It’s sat there for far too long. A cramped little space in the corner of your home that serves as little more than a dumping ground for all the assorted junk you have nowhere else to put.
But that was then and this is now.
Now, you’ve got a new arrival on the way, or a long-term guest staying with you, or maybe you’re just fed up with not making the most of your space.
Either way, you’re on the hunt for the best small bedroom ideas to spark your imagination and help you transform even the tiniest of spaces into the kind of places you’ll love spending time in.
Why Redesign Your Small Bedroom?
Of course, basic necessity isn’t the only reason to consider giving your small bedroom a makeover.
According to some thinkers, minimalism can make a big, positive difference to our mental health by helping us cut out stress-inducing clutter and forcing us to focus on the things that really matter to us.
As we’ll see further on this guide, there’s few better ways to start adopting a minimalist approach to life than by moving out of that grandiose bedroom suite and into more modest quarters.
That’s not to mention the potential extra income you could generate by breathing new life into an otherwise unloved space and renting it out to passing travelers on Airbnb.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to optimize your space, here’s our pick of seventeen inspiring ideas to help you do just that.
1: Create a Feeling of Space with Light Whites
A combination of white colors and natural light can prevent your small bedroom from feeling cramped and claustrophobic.
There’s a good reason why white is often chosen as an ideal color for decorating a small space, and it isn’t just because it’s quick and simple.
Lighter colors reflect the natural light you allow into the room, which creates the wonderful illusion of making a space feel bigger than it actually is.
Paint specialists Dulux recommend a paint with a glossy finish to achieve this effect, though really, decorating in any kind of light color will produce the desired effect.
You don’t have to stick with pure white, either.
In fact, painting the whole room in a single shade will likely leave the room feeling cold, sparse and sad.
Instead, think about how you can layer your colors, choosing different shades of white, cream, or even light pinks to create a bright, inviting space.
Think too about how furnishings and fittings can best compliment your new decor. Soft, white bed sets, gentle lights and window fittings like these elegant solid sheer curtains from Dreaming Casa can all help make it feel like a much more spacious room.
2: Go Dark for a More Intimate Setting
A mix of darker and lighter colors can maintain the illusion of a larger space while still creating a more homely, intimate setting
If light, bright and spacious doesn’t quite do it for you, maybe dark and intimate is.
Sure, traditionalists might tell you that decorating a small room in dark colors is right up there on the home decor faux pass scale with woodchip walls, but done right, it can create an altogether cozy atmosphere, making that space feel like your own secret, inner-sanctuary.
Again, using different textures and shades will be effective here, especially if you think carefully about which walls you want to paint dark.
Keeping the window wall a lighter color will trick the mind into seeing that whole wall as a light source, still keeping the illusion of a lighter space while at the same time allowing you to get creative with a deeper, darker palette.
A darker room can also be enhanced by adding a few candles which, when lit, can create a beautifully intimate ambiance.
3: Get Creative With Lighting
A few well-placed lights can totally transform the look of a small bedroom without having to redecorate.
Nobody says you have to go to all the trouble of an entire redecorating project in order to completely transform the way your small bedroom looks and feels.
In the bedroom above, you’ll see how the addition of in-wall spotlights can really create a unique vibe, especially when combined with furniture and fittings that contrast in color.
As an alternative, you might want to consider how you could integrate a lighting conversion kit to add a whole new dimension to your space.
If even that is too much like hard work, then these Pro Track Brushed Nickel 8″ High Accent Uplights can be a quick, simple and effective way to accent certain room features, highlighting those details that make the room appear at its most attractive and distracting the attention away from anything you’d rather hide.
4: Be Bold and Adventurous with Your Wallpaper
Bold wallpaper designs can add a unique focal point to your space.
Wallpaper may not be your first choice for decorating a small room, but the right pattern can make a big difference.
A bold, dramatic design on one wall of your room can serve as an enticing focal point, particularly if you manage to coordinate well with a beautiful new bedding set.
