This is How Designers Would Make the Most of a Small Bedroom
A compact room can still be a dream space with a bit of thoughtful planning, as these professionals explain
Professional advice from: Sean Ronnie Hill of RISE Design Studio; Eva Byrne of Houseology; Olga Alekseev of Black & Milk; Claudia Dorsch of Claudia Dorsch Interior Design
More in this series: This is How Designers Would Make the Most of a Small Living Room
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Before you begin planning your small bedroom, it’s important to consider how you’ll use it. “Start with the layout and understand the room’s space and limitations,” Olga Alekseev says. “Work out the items you need to include, such as the bed, bedside tables and storage.”
“Often, people want to make a small apartment out of a bedroom by including too many things that could be part of the living room, the study or even the bathroom,” Sean Ronnie Hill says. “It’s important to understand that, ultimately, the bedroom is a space for relaxation, and this is easier to attain if the room isn’t overly cluttered.”
The entrance to your bedroom can have a huge impact on how big the space feels. “Start at the door and interrogate both how it’s hinged and where it’s located,” Eva Byrne says. Try replacing a hinged door with a sliding pocket design to prevent the open door impinging on the floor space.
How you arrange the furniture at the entrance can also make a difference. This bedroom has a narrow section by the door and Eva has located the wardrobes in this potentially wasted space. The room then opens out as you reach the bed area, creating an airy feel. This also means the wardrobes don’t take up space in the main part of the room.
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Our experts recommend using colour strategically in a compact bedroom. “Use neutral shades throughout the room, with just one accent colour, perhaps on the headboard,” Olga says.
“Although the feature wall is a no-no for many designers, it can be used to your advantage,” Claudia Dorsch says. “Use colour or pattern around the bed to create a cocoon feeling and give the room personality. Keep the rest of the room in more neutral tones to make it feel bigger.”
Be creative about how you think of storage,” Eva says. “Bespoke storage can fill any awkward nooks and crannies.”
Think about using shallow cupboards, too. “A conventional wardrobe, 60cm deep, is not the only option,” Eva says. “Shallow wardrobes, 45cm deep, will be a lifesaver in a tight bedroom.
“Sliding wardrobe doors will take up less space in the room than hinged ones,” she adds. “And hooks on the back of the door and in any other free spots may be useful.”
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It’s worth compromising on dimensions, as it could make all the difference, say our professionals.
“The size of your bed will be key,” Eva explains. “You may need to resign yourself to a smaller bed than you’d like – say a double as opposed to a king – but the room will be a better space for it.
“Choose a bed with simple framing and with storage underneath for maximum payback,” she adds.
A smart trick is to choose furniture that hangs on the wall, as the space below will give an uncluttered feel.
“Wall-mounted bedside tables will increase the sense of space,” Eva says. “A picture ledge above the bed will do the job when there’s no space to the side.”
Wall lamps or pendant lights will also free up bedside table space.
Don’t forget to pay attention to window treatments, as something too fussy can make the room feel cramped.
“Curtains take up space, so consider using sheer rollers, shutters or Roman blinds,” Claudia says. “If you’re fitting Romans, fix them as high up as possible [so they let in maximum light when they’re open].”
An effective way of maximising a small space is to make your furniture work harder. “Use the space underneath the bed for storage and, for those all-important sleepovers, include a trundle bed,” Claudia says. “For master bedrooms, the mechanical lift-up beds are great for storing seasonal clothing, luggage or extra bed linen and towels.”
She also recommends a blanket box or ottoman with a cushioned top, which can double up as a somewhere to perch while getting dressed.
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Will you be using any of these tips and tricks in your small bedroom? Share your thoughts in the Comments.