15+ Small Bedroom Layout Ideas for Your Home
When you move into a new house or flat, it can be tricky to decide what to do with your smallest upstairs room. Whereas some people choose to turn it into a home office or storage room, you may be missing out on an opportunity to add another bedroom.
But don’t be discouraged by the small size of a room. It’s possible to transform even the smallest room into a cosy, comfortable bedroom with some know-how and expert tips. That’s where we come in!
Read on for our advice on how to design and decorate your small bedroom, using clever furniture placement and other simple techniques to make the most of the space.
How to Layout a Small Bedroom
Before beginning to buy large furniture items like beds, chairs, or chests of drawers, you’re going to want to make sure you have enough floor space to fit them. If you already have the furniture in your bedroom, this can make things easier, as you can measure and move things as you please.
However, in the planning stages, you have more of an opportunity to design your space so that you’re choosing furniture that will really fit.
Use pencil and paper to create a floor plan for your bedroom, using real measurements for the room, and any furniture you plan to add. A floor plan will give you the flexibility to try different arrangements which you may not have considered before, without having to move things around.
Make sure you leave space for moving elements, like doors and cupboards, and leave plenty of buffer space between items of furniture, so the room doesn’t end up feeling too crowded.
15 Small Bedroom Layout Ideas
1. Declutter and downsize
The first thing you’ll want to decide, before laying out your small bedroom, is what you want – or what you really need – to include in your floor plan. When working with a small bedroom, it’s best to keep things minimal, to maximise floor space and avoid making the space feel crowded or difficult to move around in.
Start by decluttering the space, and seeing if you might be able to downsize on some furniture if you have fewer things to store.
For instance, do you really need a bedside table, or would a floating shelf above your bed, with space for a book and pair of glasses work just as well? Or could you sell some clothes you don’t wear, or begin folding them differently so that you can replace a big, bulky wardrobe with a slimline chest of drawers?
The fewer things you need to fit in the bedroom, the easier it will be to find the perfect layout.
2. Position your bed carefully
In a small bedroom, the most real estate is likely to be taken up by the bed. However, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing! With some careful positioning, you can make sure that while the bed may be the focal point of the room, it doesn’t dominate it, and you still have space to move around comfortably.
Consider your space, and which parts of the room you’ll require easy access to. In a small bedroom, your bed is probably best placed lengthways alongside a wall. Leaving space on either side of the bed can mean that it’s taking up more space in the room than necessary.
Although most people prefer to have double beds, even in seldom-used rooms like a guest bedroom, consider whether you really need a double bed if it won’t be slept on every night. A small double, or even a trundle bed, can be a great choice for guest bedrooms. You’ll be able to give guests a comfortable sleep when you need it, and have more space to play with when you don’t!
3. Consider a lofted bed, or cabin bed
Although you may think you’d be more likely to find a cabin bed in a child’s bedroom, many people with small bedrooms are utilising the under-bed space for storage, and even opting for a lofted bed.
This can leave you with a variety of options, from extra space to fit a chest of drawers and clothing rail, to a full workspace complete with a desk and chair! In small homes, sometimes it helps to get creative, and many people are discovering the variety of options that a cabin bed can provide.
If you’re still a little unsure on how a cabin bed would fit into your space, you can still use the space beneath your bed to help with the layout of your small bedroom. Under-bed storage boxes, beds with drawers, and even ottoman beds can be a great alternative that will still save you plenty of space.
4. Utilise alcoves and irregular spaces for storage
Perhaps your small bedroom comes with some interesting features or alcove space, that you’re a little unsure what to do with. Sometimes these come in an awkward shape – too small for your bed’s headboard, or too large for a chest of drawers.
Don’t let a single foot of floor space in your small bedroom go to waste! Think about what’s missing in the bedroom, and start thinking about how you could integrate it into an awkward alcove space to transform it into a functional area.
Perhaps a desk, or slimline vanity table would be a good addition – or some bespoke shelving for books, or a clothing rail to create an attractive dressing area. Add some paint, or patterned wallpaper for a pop of colour, and you’ll soon start hearing compliments from guests about your clever use of the space.
5. Use colour theory to create a sense of space
When it comes to small bedrooms, dark colours on your walls and ceiling (as stylish as they are) can risk making the room feel cramped, and smaller than it really is. The same is often true of wallpaper with bold, busy patterns.
Lighter colours, from white to pastel shades, can help to create a feeling of light, space, and airiness – even in a very small bedroom.