5: Create a Natural Look With Removable Wallpaper
Bring the outdoors inside and create a natural, calming ambiance by using peel-and-stick wallpaper that imitates your favorite outdoor features
Sticking with the theme of wallpaper, you don’t have to choose some fancy, artistic design to reinvigorate your space.
Using peel and stick wallpaper like this gorgeous blue distressed wood design from PracticalW’s can help to create a refreshing, natural look that really livens up a small space and makes it feel light and airy.
You could also opt for other designs such as wood bark or stone walls such as in the picture above.
If that small bedroom makes you feel just too crammed in and claustrophobic, then this can be a great way to create a much more calming ambiance, almost making you feel as though you’re not stepping into a tiny room at all, but into a beautiful garden.
For anyone who enjoys a little fresh air therapy from time to time, this is a cheap, practical way to experience the things you love most about the great outdoors even when the weather is against you.
6: Freshen Things Up With House Plants
Breathe a whole new lease of life into your space with the simple addition of a few plants.
With that natural-look wallpaper in place, it’s time to complete that peaceful outdoor aesthetic with a few well-placed plants.
If you’ve never had plants in the bedroom before, you may be surprised at what a big difference they can make. Even the smallest of pot plants can make a room feel fresh and alive rather than stuffy and stale, but there’s no reason why you have to stop there.
As with everything on our list, this is your opportunity to really get creative and experiment with what works for you.
Maybe a small standing tree serves as the perfect finishing touch to your natural themed room, or perhaps a few ornamental wall-hangers will help you enjoy your favorite fauna without sacrificing the already-limited space.
Failing all that, never underestimate the power of flowers. Occasionally adding in-season flora to your room ensures a consistently fresh and updated look, all for just a few dollars.
7: Turn Your Small Bedroom into a Beautiful Nursery
A small bedroom makes an ideal nursery for your newborn.
With the arrival of your newborn comes one inevitable thought:
It’s time to move out of that studio apartment and upgrade to a bigger home that’s better suited to your growing family.
While that’s no doubt a good idea, it’s also a pretty expensive one that can become a huge drain on your finances if you don’t already have enough saved up.
There is a better option:
If you have a small room in your apartment, it can be easily transformed into a beautiful nursery for a few hundred dollars or less.
With that tiny room serving as the perfect place for your tiny human, you’re free to focus on saving up to finally make that move to a much bigger family home.
An all-in-one kit like the popular Baby Trend E Nursery Center can help ensure you’ve got everything you need to care for your precious little bundle of joy even when space is at a premium.
Elsewhere, we’ve also seen many a new mommy get creative by adding a changing pad or crib mattress to the top of a dresser, and using hanging bassinets so that baby can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep in a room with a wonderfully unique look.
Light, gentle colors may work well here in creating a soft, calming environment for your loved one to rest in, though there’s no guarantee it’ll stop them crying!
8: Install a Loft Bed to Maximise Space in the Kid’s Room
Building a loft bed like the one in this video can be a great way to give your growing kids the space they need, even in a smaller room.
No matter how beautifully designed that nursery may be, there’ll naturally come a time when your child outgrows it.
Still, you can always restyle the room to make it more suitable for their ever-changing needs.
Though we don’t necessarily recommend it for toddlers, older children may love having a loft bed in their bedroom.
For the unfamiliar, a loft bed is akin to your standard bunk bed, but instead of a bottom bunk, there’s space to put a desk, storage, or play area.
If your young one is partial to the PS4 or a big Xbox fan, you could use that under-bed space to install a gaming center, complete with a desk for adding monitors and consoles, under-desk storage for their games, and a top-quality gaming chair.
For the ones more interested in looking their best, a beauty station with all their favorite make-up, hair dryers and other essentials is sure to be a hit.
Otherwise, you can simply use that space as an area for doing homework, storing clothes or just chilling out and enjoying some privacy.
