Tricks to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

DESIGN

BY SHOAIB  | January 08, 2023

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If you have a ​small bedroom, you’re not alone—it’s one of the most common bedroom decorating issues. You have to remodel to add actual square footage, but luckily, there are decorating tricks to fool the eye into seeing your bedroom as larger than it actually is. Here are 11 bedrooms that show you how to make your room look bigger.

1) Use Vertical Space

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When you’re dealing with a small room, think vertical. You might not have much floor space, but by using the walls right up to the ceiling, you use the space you have more efficiently while drawing the eye upwards, making the room seem larger.

Built-in shelves that extend from floor to ceiling are a great way to add storage, interest, and visual space to a bedroom, but unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone. An easy alternative is investing in a tall headboard and hanging artwork or other decor above the bed, taking up the full extent of the space.

2) Choose Furniture With Legs

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Give your furniture a lift with legs to create an airy, open feel in the bedroom. Not every piece needs to be legged, but try to have at least one piece with some height, whether it’s your nightstands, dresser, or bed. The midcentury modern decorating style is perfect for small rooms, as most of the furniture is elevated on thin legs. The more floor and wall that shows, the larger your room will appear. Notice the bed frame in this room—the legs aren’t especially tall​ but add just enough height to help enlarge the space.

3) Match Window Treatments to the Walls

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While large bedrooms can make great use of drapes or blinds that contrast with the walls, it’s better to match your walls and window treatments in a small bedroom. This keeps the eye moving across the space, fooling it into seeing the bedroom as a little bit bigger than it really is. Notice how in the small, white bedroom shown here, paneling adds a bit of texture to the walls yet seamlessly blends into the windowpane. That’s how you add interest without making the space look smaller.

4) Use Sconces by the Bed

Instead of taking up space on your nightstand with ​bedside lamps, install sconces above and slightly to the side of your headboard. This works to draw the eye upward, helps to give the room an open, airy look, and reduces visual clutter around your bed. Adjustable sconces are perfect for nighttime reading—just move the light right where you need it, and push it back when you’re done.

5) Keep Furniture in Scale

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A small room doesn’t have to mean tiny furniture, but it does mean that you’ll need to find pieces that match in scale and are sized appropriately for your space. A king-sized bed flanked with two tiny nightstands looks silly.

Instead, choose a bed size that allows you to fit at least one or two nightstands large enough to hold their own beside the mattress, like the bedroom shown here. Your dresser should match the nightstand in scale—often, a dresser that is tall and narrow works better than a wide, short piece in a small room.

 

6) Try a Light Palette

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You’ve probably heard that white opens up a room, and that is generally true. But that doesn’t mean that your bedroom needs to resemble an operating room. You don’t need to decorate in all white, but it helps to stick with a soft, light palette. Pastels work wonderfully in small rooms, as do whispery-light shades of gray.

Try white mixed with one bright or mid-tone color, such as the blue and white shown here. For the most impact, stick with cool colors—shades of soft blue, green, and purple help enlarge a space, while the warmer hues have the opposite effect.

7) Stick to Thin or No Drapes

Natural light is one of the best resources at your disposal to help make a room feel larger, so take advantage of it. If you can keep your windows bare and unadorned, it can make your room feel like it’s connected to the outside space, making it feel larger. If you still want some privacy, you can implement curtains—just try to stick to thinner ones and still allow light to shine through.

8) Try Stylish Bunk Beds

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Smaller spaces aren’t always forgiving enough to easily fit multiple beds, making the room feel cramped. Bunk beds can be a simple way to use some of the vertical space you have available without taking up unneeded square footage. Bunk beds don’t have to be basic, though—there are plenty of stylish and modern options that will wow your kids or even guests who are staying over.

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