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These small bedroom storage ideas will be vital when every spare inch of space counts. By thinking outside the box, you can make a real difference to the available storage in your small bedroom.
Clothing littering your floors, piles of messy make-up and out-of-control laundry mountains aren’t exactly conducive to a restorative night’s sleep. But when your belongings are overtaking your boudoir, it’s hard to imagine the space ever feeling like a relaxing sanctuary.
If this sounds like your space, it’s high time for a storage makeover: from key furniture pieces to cleverly utilized nooks, these bedroom storage ideas and small bedrooms will help you make the most of every square inch and get that clutter under control once and for all.
Small bedroom storage ideas
As the popular saying goes, there’s 'a place for everything and everything in its place', and it’s certainly true that most of us feel better when we are organised. ‘It helps us think clearly,’ says Mark Adam, MD of Vitsœ. And when it comes to tidy bedroom ideas, proper storage is your finest weapon in the battle to control clutter.
1. Build storage into the wall
Small bedroom storage ideas should be creative and beautiful – there is no need to compromise on style in a tiny space.
In addition to bedside tables, Nina Campbell recommends creating shallow niches on either side of the bed. ‘I find it maddening not to have somewhere to put a glass of water or a book, so I have done this a few times,’ she explains.
2. Keep storage simple and fuss-free
When choosing the best small bedroom storage ideas, look to key pieces of bedroom furniture that are simple, fuss-free and almost minimal in their designs.
When designing built-in wardrobes, try to ensure that they don’t end up dominating the space. A simple design such as this one by Studio Peake, which has no frame and classic V-grooved panels, works well.
3. Create a walk-through wardrobe
‘Creating a walk-through wardrobe is a good way to separate your bedroom from your clothes storage and have a more serene sleeping space, especially if you don't have the space to create a designated dressing room,’ says Lucy Barlow, founder and director of architectural interior design studio Barlow & Barlow.
In this project, the design team decided to lacquer the wardrobes in a rich emerald green color to make a luxurious statement entrance to the bedroom. Lacquer finishes are not only a useful alternative to paint when it comes to incorporating color into furniture, but are a practical option too, as the coating sets into a hard, durable finish.
4. Go bespoke in a small space
‘My number one tip for maximizing storage in a small apartment bedroom is to commission made-to-measure cabinetry,' says Irene Gunter, interior designer and founder, Gunter & Co. 'Tailored to the dimensions of your space, the wardrobe or shelving can be designed to work round any quirks, such as a sloping ceiling or an awkward corner.’
5. Make a feature out of storage
Storage need not be dull, instead, use statement paint ideas and tricks to give a tired bookcase or cabinet a new lease of life.
Sydney-based interior designer Tamsin Johnson developed this consciously sophisticated scheme with a rich green bookcase taking center stage.
‘The green antique French carved oak bookcase with soft yellow highlights anchors the room while the soft mauve linen bedding provides a tranquil element.
6. Utilize awkward corners
As the old saying goes, a tidy room is a tidy mind – so it is important we keep our bedrooms clear in order to feel calm and relaxed.
Here, an awkward corner has been transformed into useful space with a boxed-out design. It allows any electrical wires to be hidden away safely while also creating a clever recessed shelf for bedside essentials.
This contemporary design is made more effective with varying widths of panelling used throughout the whole room, which when combined create illusions of depth and length to help the space feel bigger. The textured wooden finish completes the scheme for a warm and welcoming look. To achieve a similar style, opt for real oak, pine or walnut wood veneer wall paneling ideas.
7. Choose built-in small bedroom storage to maximize space
If you are looking for box room ideas, or your space has an awkward shape such as the eaves of a loft room, sometimes built-in units can offer the optimal storage solution. Sticking with a simple, neutral design will ensure the style stands the test of time, making the initial investment worthwhile.
For something a little less permanent, get the look by installing a bank of freestanding wardrobes along one wall, shopping around for models that fit the space as fully as possible.
8. Utilize dead space
The bed is usually the single largest furniture item in any bedroom, so it makes sense to use some of this space for storage. Simple trundle drawers or storage containers tucked neatly away give easy access to towels or spare bed linen. If you prefer a clean look, try hiding them under a valance.
9. Factor in fitted furniture
While freestanding furniture has its uses for both storage and display, there is nothing more efficient than well-designed, fitted furniture that allows you to squeeze every inch of use out of even the most unpromising corner in a streamlined way.
The key is to wake up to your home’s hidden potential. 'Furniture designed specifically for a room will look as if it has always been there,’ says furniture designer and maker Claire Darwent. ‘It’s good to live with, and an asset when you come to sell your home.’
