11 Ways to Trick the Eye Into Believing Your Bedroom Isn’t Tiny
Vertical space is your best friend.
Published Jan 3, 2020 12:00 AM
When you have a small bedroom, priorities shift. It becomes less about style and more about utility. A comfy sleeping spot here, some smart storage there—after all, each nook must have a job to do. But we’ve also seen a small bedroom laugh in the face of its own square footage, where good design coexists with function.
These are the spaces that give us hope for our own diminutive apartments. We’ve rounded up our favorites, below, ranging in style from minimalist bedrooms that would make Marie Kondo shed tears of joy to bold boudoirs full of rich color. Living small has never looked chicer.
Common logic is to paint the walls of a small bedroom white. But when you’re dealing with low natural light, a deep navy—like the hue found in Garance Doré’s Los Angeles bedroom—is just the thing to cozy up the space and help you forget all about its cave-like qualities. Go monochrome and match your furniture to the color for an even more enveloping effect.
Come at It From a Different Angle
Can’t fit the number of storage pieces you need against the walls? Put your furniture on an angle. Jo Sampson figured out the trick in her home, where she installed a curtain at the same slant behind her nightstand to make the choice feel intentional.
Channel a Play Tent
Nothing feels more inviting than a bed enveloped in a bold print. In her New York City bedroom, Chiara de Rege did exactly that, matching the red-and-white chintz wallpaper to the canopy. The pattern overload blurs the nook’s edges, making it feel grander than it actually is.
Make Monochrome Interesting
If your style leans minimalist, give a meager space some dimension by playing with texture instead of color. In this cream-on-cream-on-cream room, Serena Mitnik-Miller juxtaposed the painted wood slats with a hide throw, linen bedding, and layers of knit coverlets to give it that sleeping-on-a-cloud feel.
Make It Do Double Duty With a Daybed
This simple addition will transform the space from a sitting area during the day to sleeping quarters at night. You just need enough accent pillows to fill in the back and a heavy coverlet or blanket that won’t wrinkle to serve as your seat cover.
Draw the Eye Up
The ideal way to distract from how small your bedroom is? Fill in the vertical space with a bookcase and hanging plants. Sure, you may barely have room for a full mattress and a nightstand or two, but all people will notice is the arrangement of books and cascading greenery.
Reimagine Your Bedside Tables
If storage is your main challenge, triple you shelf space by building bookcases to frame the headboard in lieu of traditional nightstands. A bold wallpaper never hurts either.
Keep a Low Profile
Circumvent a vertically challenged space by playing around with scale. Choose low-slung furniture to keep as much wall space open as possible, which will make a small bedroom at least appear taller. If you want to take the airy feel to the next level, opt for furniture with sleek, minimalist frames so the floor remains uncluttered, too.
Set Boundaries Where There Are None
Studio apartments can be tricky to decorate, and if you’re currently struggling with how to outfit yours, we understand. This 500-square-foot NYC apartment is a great example of what to do, starting with the breezy bedroom. To deal with the fact that there are no walls and the bedroom has to flow with the rest of the apartment, the homeowners chose neutral bedding in linen that feels on par with the natural vibe of the rest of the studio. Use like colors and materials to ensure cohesion in your own space.
Have Your Furniture Work Overtime
Anyone who lives in a tiny apartment already knows that multifunctional pieces are the key to making the most of square footage. Here, a yellow stool is a perfect makeshift nightstand, but should homeowner Timothy Goodman need extra seating for entertaining, he can bring it out into his main living area.
Put Baby—Er, the Bed—in the Corner
The bedroom alcove in our senior social media editor’s 650-square-foot Brooklyn apartment boasts contrasting shades of blue that act as a headboard of sorts. “My bedroom gets the least light in the apartment, and the bold walls help create a cozy corner that is more calming than you might think,” she says.