Choose an array of colours and test them out, paying attention to how they look in different lighting and at different times of the day. Painting your samples onto contact paper and moving it around the room is a handy way to do this.
But don’t feel as though you can’t introduce some bold elements to your colour scheme. Light-coloured walls with pops of primary colour in the form of furniture, decor, or painted alcoves will keep your bedroom decor up-to-date and eye-catching, without making the room appear small.
6. Save on floor space by installing floating shelves
A room often doesn’t feel complete without some items on display. Books, plants, and decorative pieces are frequently the things that make a house feel like a home, but in a small bedroom with limited floor space, adding a bookshelf or console table can be difficult.
Express yourself in a minimal, space-saving way by installing floating shelves on the walls. These minimal units are highly versatile, easy to install, and can be arranged to create a truly eye-catching display in your bedroom.
Whether you opt for traditional floating shelves, or something along the lines of the floating Berkley cube shelves below, these are a fantastic choice for instances when you’re short on space, but still keen to make a statement.
7. Look at fold-down options
This may be an unconventional suggestion, but when space is at a premium, unconventional methods may be called for!
You may have seen houses with ingenious fold-down ironing boards tucked away in a utility cupboard, but fold-down furniture solutions are growing in popularity. After all, if you only use an item of furniture for an hour a day, it makes sense to be able to tuck it away when it isn’t in use.
Look into possibilities like fold-down desks, tables, and even baby changing stations, if you’re a parent. And for guest bedrooms, a fold-down bed hidden away in a wardrobe can save several feet of space that can be used for work, play, or exercise. The choice is yours.
8. Use mirror magic!
A popular life hack, which interior designers have been using for decades, is using intelligently placed mirrors to make small rooms appear larger. A full-length mirror, which can be purchased second-hand and made to sit flat to the wall, will make a small bedroom feel much larger, and can add a nice visual feature in a small bedroom.
Get creative with brightly coloured frames to match your colour scheme, or keep things clean and minimal with a plain-edged mirror. Whichever you choose, mirrors can trick the mind’s eye to create a more spacious-feeling bedroom, with very little effort.
9. Get crafty with hanging home decor
We’ve already touched on the challenges of adding decorative and home decor items to a small bedroom. Although floating shelves are one option, they are far from the only one!
For some unique and stylish items, macramé has had a recent surge of popularity. With a ball of macramé string, you can create gorgeous wall banners, hanging plant holders, and even hanging tables or shelves if you’re feeling confident. For the price of the string, and perhaps some small hooks to drill into the ceiling, you can create a retro, Boho paradise whilst keeping the floors clear.
Another option is a gallery wall. If you have some treasured art prints, photos, or canvases, hang them close together to create a cohesive collection which again, takes up no floor space at all. Just be sure to leave a space of a couple of inches between each picture, to avoid the wall appearing over-crowded.
10. Choose small and narrow bedside tables
Although we’d aim to keep furniture to a minimum in a small bedroom, this doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a handy space to keep reading glasses, a book, or a glass of water. Measure up against your bed to see what sort of space you’re working with, and then start looking for bedside tables that are smaller, narrow, and won’t take up too much space.
There are several stylish options out there, which are small, but practical. For instance, our Rydal Petite bedside table which includes a drawer, and comes in three different colours. Or, if you’d prefer a two-drawer option, the Agen Petite bedside table could be the one for you.
11. Go for quality, rather than quantity with decorative items
Decorative items can be tempting purchases, but in a small space, it’s better to be intentional with your decor. Choose a handful of items you really love that will really add to the appearance of your space.
A simple vase of dried flowers or a plant in a colourful pot can make a big impact, but covering every surface with candles and table lamps can make a bedroom appear cluttered and draw attention to its small size.
Go for quality and items that strike a chord with you, rather than decoration for decoration’s sake.
12. Lights (and plenty of them!)
Nothing will make a room feel smaller, than a light fitting that makes it feel gloomy. Interior lighting is an art form, and can transform the appearance of a room, as well as how you feel when you walk into it.
For a small bedroom, we’d recommend multiple downlights, which allows light to touch every surface, minimising the existence of dark corners. If you don’t wish to install downlights at this time, wall mounted lights are another great alternative for small rooms, as they don’t take up unnecessary floor space, like a standard lamp would.