10. Feature to floor-to-ceiling furniture
Play up to a room's assets. Maximize storage by using clever multi-functional furniture where suitable, using the walls and height of the room as well as the floor space.
Plan carefully to incorporate an easily accessible place for each item, which will also help keep it permanently neat. If made with beautiful doors, wardrobes are very much part of the design of the room.
Bear in mind, too, that mirrored bedroom storage will help the space feel bigger and brighter.
11. Create a storage system
Pull together two or more shelving units (or wardrobe carcasses) and arrange clothing and boxed up accessories into an open storage system. You could use clothes rails with shelves above to create a similar look.
Go the whole hog and have a custom-made storage system made for you. Take inspiration from these walk-in closet ideas to plan a storage solution that will accommodate everything from clothes, shoes and accessories to bulky duvets and bed linen.
Otherwise, a bedroom organizer or two should help transform an existing closet into a storage-savvy haven.
12. Keep small bedroom storage hidden
The end of the bed can often benefit from a handy perch to sit on whilst putting on shoes, as well as for additional occasional storage. Padded footstools or blanket boxes offer a brilliant two-in-one option here, packing lots of storage in to a relatively small space.
13. Build around the bed
Bespoke furniture really comes into its own in small spaces. You can build into every niche and alcove, get the best from awkward spaces such as under the stairs, and build around architectural features such as pillars.
Slim units and shelving will add storage to narrow spaces such as around the bed, and cupboards can go all the way up to the ceiling. A bespoke furniture designer or specialist fitted furniture company usually offers a full design service including site visits, drawings and all manner of clever internal fittings, but don’t overlook the skills of a good joiner too, especially if they have an eye for design and come recommended first-hand.
14. Take it outside
Most homes suffer from bottle-necks, so think laterally about how to free up space. Can a small bedroom have wardrobes or shelving in the hall outside, with dressing room appeal? Challenge your preconceptions of traditional dressing room ideas, whilst making sure any solution is practical.
15. Balance the look
A combination of closed closets and open shelf storage will feel lighter and creates space for display. Mirror, glass and any reflective surface will keep the look bright and airy while movable panels, screens and furniture bring versatile flexibility.
And never underestimate the designers’ favourite trick – a light, bright decorating scheme. Clever bedroom lighting ideas never fail to enhance the sense of space.
16. Display pretty paraphernalia
Often unused and unloved, the alcoves on either side of a bed act as the perfect foil for open shelving. Display your prettiest objects, accessories or even books for all to see.
17. Keep it behind closed doors
Built-in alcove cupboards max out the storage potential of a chimney breast wall. The shallow section over the chimney breast needn’t go to waste – just add floating shelves and a small table top for the perfect vanity unit space, like in this stylish gray bedroom.
18. Rethink your layout
It's always tempting to reinstate a fireplace into a chimney breast that has been filled in, or, as we mentioned above, to build closets across it. However, placing the head of the bed on a chimney breast can be a good use of space – and of a focal wall. That way, you can devote the alcoves above, not just to bedside tables – but to an entire storage system, too.
Putting wall lights over the bed, rather than on bedside tables, is another handy small bedroom layout idea to free up space.
19. Split a small bedroom with a glazed partition
This small bedroom storage idea might be perfect for you if your space is on the long, narrow side. Putting a glazed partition in to split the room two thirds to one third allows you to put a wardrobe in one section, and to place more storage furniture against the partition in the bedroom section. Clever.
20. Make space for a desk – and paperwork storage
Post-pandemic, we are more than ready to embrace the idea of desk space – and the necessary accompanying storage – featuring in a bedroom, even a small one. The best solution? Hidden desks, which can be clever solutions like the one above, desks within wardrobes or even dressing tables that can double up.
How can I get more storage in my small bedroom?
Even the most humble of box rooms has the ability to serve as a comfortable bedroom, and clever use of storage 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 bedroom’s storage potential.
Do you have room for a small walk-in closet design or is space tighter, in which case sliding doors may be the most space-saving solution? Think about how much hanging space you need, whether you have lots of long dresses or multiple jackets and coats, and whether you prefer to hang or fold your shirts. Do you want drawers for lingerie, jewellery and accessories, extra-deep drawers for bulky clothes, or lots of shoe, boot and bag storage? You may also want to incorporate mirrors and lights that activate when the doors open.
'Start planning your room by considering storage. Go beyond joinery – a substantial 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,' says Bunny Pocock of Turner Pocock.
How do you organize a 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. When looking at guest bedroom ideas, 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.
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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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