Ideas for a small bedroom space

Written by gryphon adams
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Ideas for a small bedroom space
Lights mounted on the headboard, wall or ceiling saves space. (hotel bedroom image by TheThirdMan from

Furnishing and decorating a small bedroom space may seem daunting, yet with a unified decor theme and some space-saving tricks, a small bedroom becomes a tranquil oasis. William L. Murphy of California developed the hideaway bed--also known as a Murphy bed--at the beginning of this century. Contemporary options for sparing floor space, enclosing belongings and downsizing bedroom basics offer a wide range of choices to increase the spaciousness of a small bedroom.

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Light colours help create an illusion of more space. White, cream, pale yellow, sky blue, pale mint green, lilac and neutrals such as taupe, pale grey and light tan maximise daylight and artificial light in the room to create the impression of a larger room. Matching the window treatments and some of the furniture to the wall colour continues the optical illusion of spaciousness. Breaking up the space by painting some walls a different colour than others or using contrasting trims and contrasting fabric colours on all the furniture and curtains tends to make a bedroom look smaller. A monochromatic effect--created by using all one colour to decorate a room--works well in a small bedroom as it unifies the design and creates a soothing effect well suited for a sleeping space. A monochromatic colour scheme makes use of subtle variations of colour, such as pale and slightly darker shades of rose. A colour wheel offers a way to explore colour schemes.

Another option that works well for a small bedroom is to limit the colours to a main colour for the walls while choosing a complementary secondary colour and a darker accent colour. For example, create a colour scheme with pale cocoa walls and carpet with an aqua blue comforter and curtains and dark chocolate pillow shams, vases and bed skirt. Choose a cool neutral wood finish for the bed set, such as willow or ash.

Space Savers

For a very small bedroom, eliminating nightstands and installing a small shelf on each side of the bed--or one shelf next to a twin bed--serves the function of a bedside table while retaining as much floor space as possible. A small glass-top table as a nightstand also gives an impression of space due to its see-through quality and its having less bulkiness than a traditional nightstand.

Limiting furniture to a bed and one small dresser helps to prevent crowding the room. A bed with cabinets built into the headboard or storage drawers underneath increases the room's storage capacity and keeps items out of sight. Under-bed storage helps to compensate for a small closet. A dressing table with a foot well to tuck a chair into serves double duty as a laptop desk without taking up excessive space.

Finishing Touches

Light creates an expansive effect in a small bedroom space. Sheers hung under regular curtains allow light to flood the small bedroom. Installing a double curtain rod works well for this effect. Bedside lights attached to the headboard, installed on the wall or hung from the ceiling create reading light without taking up space with lamps on a nightstand or shelf. Large wall mirrors hung to reflect the bedroom windows increase light and make the room appear larger.

A living or moving accent in the room, such as a houseplant, small fountain or aquarium creates a connection with nature that continues the expansive theme you're creating. A silk plant with bright flowers offers a way to create this effect for a vacation home or for a person unable to care for a living feature. Live bromeliads and anthuriums provide glossy foliage and long-lasting colourful blooms. They thrive in bright, indirect light, such as that provided by a window covered in sheer curtains.

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