How to decorate a small bedroom

Don’t despair if your bedroom is on the small side. There are plenty of ways you can trick the eye into making it seem bigger. The key is to keep things simple in a small bedroom and avoid cluttering up the space with too much furniture.

How to decorate a small bedroom

Ideas for small bedrooms

Top Tips for small bedrooms

  • Keep window treatments simple. A plain Roman or roller blind looks neater and sleeker than long, voluminous curtains.
  • White paint on the ceiling makes the room appear taller and lighter.
  • Buy multi-tasking furniture such as a bedside table with storage.
  • Add interest with texture - a sensuous fluffy rug, a silk bedspread or soft feather pillows.
  • For extra storage, a double bed with a lift-up mattress is worth its weight in gold.
  • Pack away out-of-season clothes to free up space in your wardrobe. Storage specialist The Holding Company has plenty of small bedroom ideas.

1. Opt for a light bedroom colour scheme
Small bedrooms call for pale shades, but don’t automatically reach for a tin of white emulsion. Pure white all over can be too cold and stark, particularly in north-facing rooms that don’t get much sun. Decorating with off-whites, creams and neutrals will work better while still increasing the sense of space. See our articles on how to choose a bedroom colour scheme and how to create a moodboard for more design advice

Complement this neutral canvas with a soft wool carpet in beige or biscuit. Loud, patterned carpets should be avoided at all costs - oversized designs will overwhelm a compact space. Rather, introduce subtle patterns on bedlinen and soft furnishings, but make sure they match - clashing patterns are too busy for a space-challenged bedroom.

2. Choose the right bed
An ornate, high metal bed with a huge headboard can dwarf a small bedroom. Instead, look for low level beds or alternatively drawer divans with storage beneath for blankets and sheets. A bed with a concealed base appears to float in mid-air and creates a feeling of space as you can see the floor beneath. Consider bunk beds for kids, which take up half the space of two singles, or raised cabin beds with built-in shelves, wardrobes and even a desk. For more advice, read our article choosing a bed.

3. Get clever with storage
In a small bedroom, clutter needs to be carefully controlled. Suitcases on top of wardrobes and messy knick knacks on dressing tables will only make the bedroom seem even smaller. Clear everything off the furniture and make good use of the walls. A row of bookshelves takes up less space than a floorstanding bookcase. Invest in a few sets of drawer organisers - invaluable for keeping socks, pants, tights and accessories under control!

Store shoes on hanging mesh shelves in a wardrobe, or stacked neatly in clear perspex boxes. Need to incorporate a study area into a small teenage bedroom? How about a corner desk or foldaway design that hides all the equipment away inside a cupboard when not in use. Take a look at our article bedroom storage ideas for more design inspiration.

4. Choose matching bedroom furniture
Small bedroom furniture should be coordinated for a neat, streamlined appearance. Opt for pale woods like birch and maple, or timber units painted in white or cream for a country feel. Look out for tall pieces rather than wide ones and steer clear of fussy details. Wardrobes and chests without handles are the big trend right now. For a glamorous petite boudoir, mirrored furniture is ideal. Very much in vogue, the reflective surface will help bounce natural light around the room. For more design advice, take a look at our affordable bedroom furniture sets gallery.

5. Go for bespoke bedroom furniture
By far the most efficient storage option is custom-built furniture. Companies like Sharps and Hammonds offer a range of bespoke options for clothes storage. Although pricey, bespoke could be a good investment if you’re planning on staying in your home long term. Bespoke is also the solution for awkwardly-shaped rooms with chimney breasts and sloping ceilings, and can utilise wasted space such as above the bed. For loads more inspiration, see our gallery Small bedroom design ideas.