Ideas + Inspiration

Small Bedroom Ideas

From quaint historic houses to trendy tiny living, some homes just don’t have expansive bedroom space to spread out in. Awkward layouts and even a lack of closet space altogether can feel confining and frustrating to furnish. But you can still pack big bedroom style into a mini master, narrow nursery, or small spare. Here’s how to live large in your little bedroom.

Add Interest

Distract from a diminutive space by keeping your largest items of furniture neutral, and adding lots of little accents to attract the eye. Cheerfully colored and patterned accent furniture, portable lighting, and wall decor keep your attention on the little things, not the lack of space.

Layer Your Lighting
Plan for Plants

Adding some greenery helps to freshen a small space, literally and figuratively. Many houseplants are great at filtering harmful chemicals from the air, and even small plants can add a sense of the great outdoors. Plus, green is a naturally calming color to the human brain.

Layer Your Lighting
Stick ‘Em Up

Instead of traditional table lamps on the nightstands, try wall-mounted reading lights or even pendants as bedside lights to save some precious surface area. There are lots of wall lights that have adjustable arms and fold back flat against the wall when not in use. And pendants won’t tip over if you turn around too fast in a small space.

Layer Your Lighting
Sitting Pretty

Even small rooms can have a sitting area, giving you the illusion of more space. Forgo the overstuffed lounge chair and ottoman and opt for a more slender design that will tuck into a corner. And you can use your night table or dresser as an extra surface for resting your cup of tea.

Image via @citysage

Layer Your Lighting
Modern Furniture |YLiving
Minimalism Managed

Some might find a monochromatic color scheme is less claustrophobic than a room with a lot going on--certainly, when there’s not a lot of contrast between wall, floor, and furniture, the space can appear bigger just by virtue of all the tones blending together.

Image via @citysage

Layer Your Lighting
Sneaky Storage Solutions

If you have little room but lots of stuff, consider a bed that lets you stuff it. Platform beds that lift up or have drawers are a good alternative to big chests of drawers. You can even store stuff under your bed if you keep it neatly corralled in storage containers--clutter is the enemy of the small bedroom.

Layer Your Lighting
SQ Bed from Artless | Yliving
The Proper Proportions

While a large space can accommodate any size furniture you like, a smaller bedroom needs furniture that’s proportional to its size. For instance, choose a lower headboard (or forgo one altogether), a more delicate side table, and dressers with fewer drawers.

Layer Your Lighting
Living Low

The lower your furniture is to the ground in a small room, the larger the room will appear as the bare walls go all the way up. Low credenzas or dressers can fit under windowsills or even sit in front of large expanses of glass without blocking too much light. The idea is to keep your field of vision as clear as possible by congregating your heaviest pieces on the lowest plane.

Layer Your Lighting
High and Mighty

On the other hand, bunk beds for kids’ rooms, tall beds with multi-use areas underneath, and high platform beds with lots of storage space built in draw the eye up and maximize space at the same time. To make the room seem even taller, try hanging long curtains well above the tops of windows to give the illusion of higher ceilings.

Layer Your Lighting
Architectural Advantage

Vintage built-ins, quirky nooks, and odd corners can be used as display and storage to your advantage. Look for opportunities to tuck in a dresser or desk, line skinny walls with shallow shelving, or even take the doors off a built-in unit and put your extra linens on display.

Image via Behance

Layer Your Lighting
Back to Basics

Edit your small bedroom so that you only have the absolute essentials taking up your precious space. You might find clever spots to hide a bit of decor, such as the bundle of sticks beneath this night table. Unique accessories, like this table lamp, make sure your personality isn’t left behind.

Layer Your Lighting
Close for Comfort

Diminutive spaces are more charming when they’re cozy. Like animals building a nest or a den, so too do people like to cozy up with all the soft and squishy comforts of a well-dressed bed. The walls being closer in can enhance the hygge, especially in the wintertime, when cuddled up in a soft bed with the lights down low.

Layer Your Lighting

A combined-use space is still possible with the right elements. Again, an editor’s eye is helpful to pare down what you really need, but even small rooms can accommodate a bed and a crib (or desk, or whatever the case may be) when you choose the essentials in the right sizes.

Image via @tinylittlepads

Layer Your Lighting
Through the Looking Glass

Reflected light (and reflected room) gives the illusion of a room being more spacious and lively. Position mirrors to reflect a special light fixture, a window, or decorate an entire wall with mirrors if that’s what you’re into.

Layer Your Lighting
Double Duty

Convertible furniture isn’t just an uncomfortable sofa bed in the guest room anymore. These days there are more versatile, chic, and comfortable options than ever before. You can expand pieces when needed and gain more space when it’s all tucked up and away.

Image via HGTV

Layer Your Lighting
Make It Clear

Choosing your materials wisely will help to make even the smallest room look larger. Instead of heavy traditional woods or metals, try clear furniture that lets light pass right through it. Kartell is one company who’s mastered the art of polycarbonate and has beautiful crystalline chairs, tables, and more that are substantial and durable yet don’t weigh down your look.

Image via Home Via Laura

Layer Your Lighting
Get Creative

One popular trend is to use pretty shelving as art as well as a storage solution. Hanging shelves and unique installed ledges can be populated with your favorite items, and a well-curated collection can double as wall art.

Layer Your Lighting
Color Theory

Bright colors can be cheery in any space, and sometimes the dazzle and wonder of color and pattern are just the thing they eye needs to take the mind off a really tiny room. For textiles it’s easy to change and update as you like; for paint colors, it’s more of a commitment and you may like to try softer shades if the room lacks natural light.

Layer Your Lighting
Up and Away

While the bedroom gets a lot of use (a third of your life spent sleeping, among other things), your master suite need not look any worse for wear. Added storage in the form of armoires, credenzas, and even beds with drawers help keep a handle on clutter and distraction, so your bedroom is always tranquil and welcoming.

Layer Your Lighting
On the Bench

At the end of the bed, a small bench can act as storage space, decor, and sitting area in one. If your favorite bench doesn’t have actual storage compartments, you can tuck baskets or boxes underneath with similar effect. Select a bench that’s only as wide as your bed or less to keep walkways clear.

Layer Your Lighting
previous arrow
next arrow

Less is more, when it comes to outfitting your minimalist bedroom. Paint the walls in neutral colors, dress your bed in monochromatic linens and use simple nightstands that don’t have room for clutter. Installing wall sconces on either side of the bed, or hanging pendants above, allows for ample reading light without taking up bedside table space. Read more on How to Design a Modern Bedroom.


For more modern bedroom ideas, follow our favorites on Pinterest:

Team Y

Team Y

Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.

Use #YintheWild to show us your modern space. VIEW GALLERY