The 11 Best Style Tricks for Small Bedrooms

The average human spends a third of her life sleeping— which means we all spend at least 33 percent of our lives in our bedrooms! Add in the amount of hours we spend in there folding laundry, relaxing, or just taking a second to breathe, and there’s just no excuse for those restful oases to be bland or boring.

Yet usually, the last room we all decorate in our homes is our bedroom, and just as frequently, those rooms are much smaller than the ones we see in elegant photography spreads or decorating magazines. That doesn’t mean, though, that a small bedroom can’t be stylish! Think of the small space as an opportunity to get really creative, and make your bedroom a room you can really enjoy. You deserve it— which is why we’ve pulled together these tips for you! Check out 11 great style tricks for small bedrooms, and try one out ASAP!

  1. Add DIY storage without sacrificing space.

    The biggest problem with small bedrooms? Nowhere to put all that stuff— and when it comes to sleeping quarters, it’s stuff we actually NEED! That doesn’t mean, though, that we have to embrace clutter. Instead, hide it under the bed— and no, we don’t mean the way your kids do. Instead, try a platform bed! It’s easier than you think to DIY one out of shelves, and you can make it any size you need to fit your mattress. Plus, the elevation will turn your bed into a focal point, drawing attention away from the size of the room.
  2. Go big or go to sleep.

    Always wanted a king-sized mattress but afraid it’ll take up too much space in your small bedroom? Go for it anyway! Make the big bed of your dreams the centerpiece of the room, and keep the rest to a minimum. (Need storage? See the trick above!) When somebody sees such a large piece of furniture, their eye will trick them into thinking that the room must be big in order to accommodate it. We know, this idea surprised us too, but that’s the human brain for you!
  3. Reflect the space you want.

    Here’s a trick as old as interior design that everybody seems to forget: mirrors! They’re such an easy way to trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it really is, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive one, either. Grab inexpensive floor-length mirrors from a big box store or online, and hang them up high to create the space illusion. Don’t want to give up the wall space, or want to be a little more creative? Consider mirrored furniture! It’s classier than you’re imagining, and can add so much light to a room.
  4. Embrace floating shelves.

    We’ve always known that floating shelves are the answer to so many design problems all over our homes, so why not in our bedrooms?! Use them not only to display treasured memories and knick-knacks, but in place of larger pieces of furniture like desks, vanities or even dressers that would otherwise take up too much space. After all, if it works for this woman living in only 78 square feet, it can work for you!
  5. Frame your bed with curtains . . .

    You don’t need to have a window over your bed – or even anywhere in your bedroom! – to make use of some lovely floor-to-ceiling curtains. Using them to frame your bed makes your walls look taller than they really are, especially if you choose the color of the curtains carefully and create a unified look that carries through every part of the room. Plus, they’ll create the illusion of even more depth, adding to the sense of space.
  6. . . . or with shelves!

    What doesn’t this simple-but-oh-so-smart idea accomplish? Not only does the shelving solve the small-space storage problem – especially when you compare it to a teeny-tiny traditional nightstand – but it also creates the illusion of height in a room. The nook created by the arch of shelves allows you to recess the bed, cutting back on the amount of floor space the large-but-necessary furniture takes up, and it adds that sense of depth that makes a room seem bigger. Best of all? These shelves give your room a lovely focal point to create a seamless look and detract from the small. Who would notice the lack of space when they’re looking at these shelves?!
  7. Build into the walls.

    When we talk about built-ins, we usually really mean things like the shelves above, which go in front of exiting walls— but what about going into them? The idea was popular in classic homes, and it’s past due for a revival in our more modern ones, especially with small bedrooms. You’ll regain the space that would have gone to a bulky dresser! If you’re a brave DIY-er, you can do it yourself; otherwise, most carpenters will do it for totally reasonable and affordable rates.
  8. Let there be light.

    Chandeliers aren’t just for dining rooms anymore! Hanging one in your bedroom is another way to draw the eye upward for the illusion of height, and to add lots of light to a room, always important for the feeling of space. Go for a funky, asymmetrical design or one with lots of personality to add some unexpected zest to your space.
  9. Choose colors carefully.

    One of the simplest and most important things you can do in your small bedroom? Paint the walls the right color! Of course, conventional wisdom says that pastels, whites, and other lighter hues open a room up. While that’s true, don’t be afraid to use dark colors— as long as you use them in the right way! Create a focus point by pairing light walls with one dark accent wall – or even a ceiling! – or contrast darker colors with a patterned focal point, like in this room. Dark colors can also blur the corners of the room, making its boundaries less sharp and causing it to appear a little bigger!
  10. Elongate walls with stripes . . .

    Of course, there’s the most classic way to make anything appear taller: vertical stripes! Bold black-and-white lines like these ones provide a striking and interesting visual element, especially if you only do them on part of the room to create a focal point. Nobody will notice the low ceiling, and if they do, they’ll think it’s much farther away than it really is!
  11. . . . even (especially!) with large grey horizontal ones!

    If anybody tells you you shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes, you have them come talk to us. And if they tell you not to paint with horizontal stripes? Just show them THIS! The lines create motion around the room, and as long as you don’t interrupt that motion with any vertical stripes, your bedroom will feel more spacious and visually interesting.

So many great ideas! I’m ready to redo my bedroom right this second! What about you? Which ideas surprised or stood out to you? Are there any you think you might try?

Of course, there’s more ideas where these tricks came from! Check out this inspiring collection from Hative, and our own 15 Tips To Make Any Room Feel Bigger. More worried about organization than style? We’ve got you covered with 10 Bedroom Organization Tips to Make the Most of a Small Space. Need some style in the other rooms of your home? Take a look at 10 Brilliant Tricks to Make a Small Bathroom Feel Big, 27 Creative Ways to Decorate a Small Bathroom, and 22 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens!