The modern day home has lent itself to features like large, open floor plans that center around the kitchen and living room, usually with sleeping quarters and additional rooms on a separate floor or along the perimeter of the living space. Because of this popular design style, bedroom sizes have, out of necessity, seen their square footage diminish. This can be especially true of non-master bedrooms or guest bedrooms, which sometimes seem too small to fit even the smallest of beds.
While considering how to properly maximize space in a small bedroom can feel like a daunting task, it’s not only achievable but can be done with some serious style finesse and in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and avoids overwhelming the space.
It’s important to focus on what you actually have versus what you actually need and to also invest in creative ways to decorate your space to give the appearance of a larger area. As such, we’ll divide the task of organizing a small bedroom into two parts: eliminating clutter and organizing, and creating a visually larger space in the room by decorating to emphasize openness.
Eliminating Clutter; Organizing a Small Space Easily
Your bedroom might not be as small as you think. Part of the problem could be that you have too much stuff piled around or things simply aren't organized enough. While there are certainly things you will have to have in your bedroom like your bedroom furniture and clothing, there are likely some things taking up space that can be removed to create more usable space. Here’s how to determine what should stay and what should go.
- Eliminate unnecessary furniture. It can be tempting to outfit every bedroom with an entire bedroom suite complete with a bed, two nightstands, a dresser, mirror, bookshelf, and armoire. However, many times, this furniture is not needed and goes unused. If, for instance, you are organizing a guest room, consider removing or drastically downsizing the amount of clothing storage contained within the room; closet storage can be used as extra storage space for your guest's extra blankets, or there are plenty of storage solutions for the back of your closet doors, such as hanging shoe racks for extra shoe storage or special hangers to help with overall closet organization.
Scanning your bedroom, are there pieces of furniture that seem to only serve the purpose of catching dirty clothes or jackets? Maybe the side table only collects dust and takes up floor space. If there is a piece of furniture that doesn't have to really exist in this bedroom, relocate it to another location where it can be more useful--it's all about decluttering and your overall home organization!
- Essentials. What absolutely must stay in this bedroom? If there is a possibility to remove clothing that isn’t in season, books that could be shelved in another bookcase, or personal care items that belong in a bathroom, relocate those items as able. While clever organization ideas and storage hacks like DIY cubbies or wicker baskets can help consolidate some of these items, other items might simply be better off in another room.
Find meaningful and efficient ways to collect the items that remain. One of our favorite organization systems is the Baby Boomer stacking tray set. These hand-carved trays bring the beauty of walnut and alder wood to your room and create dedicated areas for things like phones, watches, jewelry, or pocket change. Using decorative pieces to help confine small items is a great way to combine form and function.
- Use every inch. You may look at your small bedroom and wonder how you’ll ever fit your shoe collection within its walls. Creative bedroom storage ideas can allow your belongings to still be easily accessible even with the challenge of a smaller space, so consider every inch of available space when organizing your bedroom, including considering floating shelves or corner shelves, drawer organizers, hidden storage, or even a storage bench for that more sophisticated room look.
If you have under-the-bed storage, you can opt to use storage bins to store items like shoes, jackets, or clothing that isn’t currently in season. Also consider using vertical space to organize. While it isn’t a great idea to fill every inch of available wall space with shelving, installing one or two wall shelves or utilizing the closet space above your hanging clothes racks can help you maximize your space availability.
- Keep clutter at a minimum. While it is likely unrealistic to think you will never encounter clutter (in any room), you can definitely be proactive about keeping it at bay. Select one day a week to sort through anything in your bedroom that has begun to pile up, making a dedicated effort to relocate things to their proper places or take items directly to the recycle bin.
Decorating Your Way to a Larger Space
Any interior designer can tell you that the space is as big as you make it. Knowing how to decorate to emphasize space and area can seem like an impossibility if you already doubt your creative skills. It’s less complicated than you think, and using just a few simple cues can help you transform a small room into a spacious and inviting oasis.
- Furniture. When working with a small space, you may assume you need to shop for small furniture. While this isn’t entirely untrue, don’t forsake the usage of larger pieces altogether. Buying quality, sustainable furniture to outfit your space means you won’t have to consider replacing pieces as quickly, and purchasing less furniture (but larger pieces) can actually create an appearance of more space in a room.
Consider minimalist pieces that add decorative flare, thereby eliminating the need to add additional accents to an already smaller room. A great centerpiece for any bedroom is a beautifully structured bed like the Idealist, which features a beautiful velvet headboard that acts as art for the wall it sits against. When accented with pillows and blankets, you have a visually stunning anchor the entire room can be built around.
- Use paint wisely. Sure, you might love navy blue, but painting all four walls of a small bedroom with a dark color can close in the space and make it seem oppressive upon entering. If lighter color pallets simply aren’t in your decorative style, stick to an accent wall or another painting technique that allows you to use your darker colors minimally.
- Work your angles. One of the most effective ways to create space where there is little to none is to use mirrors in your decorating. Placing a mirror on a wall opposite the entryway can give the room length, and a mirror placed on a wall horizontally will create depth. In addition to being functional, the beauty and classical structure of the Legend mirror makes it ideal for sitting in the corner of a room. The length of this mirror creates the illusion of open space and helps the room flow from back to front without an abrupt stop at the wall.
- Bring the outside in. If you are limited to the influence of exterior light in a room due to a small or partially obstructed window, bringing outdoor influences into your space can help give the feel of more open space and natural cues. This can be as simple as adding a hanging plant, or opting for the furniture crafted from sustainably sourced, beautifully finished wood. Even choosing a throw pillow with a shade of green or a pop of pink can create unexpected garden-like retreats in a small space.
The most important thing to remember when working with a small bedroom is to view the bedroom as adequate space to house the things you need, instead of storage space to fill with unnecessary items. Any space can be inviting if it is properly organized and contains only the pieces that are purposeful to the room. Most importantly, select only quality pieces of furniture you actually need in the room and allow those pieces to make the majority of the decorative statements, instead of attempting to fill the room with numerous pieces of furniture and art which can end up crowding it instead.