How Can I Make This Lofted Bed Cozy, Not Claustrophobic?

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Q: I'll soon be moving into a great rental studio. Everything is nice with decent furniture and decoration that I can work with. But there's one small (literally) issue... the sleeping area. It's a lofted bed, kind of in a strange nook above the entryway of the apartment, so it's walled on 3 sides and accessed by a ladder. 

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It's probably not more than 3 feet or so in height. I never actually lived in a dorm, so I was never forced into a cramped space and I've always sort of liked the idea of a cozy little area to lay in, but I'm afraid it may be a little too cozy!:

How can I make the space more cozy and welcoming and less claustrophobic? I've considered using tube lighting around the edges of the ceiling for a more bright, open feel... or even around the railing, but I just cannot come up with anything that would make it feel less like a coffin and more like a bed I'd want to lay in all Sunday afternoon! P.S. There's a tiny tiny bit of open floor space in the loft (as you can see in one of the photos), but the queen mattress takes up most of it.

Any ideas are much appreciated!

Sent by Cara

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(Image: provided by Cara)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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