How to Maximize Space in a Small Bedroom Layout
By Jacquelyn Nause
While a large master suite can be stunning, a smaller bedroom layout is its own dreamy retreat. A bedroom is generally used for dressing and sleeping, so it doesn’t need to be huge. Feel and flow are the most important goals, so let’s look at how to achieve a relaxing ambiance in a smaller space.
Start from Scratch
If possible, take all the furniture out of the room to start. Measure the dimensions and note the placement of doors, windows and outlets. Visualize the ideal setup for your room, and sketch it to scale to be sure everything fits before you start hoisting in heavy items.
Consider safety and practicality as you plan where items will live. Place lighting fixtures and electronics close to outlets, and be sure doors and windows are fully accessible. Walkways need to be cleared to avoid any midnight stumbles.
As in most rooms, the larger items are the most important, practically speaking. A bed and possibly a dresser are necessary, depending on closet space. Speaking of closets, if yours is large enough to nix the need for a dresser by adding some clever closet storage, even better! Alternatively, you may have enough room to slide a chest of drawers into the closet to free up precious floor space.
If space allows, use symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye and helps the room feel more balanced. Place the bed first with a pair of small nightstands on either side or a large piece of furniture like a dresser or wardrobe on the opposite wall.
Store Up or Down
Some small bedroom ideas for decoration may include a tiny closet or no closet at all. This could spell disaster for storage if you don’t think ahead. If you don’t have enough room for the furniture you already have, like chests and dressers, think up or down for more storage options. Some platform beds have storage below or may feature built-in shelves for various items. Alternatively, purchase wide, flat plastic bins to slide underneath the bed for additional organization.
If there is not enough floor space for nightstands, a few shelves above the head of the bed could do the trick. Positioning the bed against a window allows the windowsill to act as a ledge for a small clock and glass of water. Use all the existing features in a room or add shelves or storage vertically up the walls or under furniture. For a child’s room, a loft bed offers a cozy sleep space while a desk and/or dresser can slide under the bed to maximize floor space.
Make Your Furniture Multi-Task
When possible, use multi-tasking furniture in a small bedroom to keep clutter to a minimum. Instead of a sleek, modern nightstand, get one with at least one drawer so items that may end up on top of the nightstand have a place to live out of sight. If you need a desk, opt for one with storage shelves or drawers, or get a standing desk so you won’t need to add a desk chair to your space. A wall of bookshelves creates many nooks and places for books, decor and even clothing while minimizing the use of floor space.
Of course, keeping the space as clutter-free as possible helps it feel larger and more relaxing. Purge any unnecessary items and have a designated home for the rest. Also consider items that may be stored outside the bedroom in other areas of the house, such as books, media, and shoes.
Trick the Eye
A few more tricks can help bounce the eye around the room and create the illusion of more space. First, remove any unnecessary doors, including closet doors or interior doors. A curtain can provide privacy without needing to open into the room, which keeps floor space near the door open for other items. For window coverings, roller blinds offer privacy while taking up minimal space.
Open furniture, such as wrought iron or slim metal designs, take up less space and give a light, airy feel. Mirrors can visually double the space, so use at least one to provide a feeling of depth and openness.
Once you have your large items in and your smaller accent furniture placed, it’s time to decorate. Keeping the space decluttered will help it feel more open and spacious, but it doesn’t have to be bland. Hang plants from the ceiling add beautiful light fixtures and interesting wall art to help draw the eye up and around the room. Keep the walls and linens pale-colored to enhance the feeling of space and light.
Now leave and come back in. How does it feel? Can you access everything, and are the walkways clear? Does the room feel balanced and peaceful? If so, you’re done! If not, rearrange until you get the feeling just right.
A bedroom is a special retreat and deserves an appropriate amount of attention and care. With these tricks, you’ll be relaxing in your spacious oasis in no time.
Jacquelyn Nause is a contributing writer with specialties in real estate, parenting and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her husband, being a doting mother to her two incredible kids and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.