13. Create a slimline vanity
Another idea you might like to try, is creating a slimline vanity area using a console table or a long shelf, paired with a wall-mounted mirror. This can be a great way to turn your small bedroom into a dressing room, or to add another element to your guest bedroom. Your overnight visitors are sure to appreciate it!
Accessorise the vanity area with a jar of cotton pads and some hand cream, and you’re good to go!
14. Use soft furnishings (but sparingly)
Make a small bedroom feel homely with some soft furnishings in complimentary colours. Draping blankets across the bed, and using knitted or velvet cushion covers to add some interesting textures can help to create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. Check out some hygge, or Scandinavian style Pinterest boards to come up with intriguing combinations.
But with a small space, it’s vital not to over-do it! Piling cushions and pillows five deep will make the bedroom feel crowded and can make it tricky to find places to sit and relax.
15. Choose furniture that’s tall, rather than wide
If you have a need for extra storage or display space, and have exhausted all other possibilities, you can still find ways to add furniture to your small bedroom, without crowding the space. If you cannot build sideways, it’s time to make use of every foot of vertical space and build upwards.
Choose bookcases or storage units which are tall, rather than wide, and make use of the often neglected space near the ceiling. You can do this with a bespoke shelving unit, or opt for one of the many choices from Big Furniture Warehouse. From cube storage to ladder shelves, we’ve got you covered, no matter what your budget or style.
Layout ideas for Uniquely Shaped Bedrooms
When you read interior design magazines or blogs, it can be frustrating when all the styling tips seem to be for large, or standard-sized rooms. We’ve put together our top tips for a number of non-standard and unique room shapes, and how to get the most out of the space you have.
Tips for a Rectangular Bedroom Layout
Rectangular bedrooms can be challenging, particularly when they have a long, narrow layout which limits you in terms of furniture arrangement. When you’re designing a bedroom with a rectangular floor space, you may like to try:
- Placing your bed alongside the shortest wall (if it will fit), to maximise the remaining floor space in the rest of the room.
- Utilise existing space above the bed, or underneath it, for storage.
- Add hanging decor to the longest wall, including photos and canvases, to create an attractive focal point within the bedroom.
Tips for a Square Bedroom Layout
Square bedrooms can also be tricky, as there isn’t often an obvious place to put your double bed. Whereas in a rectangular room, you’d look to place it against the shortest wall, when all the walls are a similar length, it can be tricky to make a decision! We recommend:
- Placing your bed in a corner, rather than in the middle of a wall. You may not be able to use two bedside tables with this arrangement, but the floor space you gain will be worth it!
- Create balance when you place your furniture. Don’t place too many large items on one side of the room, as this will make the space appear cluttered and cramped.
- Although vertical storage can be a great option for smaller bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves can appear imposing in a square bedroom. Try not to have furniture which stands too high, where possible.
Tips for an L-shaped Bedroom Layout
One of the most irregular bedroom shapes must be the L-shaped bedroom. As opposed to a standard four-wall room, fitting furniture into one of these bedrooms can sometimes feel like a real-life game of Tetris!
However, there can be some surprising benefits to an L-shaped bedroom, which make designing them a little more interesting. If you have an L-shaped bedroom, you may like to try:
- Placing large items of furniture, like a bed or desk, into an alcove to cleverly make use of the space.
- Consider using the regular ‘nooks’ for bespoke storage units, like wardrobes or shelves.
- Take care when lighting an L-shaped bedroom. Make sure one end of the room doesn’t become gloomy and use wall-mounted lamps to brighten up dark areas.
How small can a bedroom be, legally?
Before you get started revamping your bedroom with the advice above, it’s important to consider whether the room is suitable for sleeping accommodation.
The guidance given to landlords for the minimum size for a bedroom in the UK is that the room must have a floor size of no less than:
- 4.64 m² (50 ft²) for one child under 10 years of age
- 6.51 m² (70 ft²) for one person over 10 years of age
While this guidance is aimed at landlords, it can be helpful for homeowners and renters to be aware of these minimum measurements when planning to convert a small room into a bedroom. Cramped quarters can have a negative effect on your sleep, as well as your overall quality of life. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure the room is fit for purpose before you begin to buy furniture and plan your bedroom layout.
We hope this article has given you some helpful tips when it comes to your small bedroom layout, and you feel well-equipped to make the most of your space. For more home, garden, and decorating tips from our experts, you can visit the Big Furniture Warehouse blog, or visit our site to browse our full range of stylish, but affordable furniture.
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