8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Small-Space Bedroom Layout

published Nov 1, 2022
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If you’re feeling torn between furnishing your small bedroom with the pieces you truly love and maximizing its footprint with space-savvy decorating ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

The design pros have spoken, and these eight easy strategies can help you live large in a bedroom that’s on the tiny side, whether you’re a renter or homeowner. The best part? You can still have fun with furniture, layer in prints, and even style the perfect shelfie. By no means do small bedrooms have to be boring!

Choose furniture wisely.

Don’t just select any random bed or dresser when outfitting your bedroom, if you can help it. It’s far better to be strategic about what you buy to make sure items are truly earning their keep. “Getting furniture pieces that have additional storage or shelving can help with a small bedroom layout,” explains designer Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs. So as cute as that marble-topped side table may be, you may want to skip it in favor of a three-drawer nightstand that can really help you stay organized.

Incorporate an end-of-bed bench.

A bench at the foot of the bed is a no-fail solution for a number of reasons. For one, says designer Rozit Arditi of Arditi Design, it allows for extra seating, but that’s not all. “This gives the bedroom an extra level of comfort while creating another surface to put down your clothes for the next day — or pile the clothes, if we are being realistic,” Arditi says.

Install shelving or built-ins.

Put those walls to work! As Hayslett notes, “By using wall space, it helps give more room to store items and keepsakes. “While built-ins may be more challenging for renters, plenty of removable wall shelves can make your life easier during your lease but can easily be dismantled prior to moving out. You’ll thank yourself later if you don’t let any vertical space go to waste.

Be mindful of bed placement.

When you’re seeking to make a space appear larger, it matters where your bed goes. When possible, “having the head of your bed on the same wall as the doorway makes the room look spacious when you enter,” explains designer Annie Elliott of Annie Elliott Design. “Being able to see into the far corners makes the room seem more expansive.”

Use wallpaper to your decorative advantage.

Designer Sydney Markus of Anthony Wilder Design/Build offers a solution to make your bedroom ceilings appear loftier. “Wallpaper with irregular vertical patterns can elongate the height of the room,” she comments. “It’s like a mural.” So bring on those eclectic prints and have a little fun in the process. Vertical stripes, whether painted or wallpapered, can have a similar effect, too.

Credit: Erin Derby

Stick with sconces.

Free up valuable tabletop surface on your nightstands by trading table lamps for sconces, as Markus suggests. So many different styles, sizes, and shapes are available on the market — you’ll have no trouble finding pieces that suit you and your aesthetic.

Credit: Minette Hand

Skip a full dresser.

Wave goodbye to this ultra-useful storage piece? Say it ain’t so! However, Elliott offers an excellent alternative, encouraging small bedroom dwellers to use a short bachelor’s chest as their bedside table. “A tall, skinny étagère on the other side of the bed will give you vertical storage and bedside surface there,” she adds.

Play with texture.

Incorporating textured pieces into your bedroom will certainly help to make a petite space appear bigger, Arditi says. “With city living, you may not always get much in terms of square footage, but adding carefully curated textures will maximize the space by creating a cozier feeling in the room,” she explains.

Arditi suggests opting for a textural rug, and then working up. “Dress your bed with smaller patterns in your bedding, and pair it with colorful throw blanket or a grouping of pillows,” she offers. “This will create a cohesive look and make even the smallest bedroom feel much larger. ”