From tiny box rooms to awkwardly shaped loft spaces, small bedrooms all come with their own unique set of problems. People often struggle with storage, how to create an effective furniture layout and finding small bedroom ideas (opens in new tab) to make these compact spaces look bigger than they really are. Bunny Turner, of Turner Pocock, explains why small bedrooms can actually be a blessing. ‘We actually really enjoy designing small bedroom spaces as it’s much easier to make them feel cozy and inviting, and it forces you to put the practical wardrobe storage elsewhere.’

1. Arrange furniture to fit 

Fitting furniture within small bedroom layout ideas can seem tricky, but there are some things to keep in mind which simplify the whole process. ‘The key is to try to avoid placing bedroom furniture on all sides of the room. Keep spaces clear between furniture to allow for flow, and make sure that the pieces that are selected serve their purpose well,’ advises Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock.

2. Plan the storage in a small bedroom wisely

Storage is one of the biggest issues with small bedrooms and bedroom layout ideas. The trick here is to be clever about how you use your space.  Beata Heuman made the most of this small room idea by including a beautifully upholstered chest at the foot of the bed. By using a gorgeous fabric, it becomes a focal point for the room and doesn’t scream out the fact that it’s actually a practical storage solution. In addition to being the perfect container for thick jumpers, boots or blankets, it also provides a place to sit and get ready for the day ahead.

3. Utilize the space under the bed

Space under the bed, or a divan with built in drawers, can be utilized for items like shoes and bags, too. And if you’re investing in a new small walk-in closet, look for layered, tall options; you can get hooks to pull the top layer down so you’re not constantly stretching upwards. With your storage, make sure to also consider the use of the room. For example, if you are decorating a guest bedroom then you can get away without a wardrobe; a generous hook over the door should suffice.

4. Think about the placement of your bed

By their very nature, beds can be a fairly cumbersome problem when designing the layout of a bedroom, particularly when space is tight in box rooms. To make a beautifully dressed bed the focal point, place it in the middle of a wall, with equal space on either side for small storage units and lamps. If, however, you wish to prioritize floor space, then you have to think outside the box. One solution, illustrated here by this Wendi Wolf Lewitt design, is to create a sleeping alcove. No only does this add floor space, but it creates a restful nook where you can switch off – perfect if the person living there has to work or study in the same small space.  As a bonus, if you build in an alcove you can include storage ideas under the bed and shelves behind the bedhead, too.

5. Make a small bedroom look larger

How you decorate a small room can have a huge impact on how spacious it appears. ‘If it is a small bedroom in an attic or with sloping walls, we often continue the wallpaper over the ceiling to give an overall effect and maximise the feeling of space,’ says Kit Kemp. ‘Using a very large painting or wall hanging in a small room often makes a room feel bigger, too.’ Statement prints on headboards also trick the eye into thinking the space feels larger, by distracting you from the rest of the room. Take into account prints used on the wall. When considering bedroom wallpaper ideas, a slightly larger repeat in the pattern can suggest the feeling of more space than there actually is.

6. Arrange a child’s small bedroom to perfection

Children’s rooms are often comparatively smaller rooms than the adults in a house. While of course the kids are small, they tend to accumulate an awful lot of stuff very quickly.  Which is why Katie Cox, interior designer at Ham Interiors, says that, ‘when coming up with small bedroom ideas for kids, incorporating clever storage is always a good plan!’ Consider built-in joinery to maximize space. Katie then suggests to ‘use oversized baskets, to make clearing away toys quick and easy’.

7. Use symmetry in a small bedroom

Get symmetry right and you can create harmony in a small bedroom, and make your space feel much larger than it actually is.  Symmetry creates balance and a feeling of calm when used in interior design – and while it is wonderfully elegant in large rooms, it can also create a feeling of enhanced space in smaller rooms.  The best way to use symmetry in a room is by having an architectural feature or a piece of statement furniture as a starting or center point. However, you can create symmetry in a non-symmetrical space with statement headboard ideas or wall decor ideas.

8. Visually expand your space with a bedroom mirror

Visually expand your bedroom, multiply light, and add wonderful wall decor with well-chosen bedroom mirror ideas.  Clever bedroom styling ideas with mirrors can make a small bedroom feel much larger. One way to achieve this is to fit mirrors up to ceiling height either side of the bed so they create the illusion of alcoves.

How do you arrange furniture in a small bedroom?

Being selective and clever with furniture and its purpose also helps when considering what you need in the room. Sharing some of her small bedroom storage ideas (opens in new tab), Bunny Turner says: ‘We often use chests of drawers as bedside tables to maximize on the storage achieved, and we usually hide additional storage within the bed divan room.’

What is the best way to organize a small bedroom? 

Organization is vital in any small room, but in bedrooms, where rest is the endgame, it’s even more important. ‘I think the key in a small bedroom is still to try and fit in the ingredients that everyone needs – really good bedroom lighting (opens in new tab) such as reading lights (if needs be, wall lights, but I always prefer a table lamp if possible) – and a bedside table with a drawer or two,’ says designer Ben Pentreath. Make use of every awkward space you can. Bespoke fitted shelves can turn a tight corner into a useful spot of storage. Solutions like placing a mini Lazy Susan in the corner of a unit can add space and practicality. It’s not only the practical things that are worth consideration. ‘It’s lovely if you’ve got space for a small chest of drawers, which means that you can put out some books and a bunch of flowers if you’ve got friends staying,’ advises Ben. 

How can I rearrange my bedroom to make it look bigger?

When considering how to lay out your bedroom to maximize space, there are a number of things to take into account. The pictured small bedroom design, from Thorp, illustrates a few other ways to arrange the room to look bigger. ‘The triple panels on the door are proportioned to make the room seem much taller than it is,’ notes founder Philippa Thorp.  Further, symmetry will make the room feel calmer and more spacious than it might actually be, so see if you can fit in matching bedside tables and lamps. Kit Kemp suggests to ‘add mirrors either side of a fireplace with a foxed mirror glass to maximise the feeling of light and space.’  For rooms with wardrobes, Kit suggests: ‘Mirror the back of the wardrobe space, so when you open the wardrobe door in a bedroom the mirror makes the cupboard feel more luxurious and bigger.’