Studio Peake (opens in new tab). 'I then filled it with a lively pattern to set it apart from the rest of the room, although the bedroom colors used in the fabric, cushions, wallpaper and furniture subtly echo each other to give a sense of structure to the space.’
It may seem unconventional to wallpaper the ceiling in a small bedroom, but as shone through this cozy bed nook, can work wonderfully to zone the space, great for bedroom ceiling ideas.
7. Use color wisely in a diminutive space
‘We would usually lean towards quieter palette combinations, but darker shades can work really well within smaller spaces,' says James Thurstan Waterworth, founder, Thurstan (opens in new tab). 'They create a perception of depth and lend a cozy, cocoon-like feel – welcome in every small bedroom.'
'For the walls, we suggest a deep midnight blue or a petrol green, then lift this by layering careful accents of color, perhaps a burnt orange or a similar earth-toned hue – ochre, terracotta or a softer peach.’
8. Limit bulky light fixtures
Good bedroom lighting ideas are one of the most important elements, particularly in a bedroom. 'A small bedroom can be incredibly inviting and considered lighting can take a room from feeling stark and pokey to sweet and cozy,' says Sheena Murphy, partner, Nune (opens in new tab).
'Our number one rule is to add dimmers to all light switches so you can adjust the mood, and having one decorative light overhead (no recessed lighting) and two bedside lamps – if space permits – is preferred, so again, you can amp up or soften the ambience, according to how you feel.’
9. Paint or wallpaper a headboard in small bedroom ideas
Try to think outside the box. If there is no space for a headboard, then get creative with your wall decor for the bedroom and paint one on the wall.
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.
10. Prioritize form and function
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 small bedroom storage, or space underneath to store boxes and vacuum bags.
Organizing a small bedroom is key to making it feel larger than it is, so choose bedside tables with multiple drawers either side, or if room does not allow, choose underbed storage ideas.
11. Fit in furniture in a small bedroom
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 or apartment bedroom ideas (opens in new tab).
12. Add interest in small bedroom design ideas
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 small bedrooms the wow factor. Generally your feature wall will be the one you see first when entering a room but you could choose a bedroom accent wall behind a key piece of furniture, such as behind the bed or sofa.
13. Paint a small bedroom in white
Decorating schemes will never tire of white, but all-white rooms 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.
14. Convert a loft into an extra bedroom
A loft conversion can be one of the most straightforward ways to introduce extra space into your home. There are an array of cozy bedroom ideas to prove just how inviting these spaces can be.
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.
15. Enhance light in small bedroom ideas
Ensuring adequate light is crucial. When it comes to decorating, light bedroom color ideas are a safe and effective choice: sunlight flooding through a roof light 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.
16. Make small bedroom ideas feel more luxurious
Small bedroom ideas 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.
17. Think about doors in a compact space
Think about the entrance door too in small bedroom ideas.
'If you can’t re-hang it so that it opens away from the room rather than into 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.
18. Get the lighting right
The right bedroom 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.
Important to think about for dorm room ideas also, as the right lighting scheme can help with the needs of this multipurpose space.
19. Use pattern to add visual interest
The elaborate botanical print fabric hanging behind the headboard draws the eye to the outer edge of the room, enhancing this elegant, muted pale green scheme.
A beautiful choice for small bedrooms, green is a calming and relaxing color. Being the Feng Shui bedroom color that represents nature, it’s one that makes us feel good and positive.
‘The philosopher Goethe used to describe green as a useful color, a good color to have around,’ explains Francesca Wezel, founder of Francesca’s Paints.
20. Make the most of available space
Built-in bedroom furniture, using the full height of the room, will maximize floor space. The clever storage solution above also incorporates a multi-purpose shelving unit and dressing table for additional practicality.
How do I arrange my small bedroom?
Like any small space, the key to successful small bedroom ideas is to create adequate storage within a functional layout.
Often when decorating a guest bedroom, 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.
What are the best colors for a small bedroom?
The best color for small bedroom ideas is white. If you want to know how to make a small bedroom look bigger then look no further than an all-white scheme.
Although all-white schemes can make a real statement, why not experiment by combining different white hues to create a light and breezy 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.
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.
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