Whatever you -and importantly they– decide to do with that space, using a loft bed in this way means they get a comfortable bed and a space that is uniquely theirs, even in the smallest of bedrooms.
9: Using Floating Shelves for Maximum Storage in Minimal Spaces
Floating shelves can prove invaluable as storage space or a place to add ornaments and decoration to liven up a small room
Sure, there’s a lot to be said for the clutter-free, minimalist approach, but sometimes you just need a few things to really make that small bedroom feel like home.
Whether it’s a set of books, a few framed photos of precious memories, or simply a couple of ornamental pieces to add that personal touch, the trick is finding a way to store these things in as little space as possible.
This is where floating shelves come into their own.
A versatile piece of furniture if ever there was one, a floating shelf can work just as well as a bookcase as it can serving as a display for those prized trinkets and mementos.
As in our picture above, you could even use it as a space-saving alternative to a nightstand, or add a wider shelf to create a simple-yet-effective laptop desk.
10: Use the Illusion of Mirrors
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most spacious of them all? A mirror can be a simple, cost-effective way to make any small bedroom seem bigger.
Earlier, we talked about how easy it is to create the illusion of more space simply by making the most of natural lighting and gentle color schemes.
If you liked the idea but not necessarily the hard work that goes into redecorating a room, here’s another creative idea for you:
Install a mirror facing your window.
OK, so you might tick off a few Feng Shui experts who warn that there are all sorts of reasons why inviting the outside into your room might be a bad idea, but otherwise, this is a really quick and relatively low-cost way to make that room seem bigger.
As you might imagine, the bigger the mirror, the bigger the illusion of space.
For example, a body-length mirror, positioned at an angle facing the window will work wonders in flooding that room with natural light and making it seem much more spacious. Yet if that’s not possible, even a basic make-up mirror placed in the right spot can do the trick just as well.
11: Try Something New With Your Nightstand
A nightstand is an essential piece of bedroom furniture for many but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with using some unique ideas to create one.
Finding the ideal nightstand to compliment the rest of your bedroom furniture and accessories is a challenge at the best of times.
Yet when you’re trying to fit a nightstand into a restricted space, that challenge is taken to a whole new level.
Rather than banging your head against a wall and spending countless hours pouring through the Ikea catalog in search of the perfect table, why not use this as an opportunity to try out something new.
We’ve seen people come up with all kinds of clever nightstand ideas, from using vintage luggage to repurposed pallets and even stacks of classic books fastened together.
If you’re clearing out an old set of drawers to revamp your room, why not consider keeping one of those drawers behind?
Pop it up on its side, remove the handle, and you can use the top part to rest a book or glass of water while the interior serves as a great miniature bookcase or display case.
12: Create a Small Bedroom Out of Unexpected Spaces
Don’t have space for a small bedroom? You could always create a stunning extension like this one.
So far, we’ve focused extensively on how to turn an existing space in your property into an attractive, comfortable, and practical bedroom.
But what happens if you need that extra living quarters but don’t have the physical space for it?
You go out and create some.
We love the look of this rustic log-cabin room that can be built as an extension or outbuilding.
OK, so it might not be the most cost-effective idea on our list, but if you can run power in there to provide adequate heating and lighting, then you can create a truly gorgeous space that’s sure to not only impress visiting guests but also provide them with a pretty unique place to rest.
Need a little more inspiration for building an outdoor cabin? You’ll find it in this video
13: Save Space With Mounted Wall Lamps
Free up space by sticking with wall lamps over floor or table options.
Faced with a small bedroom, it only makes sense that you’ll naturally want to do all you can to save as much space as possible.
So, while those ornate table lamps may look beautiful, and while that gorgeous floor lamp may help you see the room in a whole new light, they also eat up precious space.
Instead, think about investing in wall-mounted lights that provide all the illumination you need without sacrificing floor or table space.
