How to make a small bedroom feel larger

If you’d like to make a small bedroom feel more spacious without investing in major work, then we’ve put together our favourite hints and tricks to achieve just that. Smaller rooms can feel cosier, warming and more welcoming than larger spaces, but the key is in the presentation! Here’s what to do.

The neutral colourscheme in this room has been given interest with a range of tones and textures. Image: Blake Carpenter/unsplash

If it’s practical to do so, start by clearing everything out of the room except the largest pieces of furniture. Light colours help to give a brighter feel, but you don’t have to stick to plain white – pale grey, taupe, beige or cream will also work well. If your room is long and narrow, then using a darker paint colour or wallpaper on one short wall only can help it to look less boxy and will draw the eye down the length of the room.

The main problem with smaller rooms is that they have a tendency to look cluttered, so once the decoration is finished think carefully about how much stuff you want to move back in. Freestanding furniture such as chests of drawers can add to the impression of ‘business’ in a room, so if the budget allows then you could think about putting in a fitted floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. If your room is an oblong, the fitted unit should ideally be positioned across the short end of the room. It’s an easy way of keeping clutter out of sight, and doesn’t require you to be that tidy! Alternatively, you could try building shelves over and around the bed head, which will give added storage where it’s not in the way.

Create a strong focal point with splashes of bold colour. Image: c) Annie Spratt/unsplash

Let as much light as possible into the room. Curtains can look bulky and fussy, so opt for a neat blind that will shut out light while you’re sleeping but fold up out of the way during the day time. Venetian or plantation blinds (both made from horizontal strips of plastic or wood) look neat in a contemporary setting. For something more traditional, try a Roman blind made from fabric, which folds up when not in use. Roman blinds are also a good way of injecting colour into a neutral space.

Be careful about what goes up on the walls. While artwork is a fantastic way of stamping your personality on a space, one large painting or photograph hung over the bed head has much more visual impact that several smaller ones.

In a small space, everything has to work twice as hard. If you’re planning to replace the bed, then consider a version with build-in storage drawers. Blanket chests can double as seating or bedside tables. If you have a dressing table with a chair, then how about replacing the chair with a piano stool? Not only will it take up less space, it also has storage inside the lid ideal for scarves, accessories or makeup.

Make the space your own with selected accessories. Image: Priscilla du Preez/unsplash

Do add a focal point. If the eye is instantly drawn to a particular part of the room, it has less time to register dimensions! The bed is probably the largest piece of furniture in the room, so celebrate that by adding coloured and textured cushions, bright bedding or an unusual throw.

Invest in a wall mirror. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but a large mirror really does help reflect light back into the room and visually increases its size. If you can, hang the mirror opposite the window where it will catch the maximum of light.

Finally, don’t be afraid to add a few personal touches – small, plain rooms can run the risk of looking too bare if you’re really ruthless about the decluttering! Adding framed photos or a couple of ornaments helps prevent the finished result looking too much like a hotel room.

For more bedroom decorating ideas, check out:

How to turn your bedroom into a sanctuary

How to choose a new bed

Main image: (c) Benjamin Voros/Unsplash

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