Ideas for a Small Children's Bedroom

Updated February 21, 2017

A child's bedroom serves as a retreat for play, work and rest, but size constraints present practical problems in small bedrooms. To maximise small spaces and create the illusion of size, get creative with paint colour, furniture, accessories and organisation. Combine the playful colours and themes of a child's bedroom with the practical functionality of efficient storage pieces to create a space that is both stylish and utilitarian.

Wall Treatments

The colours of a room's walls can greatly impact how large or small the room feels. In general, dark or saturated colours tend to make a room feel smaller, but that doesn't mean that your child's room must be a dull colour to feel large. Light blues, yellows, oranges and greens are subtle colour choices that don't make a room feel cramped, and they are especially appropriate for a child's room because they add playful colour to a space. If you want even more variety, paint each wall a different very pale colour; bold colours will create a space that is overstimulating.

Another way to add colour without shrinking the space is to select an accent wall; typically, an accent wall is the wall behind a main piece of furniture like a bed. Paint the other three walls in a neutral colour like white or beige, and let your child choose a bold colour for his accent wall. Classic choices like primary red, blue or yellow work well, but more contemporary colours like lime, grey and teal are also potential options. For a bolder statement, extend the colour of the accent wall around the room by adding a wide horizontal stripe in the accent colour, or line the other walls with thin, widely-spaced vertical stripes in the accent colour.

Furniture and Storage

Reduce clutter in a small child's room by maximising storage space. If the room is shared, consider bunk or loft beds to utilise vertical space. Slide-out beds contain a second hidden mattress and frame beneath the top bed; the bed can be pulled out for sleeping and slid back into place in the morning. Loft beds are also space-savers in rooms for a single child; the space beneath the loft can be used as a desk or play area. Many children's beds also come with under-bed storage, forgoing the need for an additional dresser or bureau.

Reduce clutter by investing in corner unit shelving that extends from floor to ceiling. Combine storage areas and seating areas with window seats that offer hidden trunk space. Instead of several small pieces of children's furniture, invest in a few pieces of oversized furniture to give the illusion of a more accommodating space; brightly coloured bean bag chairs are well-suited for children's reading or resting spaces.


Designate specific locations for the multitude of children's toys and games that are sure to clutter the bedroom. Install shelves or storage units inside the closet and apply adhesive labels that specify areas for shoes, shirts, board games and toys. Though you may fear that standing lamps use up valuable floor space, additional lighting will brighten a room and prevent a small space from seeming like a cave; consider several small standing lamps, or install track lighting along the room's ceiling. Treat windows with simple, kid-friendly pull down shades and sheer curtains to provide privacy without impeding the room's airy appearance. If the room still seems overfilled, consider designating one wall as the clutter wall. Paint one accent wall in a colour that is a shade darker than the rest of the walls. Install several scattered, shallow wall shelves that serve as pedestals for children's trophies, books, knick-knacks, school projects or other memorabilia. A clutter wall will reduce the amount of clutter in the rest of the room and keep pieces off the floor or on desks.

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About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.