Where possible, look for lamps with swinging or retractable arms as these can be adjusted for different purposes.
You might also want to consider doing away with lamps altogether and getting creative with spotlights or other in-wall lighting options.
14: Add Smart Technology to Better Manage Small Spaces
Using smart technology gives you better control over the heating and lighting without cluttering up your space with controls and switches.
Sticking with the theme of lighting for a moment, have you considered how intelligent lighting and other forms of smart home technology can play a big role in smaller spaces?
Enabling the ability to control the lights using only your smartphone or iPad means you can set the perfect ambiance according to your mood, whether that’s a single spotlight for reading or a more relaxed mood for kicking back and watching a movie.
Yet perhaps the most useful benefit of installing smart technology is that it gives you much better control over the climate.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot to like about small bedrooms, but getting the temperature right is an art form all unto itself.
Either that room is so small that it gets stuffy and sweaty within moments of being in there, or it ends up being terribly cold.
Using a smart thermostat allows you to get the heating levels just right without the need for unsightly switches or in-built control panels, and without having to leave the room every time the heat rises.
15: Steal Extra Space with a Wall Niche
Your bedroom space may be finite, but you can always create more room for storage and display by building a niche in a stud wall.
Here’s one that may not be so ideal for those of you living in older homes.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a modern property however, then you can take advantage of the drywall construction and carve a niche into a non-exterior wall to create some additional storage or display this.
This is a particularly good idea if you find that your bed and other essential furniture take up so much room that you simply have no space left to display those treasured possessions or store books, DVDs or similar items.
The best thing about building a wall niche is that it’s nowhere near as complicated as it might sound.
First things first, check that the wall you want to carve into is neither a load-bearing nor exterior wall and ensure that there’s no wiring or pipes in the area you want to cut.
Then, simply mark out your niche with a pencil and use a reciprocating saw to make a deep cut into the wall studs.
When you’re done, you can make or insert ready-made wall niche shelves like these ones.
16: Use Bed Sets for an Ever-Changing Color-Scheme
Mixing and matching different colored pillows and bed throws can keep your room’s color scheme fresh.
If you’ve found this list because you’re just fed up with the same old, same old decor, then this is one idea you’ll love.
Simply by investing in a few different colored pillows, comforters and bed throws, you can change up the entire color scheme of a room whenever you feel like it.
Better yet, mix and max different colors to create an entirely new look.
This is an especially good idea if you’ve taken our suggestion and opted for a light, white decor but still want the joy of walking into a room with a splash of color.
17: Make Your Furniture do Double Duty
An ottoman can work as both storage and seating – just one example of multipurpose bedroom furniture.
With such limited space, you may not have room for seating, clothes storage and a decorative piece of furniture, but you do have room for an ottoman that manages to be all three things at once.
Placed beneath a window, it can make a great piece for just sitting and taking in the view with your morning coffee while your bedding or clothes are tucked away inside.
Yet an ottoman is far from the only piece of furniture that you can get to pull double duty.
A bed with drawers is an obvious example of bedroom furniture that can serve more than one purpose, but you may be able to think of many more.
A mirror could be attached to the front of your wardrobe, shelving can have lights built into them, or you could even opt for a sofa bed to really get more functionality out of your small space.
A Final Thought to Take Away
When you first open the door to a small bedroom, that limited space can have you convinced that there isn’t much you can do it with, though as we’ve hopefully proved by now, that’s far from the case.
A little creativity and imagination can go a really long way in transforming previously unloved rooms into stunning spaces that are every bit as attractive and functional as a much larger room.
By thinking outside the box in terms of furniture choices and arrangements you can still have plenty of room for both important and purely decorative bedroom items, while the right choice of decor and furnishings can help create a room that appears at once to be bright, vibrant, and spacious.
You don’t need a great deal of space to come up with a great bedroom design. With a little creativity and these 17 small bedroom ideas, you can turn even the tiniest of spaces into something truly special.