Maximise your small bedroom with these 10 design hacks

Do you have a compact bedroom? Then, why not use some clever design tricks and styling ideas to make every centimetre count? KBB journo Becca Cullum-Green shares her top ten tips…

A bedroom should be your private sanctuary; somewhere to relax and unwind. No matter how little space you have to work with, there are many ways to help make a compact bedroom feel bigger – and they don’t require major structural changes.

If your room feels cramped and cluttered, you can implement a few smart storage solutions. But creating a pleasing space is not only about the practicalities of how a small bedroom functions, you need to give it a big dose of style and personality that’s totally unique to you and your home. 

Making a few ingenious alterations can end the frustration over your room’s size and make you fall back in love with it, so read on for inspiring wall decor, furniture designs and original flooring solutions that will make your bijou boudoir beautiful again. 

1. Multi-functional bedroom furniture

When shopping for bedroom furniture, look out for clever, multi-functional designs. A slimline dressing table can double up as a bedside table. Plus, if your bedroom is also an office, you can transform the same item of furniture into a desk during working hours. Avoid bulky pieces of furniture as they can overwhelm a room and instead consider side tables and folding chairs that can easily be tucked away when necessary. 

“Look out for design features like taller legs, to give a feeling of airiness,” advises Sallie King, founder of Urbansize. “Sliding doors will minimise the need for door clearance and clever pieces incorporate storage into their design. Scandi-style furniture works well in a small space, ensuring the room isn’t overwhelmed by fussy details.” 

Bedroom with wooden wall panelling, and green tartan duvet and matching pillowcase on the bed.
Gingham double duvet set, £20; Natural wood table lamp, £25; Basket, £20; Peio folding chair, £80; Pinecone cushion, £10; Wood arch mirror, £45; Flatweave rug, £95, and Espen two-drawer desk, £275, all from Habitat.

2. Consider a floating bedside table

Create the illusion of more floor space with floating furniture. Incorporating wall-mounted furniture into your bedroom design eliminates any potential wasted space underneath. To keep the space open visually, opt for minimalist furniture, with clean lines and a simple design. And the bonus of having a floating bedside table is that you can easily dust and clean underneath it without having to move all your stuff around – so it’s stylish and practical! 

Floating bedside table with a minimalistic design.
Curved oak floating bedside table, from £280, Urbansize.

3. Welcome patterns into your small bedroom

Create a talking point and make up for the lack of space in a small bedroom by adding a large dose of colour and personality. Introducing a bold pattern, such as wallpaper, artwork or a statement hanging tapestry, creates an immediate talking point.

If you’re designing a bedroom from scratch, we’d recommend curating a mood board of colours, fabrics and patterns that you’d like to include in your design. The process is, of course, different for everyone; you may have already found a pattern that you love and may want to use that as a starting point.

And don’t be afraid of a pattern clash! 2024 is all about having fun and expressing your personal style through unique colours and unusual, quirky pattern combinations.

Colourful bedroom with chevron backboard and yellow headboard with other colourful accents and throws.
Add a fun feature, like this Hypnos bed in Mustard Tweed, £2599, which includes useful storage. Nordic Oak table, £429, and Delaney Urn table lamp, £319, all from Furniture Village.

4. Consider colour drenching

Use paint to liven up your bedroom and go for a saturated look, using one singular shade. This achieves a cohesive look with no obvious break-out zones and the result is a room that appears more spacious than it really is. If you’re worried about your bedroom feeling flat and one-dimensional, consider adding texture to the walls with some wood panelling. 

And, contrary to what you may have heard, have fun embracing dark colours – in small bedrooms they make the space feel cosy. Dark, jewel tones, such as navy, forest green and burgundy, feel wonderfully rich and sumptuous and will help to bring a sense of luxury to a compact sleep space.  

Blue bedroom with angled roof and skylights.
This loft bedroom has been painted in a deep shade of blue, inspired by the midnight sky. Wine Dark emulsion, £54.50, for 2.5 litres, Farrow & Ball.  

