6 Brilliant Ways to Make the Most of a Narrow Bedroom

updated Feb 17, 2023
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Sophia’s Bookish Live/Work Apartment (Image credit: Sherrie U. )

There’s small and then there is narrow. A narrow bedroom can be difficult to work with as this space traditionally calls for multiple pieces of furniture, such as nightstands on both sides of a bed and a dresser or armoire that may be difficult to squeeze in comfortably. This shape of room can also be difficult to work with design-wise as extra-long walls on two sides can feel endless and may lack visual interest. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to make the most of an oddly shaped, small bedroom without embarking on a major project. Here are six narrow bedroom ideas to inspire a more design-centric, functional retreat.

Credit: IKEA

1. Optimize your under-the-bed storage space.

The bed (and the space underneath) is your secret weapon in terms of maximizing storage space in a narrow room. Investing in a bed that comes equipped with storage drawers, such as IKEA’s MALM bed, can do wonders in terms of clearing out clutter and helping you get organized. You can also simply purchase some storage bins to slide under an existing bed frame if it’s high enough.

2. Don’t fear the Murphy Bed.

This Pasadena studio apartment makes the most of limited square footage and architectural quirks with a Murphy Bed. A narrow bedroom can seriously benefit from this clever contraption as it creates extra room when you’re entertaining, studying, or lounging while offering plenty of coziness when it’s time to hit the hay.

Credit: Lula Poggi

3. Utilize a mirror (or three!) to give the illusion of a larger space.

Take a cue from this Barcelona home and create an optical illusion with a mirror. This will make the room appear larger in an instant, and it is also a great way to break up long, narrow wall space.

4. Allow your dresser to serve double-duty as a nightstand.

It’s okay to buck the traditional design rules in order to save space. Here, the bedroom in a Queens apartment lets a dresser also act as a bedside table. Plus, the room creates extra storage for popular bedtime goodies, like books and candles, with a floating shelf on the adjacent wall. 

5. Break out the paintbrush.

Paint both of your smaller walls a darker shade than the longer ones. The painted walls will appear as if they are coming closer, and the room will feel more square and proportional instead of the narrow rectangle it actually is.

Jordan’s Light, Location & Vibe (Image credit: Small Cool Contest 2011)

6. Embrace your inner gallerist.

Break up long walls with clusters of artwork or decor to create visual interest. However, you’ll want to avoid installing a series of frames hung side by side that are all the same color, size, and material in favor of a more well-collected look.