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 utilised nooks, learn how to make the most of every square inch of your bedroom and get that clutter under control once and for all.
See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration for beautiful bedrooms
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 the home, proper storage is your finest weapon in the battle to control clutter.
1. Create a walk-through wardrobe
‘Creating a walk-through wardrobe is a good approach to separating your bedroom from your clothes storage, and is a good way to have a more serene sleeping space,’ says Lucy Barlow, founder and director of architectural interior design studio Barlow & Barlow.
‘Especially if you don’t have the space to create a designated dressing room,’ she adds. 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.
See: Small bedroom ideas – to make the most of a compact space
2. 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 lengths 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 a real oak, pine or walnut wood veneer panelling.
See more panelling ideas for walls in our dedicated decor guide.
3. Choose built-in small bedroom storage to maximize space
If your space is small or 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.
- See: Box room ideas – clever ways to style the smallest room in your home
4. 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.
5. 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, and in a most 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.’
6. 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 these wardrobes are very match part of the design of the room.
Bear in mind, too, that mirrored bedroom storage will help the space feel bigger and brighter.
7. 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. It will accommodate clothes, shoes, accessories and bulky duvets and bed linen.
See: Dressing room ideas – for a beautifully organized space
8. Keep small bedroom storage hidden
The end of the bed, or side of a sofa, can often benefit from both 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 in lots of storage into a relatively small space.
9. 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 firsthand.
See: Grey bedroom ideas – for a neutral scheme that is classic and modern
10. 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, but do make sure any solution is practical.
11. Balance the look
A combination of closed cupboards 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 and decent lighting never fails to enhance the sense of space.
See: Bedroom lighting ideas – clever ways with lighting, and your questions answered
12. Display pretty paraphernalia
Often unused and unloved, the alcove 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.
13. 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.
14. 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 wardrobes 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 beside tables further frees up useful surfaces.
15. 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 it into two thirds to one third allows you to put a wardrobe in one half, and to place more storage furniture against the partition in the bedroom section. Clever.
16. 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 – to feature in a bedroom, even a small one. The best solution? Hidden desks, which can be clever solutions like the one above, desks hidden 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 walk-in 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, 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, 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. 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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