How to make the most of a small bedroom

Here in the UK you’ll often have one room upstairs that’s significantly smaller than the rest, sometimes known as the box room. Some people might use this as an office space, or even just for storage, but if you’re looking to maximise your sleeping space, you may be using it as a bedroom. The smallest room might be a guest room, or a kids bedroom, but whoever is going to be sleeping there, these tips will help you make the most of the space.

Use wall space effectively

You won’t have much floor space, but you do have vertical space. Floor to ceiling book shelves or cupboards take up full use of the space you have. You can also use narrow shelves, shelving wall units, hanging containers, corner shelving, a mirror that increases the light and space in the room, light artwork – all these things can do something useful for your room without affecting the floor space. You can even store clothes in vertical space. Consider this small room in the photo above, which has taken great use of vertical space for clothing in enclosed shelves, and made the best use of floor space by fitting desk and bed next to each other.

Choose the right bed and furniture

The bed is going to be the main piece of furniture that you need in your small bedroom and picking the right one can really make the most of the space you have. A simple Divan Bed might be the way to go if you’re furnishing the room on a budget, but I’d personally recommend an Ottoman Bed for a small room. An Ottoman bed lifts up revealing tons of storage underneath. This is extremely useful in a small room as you can store clothes, bedding or even toys underneath the bed, saving you space elsewhere in the room. You could also use a day bed which converts into a sofa space during the day if someone is going to be sitting in this room a lot, perhaps studying or reading.

In a small room you want to pare down furniture to the minimum as this will take up the bulk of the space. Consider a desk that folds down against the wall if you need one, and if there’s a windowsill see if you can place the bed close enough to it for the windowsill to act as a useful little nightstand where you can place your glass of water and clock. You may also want to opt for shallow depth wardrobes.

Use light colours

You don’t have to stick to white if you think it’s boring but do consider how the way you paint your small bedroom will affect the amount of light in the room. A lighter room will feel more airy and bigger, whilst a dark room can feel crowded and claustrophobic. If your child or occupant particularly wants a dark colour, consider one dark wall to contrast three light walls. Putting a mirror on that dark wall can open it up as the light is reflected from the lighter walls. You can always use a colour block on the bedding or cushions to give personality and pop to a light room.

Keep everything tidy and uncluttered

It’s very easy to build up clutter in a bedroom, but that will make the space feel smaller and even a small amount of clutter can quickly become messy. Assess what storage space you have and try to make sure there’s a space for everything that you need, and if this is a guest room don’t be tempted to use it as a storage space for everything else you don’t need around the house. It’s very easy for an unused bedroom to become full of junk, and then when you need it, the panic sets in!


Hopefully the room has a window for some natural light, but you’ll still want artificial light in the room. In a small bedroom you don’t want to use valuable floor space on having floor lamps, and you also might not have a nightstand or permanent desk where you can put a desk lamp either. The solution for this is wall lighting or overhead lighting. You could create a focal point with a large and eye catching overhead lamp like a multipoint lamp or a chandelier, or you could consider having LEDs installed in the ceiling around the room. I would suggest having dimmable light bulbs or LEDs in a bedroom so you can change the light levels to suit the time of day and the activity, as you don’t want glaring bright lights at 9pm at night. You could even make them smart bulbs and control them with Alexa or other technology using voice or remote controls. This means you won’t have to get up from bed to turn off the main lights if these are your only source of light in the room.

Battery or mains powered fairy lights are also another option for lighting in a small space. They’re not just for Christmas anymore! As these are small and portable you can use them whenever or wherever you want, and there’s so many different shapes and designs available now that you’re bound to find one that suits the guest and decor of the room.

I hope that this has given you some ideas for how to make the best use of space in a small bedroom, and you feel ready to tackle your decorating and furnishing projects!

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