Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style

Brilliant ways to create a stylish small bedroom abound.

Photographed by Julia Robbs.

The amount of space you need for a good night’s rest and other self-care rituals is a matter of preference — for some. For many of us limited by rent costs, small bedrooms must suffice, despite it being the spot where experts say we’re likely to spend as many as nine-and-a-half hours on average each day.

Although furniture staples like sofas and side chairs have gotten more streamlined (read: smaller and, in some cases, convertible, while still managing to appeal to a wide range of styles), bedroom essentials have yet to follow suit. You’re either a twin, a queen, or a king, with a few extra inches on the side to stretch out or luxuriate in the extra storage capacity of a nightstand, if you’re lucky.

That means craftiness is critical when it comes to small bedroom design, as is knowing exactly how much space you have to squeeze it all in and which size bed is going to best suit your needs.

The most common bed size — a queen — measures 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. But some can also come in an 84-inch or 7-foot length, which in some places (like New York City) could actually be the size of your entire bedroom. Downgrading to a full-size bed (coming in at 54 inches wide by 75 inches long) might carve out a little more space, but can be a snug fit for two people with a taller, wider build. On the other hand, a 39-inch wide, 75-inch long twin, which is the mattress size used for most daybeds, might be a better bet for guests only crashing for a night or two.

Luckily, where square footage may be lacking, brilliant ways to create a stylish sleep sanctuary abound — no matter what your decor style. Here are ways to do it for the traditionalist, the maximalist, and everyone in between.

Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style
Photographed by Amy Bartlam.


For The Minimalist: Keep The Palette Light

Cali-cool vibes permeate this laid-back apartment of two Los Angeles roommates. In the bedroom, an ultra-neutral palette of white and pink — characteristic of that SoCal style — plays up the home’s ample natural light and works wonders to make the tiny space feel larger.

A rustic wood headboard and matching nightstand keep the white-on-white room from feeling too stark or sterile. Design pros also recommend layering the textures of all-white accessories for a hint of drama. Here, a shaggy rug does the trick in two ways: keeping with the room’s airy palette and adding a touch of warmth underfoot on chilly days.

Additionally, a full-size mirror in the corner is a great way to not only provide you a spot to check out your outfit before heading out the door, but it also serves as a tool to make the space feel larger. Mirrors are definitely a designer go-to when it comes to opening up a small room.

Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style
Photographed by Ashley Batz.


For The Maximalist: Wallpaper It All

Even the subtle pattern of a batik-inspired wallpaper makes the walls of this tiny bedroom virtually disappear. The dark, indigo colorway heightens the cocoon effect and provides a surprisingly neutral backdrop to layer on all the cozy elements you’d want in a sleep sanctuary: hotel-like white bedding, a brass lamp for reading, and accessories in varying shades of blue, which is known for its sleep-inducing qualities.

We recommend choosing a wallpaper with a barely-there pattern or a large-scale one, both of which tend to fade into the background and give the eyes a place to rest. Alternatively, an accent wall can create an equally stylish effect, and may even take the place of a headboard if space is limited.

Just be sure to prep your walls properly beforehand. There’s nothing like a bumpy, peeling decor mishap like sloppy wallpaper to keep you up at night.

Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style
Photographed by Julia Robbs.


For The Traditionalist: Turn The Headboard Into Storage

Headboards tend to serve one purpose in bedroom design: looking pretty. But rethinking the way you utilize the top end of your bed can go a long way in maximizing space (particularly when it is limited).

Case in point: an airy guest bedroom inside the Brooklyn home of model and culinary pro Elettra Wiedemann, where a carved wood headboard serves as a perch for books and other accessories, practically eliminating the need for nightstands altogether.

The cleverly-designed space offers both a modern twist to the home’s otherwise traditional bones and a provides a bonus, space-saving tip: utilizing the wall space between the windows as a spot to display art. A thin photo frame keeps the look sleek and mimics the frame of the windows without distracting from the view.

Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style
Photographed by Nicole Lev.

For The Modernist: Use Every Corner

Not having two nightstands may take some getting used to, but gaining a few extra inches for a larger bed feels like a worthwhile trade-off. It will just require thinking beyond the traditional bedroom layout and utilizing every corner of your room, perhaps even tucking your bed into a corner instead of centering it along a wall.

Such is life inside this Bay Area bedroom, where a slatted bed cozies up to a soft-yellow wall. The black-and-white combination of the bed frame and bedding become more of a focal point than the layout of the furniture. A graphic piece of art hung from a picture rail above offers another point of distraction and makes the corner vignette feel complete — the key to avoiding dorm-room vibes.

Small Bedroom Design Ideas For Every Style
Photographed by Erin Williamson.

For The Eclectic: Make The Ceiling Disappear

Adding a splash of color to a wall may seem counterintuitive if the goal is to make it disappear. But there is one exception, and that is the fifth wall, aka the ceiling. Painted in a dark hue and set against a crisp white wall beneath, the ceiling seems to fade away as it does in this mid-century bedroom in Austin.

Alongside vibrant English blue bedding, the ceiling color, Benjamin Moore’s Chimichurri, warms the space by day — thanks to a flood of light from a wall of sliding doors — and creates the effect of a nighttime sky come sundown when the room’s recessed lighting is on. In spaces where the ceilings are high or lofty, using a color on the ceiling can create a cozier, grounding effect.

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