8 Essential Tips on How to Decorate a Small Bedroom

Whilst we can never go past a grand bedroom, a small bedroom can be just as beautiful and easy on the eye when decorated in the right way. A bedroom, whether it be large or small, is the very thing that one often craves after a long day, providing a sanctuary and a haven from the everyday stresses of life. Whether it's a guest bedroom, attic bedroom or master bedroom; it is important to get the interior design right.

From tips on how to maximise space and make your bedroom look bigger, to how to make it look cosy and picking the right colour scheme, we’ve rounded up our essential tips and ideas when it comes to small bedroom decorating.

Image Credit: Coco Camellia

What is a Small Bedroom?

Small bedrooms are typically considered to be anything less than 3 x 3m and are characterised by a small floor space, lower than average ceilings and strange corners and angles. A small space should never be underestimated in terms of decorating as doing it right can make it look and feel bigger than it actually is, provide a better way of living, a more practical area and a space that brings you joy.

Visualise your small bedroom using our mood board tool.

How to Decorate a Small Bedroom

1. Plan Your Layout

Image Credit: IKEA

Before starting your bedroom decoration efforts, it is important to plan out the layout of your small bedroom in order to maximise space to your complete advantage without sacrificing your wants and needs. However, a small room layout often requires some out of the box thinking and a rethink of the conventional layout used in a medium or large bedroom.

The key to planning the perfect layout for a small space is to keep it as non-overwhelming as possible. This can be achieved by keeping the majority of your furniture on one wall with the number of furniture items kept to a minimum. Functionality is key when adapting to a small space. Stick to a layout that makes sense for your situation, lifestyle and that is not overcrowded.

The bed, being the biggest furniture item in the room, can sometimes be the trickiest to determine the optimal position for it. Ensure the furniture placement is ideal by opting for the bed to be on a wall without a window (so that it doesn’t block any natural light) or on a wall that you see less of (to avoid an overwhelming view). Putting it in the middle of a wall creates a balancing sense of symmetry which evokes a sense of harmony.

If space is tight on either side of the bed, go for only one bedside table to ensure the bed doesn’t feel crowded and crammed in. If there is no room for a typical bedside table, opt for a wall shelf, narrow side table or a wall mounted bedside table. It is also wise to choose an appropriate bed size. A size that doesn’t feel oversized and disproportionate in scale when placed in the room is best.

2. Pick a Colour Scheme

Mood board created by Amalgamated Interiors on Style Sourcebook. View here

Mood board created by tiffanie on Style Sourcebook. View here

Mood board created by Alexandra Pace on Style Sourcebook. View here

The fun (or sometimes daunting part) of decorating your bedroom; picking the colour scheme. The general rule of thumb of a colour scheme for a small space is to choose lighter colours in order to open up the room. A light colour scheme, that includes calming and soft tones, ensures the room feels light and bright, instead of dull and boxed in. A splash of paint can be just the thing to help with decorating, with light colours having the potential to rejuvenate a bedroom and make it feel bigger. In this case, we love the use of white walls in a small space.

A tight space doesn’t usually pair well with a highly contrasting coloured accent wall, as it draws in your eye and creates a boxy space. Instead, opt for a subtle feature wall that pairs well with the colour on the other walls. If wallpaper is more your style, pick a wallpaper with a soft and non-jarring pattern that brings a sense of calmness and tranquillity.

Discover more bedroom colour schemes in our mood board library.

3. Use Mirrors to Make the Room Look Larger

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Double the space of your small room by using mirrors to your advantage. Think floor length mirrors, mirrored wardrobes, or mirrored furniture such as a bedside table. Not only can mirrors completely open up the space by creating an optical illusion, but they can also be a decorative item that doesn’t take up too much space. Rather than hanging a decorative wall art piece, opt for a decorative mirror that will act as a feature and open up the space.

By fixing a floor length mirror to the wall, or using a narrow mirrored bedside table, you can maximise space whilst creating the illusion of more space. A little hint, for a stylish mirrored wardrobe, choose mirrored doors that are framed (in either blank, white or timber) to create a more custom joinery look.

4. Maximise Your Storage Space

Image Credit: IKEA

Storage, storage, and more storage! Even the smallest of bedrooms can be maximised with clever storage solutions. Custom and bespoke slimline wardrobes are the best way to maximise your storage space and create a seamless look that hides away any mess. Complete the wardrobe with organisers and hooks to store extra items. Inside your drawers and wardrobe, make sure you include clever organisational pieces, such as a shoe rack or drawer dividers to ensure you are utilising as much space as possible. Once again, think right outside the box – the sky is the limit with storage options.

