How to decorate a dormer space

Updated April 17, 2017

Dormers allow you to increase the usable square footage in your home without a major addition. This small, converted attic room can be used as a small bedroom, playroom or home office. Dormers have low ceilings, many unique angles and few windows; therefore, they require special consideration during decorating to make the most of the space. Making the room appear bigger, lighter and brighter should be the main goal of your decorating efforts.

Paint the walls of your dormer a light colour. Because dormers are small, choose a paint colour that is light and bright because this will make the room appear bigger. Darker colours will make the space look smaller and more closed off. Use a "wet edge technique" -- paint the odd corners and angles with a paintbrush before painting the main walls with a roller -- to make the painting as easy as possible.

Place small-scale furniture in your dormer space. If you want your dormer to be a bedroom, choose a twin-sized bed to save space for other necessary bedroom furniture. If your dormer is going to be an office, choose a desk that is small, yet has many drawers for organisation, because you will not have much space for other cabinets in the room.

Add floor lamps to your dormer space. Choose simple, medium-height floor lamps to ensure they will fit in your room. If you prefer, add table lamps for extra light since most dormers only have one or two windows.

Accessorise your dormer space with small items that suit your taste. Hang framed pictures around the room in colours that coordinate with your walls and furniture. Choose frames that fit well on the unique-shaped walls of a dormer. Add small ledges and shelves in various locations and set small items on them to further decorate the room.

Set a vase with fresh or real flowers somewhere in the room to add additional colour to your dormer. This adds a pop of colour without taking up usable space in the room.


Pick a unique theme for your dormer room decorations. Because of its small space and the fact that it is away from the rest of the house, feel free to pick a fun theme that you would not normally choose for a major room in your home.


Be careful moving furniture up the stairs into the dormer space. Ask for help during this process.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small furniture
  • Lighting
  • Framed pictures
  • Small shelves
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About the Author

Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.