10 Modern Small Bedrooms That Make the Case for a Less-Is-More Look

published Apr 30, 2023
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Bedroom with black walls with white bold design, bed has black and white bedding. There are large windows with a wood desk in front
Credit: Erin Derby

If you’re working with a small bedroom, a more modern design aesthetic could be just the thing your sleep space needs to truly shine. Modern decor is all about keeping things simple and clean, which may be the best route to take to ensure your room feels light, uncluttered, and suited to restorative sleep. Need a little help figuring out your design game plan? These 10 modern small bedrooms offer tons of inspiration on how to maximize a tiny footprint and make your small bedroom feel more up-to-date and stylish in the process.

1. White nightstands and hanging pendants 

Sara’s home in Melbourne, Australia, is full of mid-century modern details, like warm wood, clean-lined furniture, and minimalist art. Her bedroom includes all three of these things, too, but still manages to make a light, airy impression. Hanging pendants flank the bed and give the room a streamlined look by providing ambient light that takes up zero floor space. The circular nightstands are small, white, and compact, fading into the white walls and bedding. Taken altogether, this room’s a perfect model of how to do modern with style — just minus all the unnecessary frills.

Credit: Viv Yapp

2. A bold color pop meets MCM furniture 

Rhonda Drakeford’s moody, blue bedroom inside her East London rental makes a great case for doubling down on a bold color in a small space. The key here? Instead of covering all the walls, Drakeford created a half-painted, faux wainscoting look around the perimeter of her room with a cobalt hue. The resulting look is fresh and provides the perfect backdrop for her wooden MCM furniture.

Credit: Ivan Sorokin

3. A simple bed with white walls 

Anna Krutolevich is a designer who was tasked with redesigning a 410-square-foot apartment for a client in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The entire square footage of the apartment is pretty small, so Krutolevich had to get creative with the layout and ended up lofting the sleeping space above the living room. This bedroom is as minimal as it gets — furnished with nothing but a bed set against a clean, white backdrop. Don’t be afraid to go strategically sparse in a small bedroom. All you need is one fun textile — in this case, a geometric red pillow — to set off the entire space.

Credit: Erin Derby

4. Abstract wallpaper FTW 

Alvin Wayne is a fun, spirited designer whose home has just as much personality as he does. Abstract patterns are certainly in right now, and Wayne’s bedroom focuses on one. He covered his bedroom walls and ceiling with a modern, black-and-white wallpaper that gives his sleeping space dimension and an artistic air that’s impossible to ignore.

5. Boho bliss

If your version of modern involves more boho details, this design style can definitely work in a tiny bedroom in small doses. Just ask Trinity Shi and Justin Ling. They share a two-story home in Los Angeles that they’ve filled with wooden furniture, woven textiles, and hints of greenery. The bedroom, like the rest of their home, has bright white walls, which provide a clean, serene backdrop for all of their furnishings. The best small-space tip at work in their space? Placing their lowboy and tallboy dressers on the same wall and pushing them together. Although it’s an unconventional choice, the quiet furnishings in the rest of the room — neutral bedding, a single tapestry above the bed that almost fades into the wall behind it — keep the room from feeling cramped, even though the furniture doesn’t have a ton of room to breathe.

6. A modern kids’ room

Gina Ciancio has styled her home as simply as possible by using low-slung furniture and keeping the walls bare for the most part. “I’d describe my style as contemporary Australian mixed with minimalist,” she says in her house tour, and she designed every room through that lens, including her son Patrick’s bedroom. Kid spaces don’t have to be over-the-top to be well-designed, stimulating environments either, meaning the modern style can work well for them, too. A simple navy bed frame mingles with a superhero-themed pillow, while a floating shelf stands in for a nightstand, saving just enough floor space for a solid collection of stuffies.

7. Soothing symmetry

When it comes to designing any kind of a small bedroom, a modern one included, you can always use symmetry to your decorative advantage. That’s what Carrissa Leary did in her Melbourne sleep space. Even though all of her furnishings don’t mirror one another exactly, the tall potted trees on either side of her bed are so prominent, the whole room seems visually soothing because of them.

8. A built-in bed

Samantha Curcio and David Waddell have owned their home in Victoria, Australia, for four years and renovated nearly every room. “My design style is a mix of mid-century modern and straight-up modern,” Curcio says. Color is the biggest inspiration in their home, and they found a way to incorporate it in a non-overwhelming way. If only one idea in their bedroom is worth implementing, though, it’d have to be that custom bed with built-in nightstands. Maybe you can’t go quite as big in a really little sleeping area, but double-duty or twofer furnishings are always a good idea when you want to save space. More and more home decor brands are offering readymade beds with built-in nightstands, as well.

Credit: Erin Derby

9. Stealthy storage

Christina Goldschmidt says the guest room in her two-bedroom New York condo doubles as a second closet. This dual usage explains the floor-to-ceiling closets that she had designed for the space. “I built in a streamlined thin closet that holds all my shoes and purses,” Goldschmidt says. “It’s really special and it’s pretty hidden so if you are staying in that room, it blends in!” The covert storage behind the sleek, handleless doors is super-chic and screams modern style as soon as you walk in the room.

Credit: Kate Thompson

10. Grounding details 

Every inch of Hilton Carter’s Baltimore, Maryland, home is a beautiful, airy plant-lover’s paradise. His bedroom is one of the rooms with the least amount of plants, but that hasn’t stopped Carter from giving it a modern feel. Here, key furnishings in a modern matte black finish stand out, from the overhead fan to the window panes. Peppering in hits of black can ground and modernize any bedroom, no matter the size.