Got big ideas to style your sanctuary but only have a small space to work with? Whether your home features a miniscule master bedroom or you’re currently residing in an apartment or rented space with tiny quarters, don’t despair. You can still maximize your ideal interior from the floor to the ceiling without sacrificing what little space you have with these thirteen styling tips.
Choose Your Base: A Light Color Palette
Spaces that feature a lighter color palette appear more open and inviting, whereas darker walls and furniture will close off the space and accentuate its small size. If you want your room to seem not-so-small, display creams, whites, tans, light greys, and pastels. If you’re picking out new furniture, natural materials like rattan and light oak will aid in the illusion of a larger space. Mix and match light colors for your bed linens, like sage green sheets and a cream-colored duvet. If your budget allows for a paint job, all-white walls will make your small space appear much more open.
Opt for sheer window coverings to let as much natural light in as possible. The natural daylight will interact beautifully with your neutral color palette and cast a warm, welcoming glow on the room.
Lay Down an Area Rug
A naked floor can make the space seem barren and less put together. Adding layers to your wood or carpeted floor can lend both style and depth to the room. To hone a mature taste in your space, a woven jute rug or Turkish-style rug will pair nicely with your lighter furniture and neutral color palette.
Area rugs look especially nice under the bed. To make the rug appear larger (we know huge area rugs can get pricey!), plan to display the rug horizontally, at about the halfway mark of where your bed will be. So, rather than placing the rug directly aligned with your bed, measure about 2-3 feet from your baseboards and lay the rug down there.
Take to the unseen nooks and crannies of your room to maximize your storage space. If there’s room under your bed, place wide plastic drawers or storage bins to house your off-season clothing and accessories, excess clutter, or knick-knacks.
Make the Bed the Center of the Room
The one thing bedrooms of all shapes and sizes have in common is in the name—the bed! Whether your sanctuary features a twin-size daybed or a standard queen, you can best express your interior style when the bed is the focal point. Keeping comfort in mind, choose textures and layers that will make your bed look and feel irresistibly cozy. Top your sheets with a linen blanket or duvet that either match or complement your color palette. Add a chunky knit at the end of your bed that offers function and décor, and toss on a few comfy bouclé or faux sherpa throw pillows. If you’re really limited on space and you work from home or need a spot to be creative, a workstation bunk might be your best fit.
Lend your small space the look of a fully furnished master bedroom with stylish multipurpose pieces that double as bedroom storage. With your bed in place as the focal point, there will probably only be
minimal room left for large items like clothing storage, furniture, and décor. So, take advantage of the little space you do have available and opt for furniture like a captain’s bed, storage-savvy nightstand, lift-top ottoman for the foot of your bed, or a storage bench. Live in a studio apartment? The right daybed can serve as both a daily spot for chillaxing and a sanctuary for slumber.
With the neotenic design currently on trend, curved furniture has made a unique debut in modern bedrooms that’s here to stay. Pieces with rounded edges appear more elongated, and can increase the object’s apparent weight or height. Curved lines draw the eye onward, so when your pieces have a little curvature to them, your small space will open right up. Round out your room with a curved headboard, fuzzy round armchair, a hairpin-leg nightstand, or bulbous décor.
Mirrors, mirrors, on the wall: while your room may not be the biggest of them all, the reflective effect of floor-length mirrors can work wonders in a tight space to lend the illusion of a larger abode. Opt for an arched, gold or black-framed floor mirror to hop on trend with rounded-edge décor. Cleverly displaying your mirrors around the room can make it appear nearly double in size. Strategically place two mirrors on opposite sides of the room so they reflect each other and create a seemingly perpetual room-within-a-room look. Or, place a floor-length mirror in an empty corner so it reflects all angles of the room.
Not only do tall curtains lend a look of luxury, but they can elongate the appearance of the entire wall when placed correctly. Rather than start your curtains at the top of your window box, measure from just below the ceiling down to the floor and opt for curtains that match closely with those measurements. With floor-to-ceiling window dressings, your room won’t feel so cramped or confined. If you want to optimize natural lighting to keep the space from getting too dark, go for gauzy textiles like sheer cotton, chiffon, or chenille.
Think vertically if you want your décor to lend your small room the appearance of a sprawling space. While the décor doesn’t necessarily have to be big, tall, structural pieces can really lengthen an area whereas small, flat décor can make a compact space look even smaller. Whether it’s your grandma’s hand-me-down vintage vase filled with your favorite flowers, stacks of aesthetic novels, an 8x10 photo frame placed on your dresser, or a table lamp resting on your nightstand, the taller the better.
Not nearly enough room for furniture in your snug quarters? Plants make for great decorating aids, whether it be a hanging pothos or fiddle leaf on the floor. Place a weathered vase in one corner and fill it with dried pampas grass for a boho or coastal vibe. If your room features a more urban scene or masculine tone, a potted cactus or olive tree would look great in one of the uninhabited nooks.
Something nearly every small room lacks is surface space. When your everyday essentials are hogging the expanse of your nightstand or dresser, there’s hardly enough room for décor. Installing a single wooden shelf above your bed or several shelves over your dresser leaves plenty of space for framed photos, potted plants, your record collection, or thrifted treasures. Open shelving has remained a popular design trend over the last few years, as you can express yourself with curated collections of artwork, décor, and foliage.
Contrary to the thought that barren walls will make a room seem larger, adorning the walls with graphic art pieces, photos, or paintings can seemingly enlarge a compact space. Over your bed is the perfect spot for a framed photo of a serene beach scene, abstract art, or poster of your favorite band. Or, group together mismatched but complementary frames, and fill them with sentimental prints and photos. If you lean toward minimalist décor, play around with symmetry. Stack two 8x10 or 11x14 frames vertically on a blank wall, with very little space between the hanging frames for a sleek aesthetic.
Hanging Pendant Lighting
While installing a new hanging light can take some research and elbow grease, the end result will be so worth it in your not-so-big bedroom. Most flush mounts accentuate a small room’s tiny size, while the exposed wiring of a hanging pendant lamp lends a lengthening effect to the entire space and draws the eye to the ceiling. A woven rattan or wicker light shade would give a Japandi, minimalist, boho, or coastal-inspired sanctuary an aesthetic upgrade. A small metal light fixture or naked bulb would be the perfect finishing touch for urban digs or rustic room.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to worry about hard-wiring a new lighting fixture into your ceiling, simply attach a battery-powered puck light to your desired hanging shade fixture, and hang it fuss-free from the ceiling near your bedside tables or in the center of the room.
We’d love to see how your small-space sanctuary comes together with some of these tips! Tag @walkeredisonco on social media to show us how you make the most of your compact quarters.