Published on November 23, 2018

If you can’t build out, build up. That’s the mindset small space dwellers should familiarize themselves with going into decorating because it applies to so many aspects of a room. No space for a side table? Stack built-in shelves. Running out of surfaces for your greenery? Turn to hanging planters. Unable to accommodate a bed and all the storage you need? Consider a lofted bed.

Loft bedrooms get a bad rap for being either too juvenile or too perilous for tall people. And while both can ring true if done improperly, the right lofted bed is both space-efficient and style-forward. Think of all the extra storage to be squeezed in under the ladder.

Whether your new home came with a loft bed and you have no idea what to do with it, or you’re considering raising your bed to create more storage, here are some small spaces to inspire.

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Photography by Busy Boo

Despite using the common desk-under-bed setup seen in most dorm rooms, this space is anything but collegiate. A minimalist color palette and Scandinavian design sensibility create an instantly elevated look.

To replicate this cozy live/work space, bring in pieces that make each level seem like its own separate room. For example, a rug and wall hangings in the desk area turn the bottom into an actual office; while the shelf of plants above the pillows in the sleeping area make even the smallest of spaces feel special.

 

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Granted, this setup provides significantly more space than your typical lofted bed (thereby making it ideal for tall people), but if you are lucky enough to have a loft bedroom with room to spare, play up industrial features like exposed pipes or brick walls. Choose contemporary furniture with sleek, clean lines and simple white accents to create a bedroom that feels like a modern New York loft, no matter the zip code.

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Photography by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo

An old-school rolling library ladder is so much cooler than a regular stationary one, don’t you think? Choose small touches like this to make a tiny lofted bedroom feel personal and intentional. Hanging up curtains in your favorite color, for example, is another way to add character to minimal square feet—plus, you get extra privacy from the rest of the apartment.

We also love this books-as-a-headboard idea, for a bedroom that pulls double duty and can serve as a cozy reading retreat when you want to be a little more secluded.

 

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If you actually do want your loft bedroom to look child-appropriate, take a page from this space. Natural wood accents and a neutral color palette ensure longevity well into the teen years (they’ll just have to choose more grown-up decor). Loft bedrooms are actually perfect for housing little ones, as you can fit tons of storage underneath the top level and the bed itself becomes an adventure to climb. Nap time will actually be something your kids look forward to.

 

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This might not be manageable for everyone, but if you have the opportunity to build onto your loft bed, consider turning the stairs into built-in shelves. When you live in a studio and your lofted bedroom is visible from the entire apartment, stairs like these tie the rooms together and create a cohesive feel in the space.

See more small bedroom styling ideas:
The Hacks That Finally Saved Our Tiny Bedrooms

You Can Bring This Entire Bedroom to Life for Under $2,000
Cool Plug-In Sconces That’ll Change Your Bedroom for the Better