One of our favourite ways to maximise your storage space is to opt for a bed that has storage and built in drawers underneath. Or go for a loft bed that gives you space underneath for a desk or sitting area. It is also common for a custom headboard to have extra storage too, so look out for them. Alongside this, go for furniture items that have dual functions. A bedside table can double as a chest of drawers, or an ottoman can also be the perfect place to store your prized possessions.

5. Allow for Natural Light

Image Credit: Villa Styling

Image Credit: Villa Styling

We are (of course) big fans of natural light, and in a small space this is no different and is critically important. Allowing a space to have the maximum amount of natural light possible immediately opens up the space, making the room feel bigger than it actually is. It is vital that the bedroom window is not blocked by anything, so that light can fully stream in. Filter the natural light by installing light coloured sheers. Not only do these create a dreamy and magical feeling, but it also gives you flexibility on the amount of light you want to stream in and creates a cosy feel to the room.

An extra tip, position your mirror in a spot that reflects the natural light in the room as it will help magnify the amount of natural light that comes in. 

6. Declutter and Keep it Simple

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Decorating a small bedroom is done best by keeping it simple. To ensure the space is not overwhelming and provides a feeling of ‘zen’, only include what is completely necessary in the room. Whilst that tall palm plant or large bench seat might look beautiful, if it creates too much clutter then it ideally shouldn’t be in the room.

As a rule of thumb, only include furniture and décor that is practical and not just looks pretty. In essence, this is all to guarantee that there is as much floor space as possible. By having an adequate amount of floor space, you won’t feel crammed in, and it allows you to freely move around the room. By ensuring you have organisational pieces installed in the room, things will more likely have a home and will not take up floor space. So, do a spring clean to declutter all things that are simply not needed and keep things to a minimum (in the best way possible).

7. Add Height

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Make the most of the height of the room or elongate the ceiling height by adding in items that draw the eye up. Making use of vertical space helps the ceiling of your small bedroom appear higher and visually expands the room. As mentioned above, add in a floor length mirror to open up the space and visually make it appear larger. Fit your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, instead of on the top of the window line. This automatically draws the eye up and ensures that the ceiling height is not blocked off at the height of the window.

As a feature piece of furniture and if your small bedroom happens to have slightly higher than average ceilings, choose a four-poster bed that draws the eye up and creates that ‘wow factor’. If a four-poster statement bed is not your style, try incorporating floating shelves above the bed, or a custom fitting as a wall hanging above the bed to add height and extra storage too. Use of floor lamps or fixed wall light fixtures are also a great idea to add both height and extra lighting to the rest of the room.

8. Choose Calming and Minimal Items

Mood board created by megviljoen on Style Sourcebook. View here

Adding in some stylish décor items can be just the thing that makes an easy, but significant difference in your bedroom decorating quest. However, a small bedroom needs calming and minimal décor items to create a seamless look that optimises the space. Finish your bedroom look with decorative pieces such as a few cushions in your chosen soft and calm colour scheme, or a textural rug to create interest.

It’s also a good idea to opt for furniture items that are round in shape. Rounded edges create a softer look and reduces floor space slightly to allow for comfortable movement around the room and to ensure there is enough useable space. To fully create a calming look, choose items that don’t have too much pattern or jarring colours, in order to create a tranquil space that feels open and calm.

Image Credit: Villa Styling

Image Credit: The Palm Co

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger?

The biggest tip to make a small bedroom look and feel bigger is to keep it simple and not clutter the space with unneeded furniture. Choose items that not only look good but have a practical function as well.

Lay out the room in a way that enhances the space and that doesn’t make it feel crammed in. Opt for a light colour palette and decorative elements that have height to open up the room and rejuvenate it. Alongside this, use mirrors to create the illusion of space and ensure there is plenty of natural light.

How Do You Make a Small Bedroom Look More Cosy?

The best part about making a bedroom look more cosy is that it can be done in quick and easy ways, and better still – it is even easier in a small space. Go wild with soft linens and textures to instantly create feelings of cosiness and warmth. Think beautiful linen sheets and quilt covers, a plush throw and a textured rug. To further enhance the level of cosiness in a small bedroom, combine natural lighting with warm dim lighting to form ambience that will make you never want to leave.

How Do You Position a Bed in a Small Bedroom?

Whilst it is most ideal to position a bed in the middle of a wall in a small bedroom to create symmetry and harmony, this is not always possible. If this is the case for you, place the bed hard against the wall, but on a wall that you see less of. And remember, don’t put a bed in front of a window if it blocks the window, as optimal levels of natural light are key in a small space.

Image Credit: Shop Slo on Unsplash

See – decorating a small bedroom isn’t as scary as it may seem. All it needs is some out of the box and strategic thinking to maximise the space and create an oasis. Don’t be afraid to play around with these small bedroom ideas and see what works in your small space and what suits your personal style. For more bedroom design inspiration and to shop a range of products for your small bedroom, head to our bedroom section.