5. Opt for modular solutions

Do you have an awkward alcove or an empty space that’s crying out to be put to good use? Consider modular storage, which is available in lots of different colour combinations and designs. With specialist brands, such as Shelved, you can find lots of clever storage ideas to make the best use of your space. 

Scandinavian small bedroom with modular open shelving.
This Scandi-inspired design is both good-looking and hard-working. Bedroom modular storage unit, £923.50, Shelved.

6. Make the most of awkward spaces 

Don’t overlook alcoves, which can be a common design obstacle in compact bedrooms. Instead, consider putting one to good use as a dressing table. “Floating dressing tables are a good idea because they help increase the feeling of space and can be easily installed in an alcove,” explains Rebecca Nokes, design director at John Lewis of Hungerford. “In a particularly small bedroom, painting your cabinetry the same colour as your walls can make a room feel larger, and installing cabinetry to the full height of the room is a great way of making use of dead space.”

You can curate a timeless design that feels intentional by placing a statement mirror above, which will help to open up the space, and adding decorative wall lights on either side of it. And opt for a small, upholstered stool that can be neatly tucked underneath the dresser when it’s not in use.

Sage green bedroom with built-in vanity unit with mirror and stool.
You can squeeze a floating dressing table into the smallest of spaces such as this Shaker bedroom design, from £13,000, by John Lewis of Hungerford.

7. Up your storage game

Bespoke storage is an excellent investment in a compact bedroom, as it makes use of any awkward nooks and crannies. Before you start planning out your space, think about where you want to place large pieces of furniture. 

“As a rule of thumb, always start with the placement of your bed,” recommends Rachal Hutcheson, national retail manager at Sharps. “Think about where you want to incorporate storage around it. Alcoves on either side of the bed can be used for fitted bedside tables or shelving, creating seamless designs that feel as though they are part of the room rather than a piece that has simply been placed within it.”

Fitted wardrobes painted in a neutral colour around and above a minimalist bed.
This handleless design helps to create a feeling of order and space. Manhattan bedroom storage, from £2000, Sharps.

8. On reflection

Mirrors will always make a room feel lighter, brighter and larger. And you don’t have to hang a mirror over the mantelpiece; think big and prop up an oversized mirror against a wall. It’s useful when getting dressed but also creates a more relaxed look. Plus, you can move it around the room if want to change the look.

When shopping for your bedroom mirror, look for a design that sits well with the rest of your scheme. If you’re into vintage, have fun exploring local flea markets for that perfect piece, or check out your favourite interior brands for something more contemporary.  

Vintage style small bedroom with a large mirror, green bed and small armchair.
Invest in a large freestanding mirror to bounce light around a compact bedroom. Tannir carved mirror, £595, and Elbu deconstructed linen armchair, £750, Nkuku

9. Shine a light

Wall lights are perfect for small bedrooms and plug-in wall lights are a quick and easy solution if you don’t have the budget, time or patience to revamp your electrics. They will free up any surface space, as well as offer a stylish and timeless feel, with some designs featuring adjustable swing arms, allowing you to move the light to wherever you need it.

Minimalist room with wicker headboard and copper light.
The antique-brass finish of this Hanson wall light, £142.20, by Jim Lawrence, exudes luxury. Pair it with an elegant lampshade that works with the rest of your scheme. 

10. Make a design statement 

Choosing a bold-patterned headboard or bed frame will introduce style and personality into your boudoir but can also trick the eye into making a room feel bigger. “To make the most of a small bedroom, avoid using artwork and look towards intricate headboards as a way of introducing character and personality,” suggests Martin Waller, founder of the luxury furniture brand Andrew Martin

Green wall panelling with a funky patterned headboard and multicoloured pillows and throws.
Add country charm to your bedroom with the Joules Thornton kingsize bed frame in Festive Floral, £1249, from Dfs.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for the latest sage green bedroom ideas

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