Make the most of a small bedroom

Rachel Burge
Yahoo Lifestyle
29 November 2012

Small rooms present some unique design challenges but with some clever thinking you can create a stylish boudoir with real ‘wow’ factor.

Keep the focus on the bed

“The bed should always be the focus on the room with a sumptuous duvet cover and cushions,” says interior designer Wendy Newman.

Two matching bedside tables may add to a boutique hotel-feel, but there are stylish alternatives if space is limited. 

“Try wall-mounting smaller boxes or simple floating shelves that take up less room,” says Wendy, adding: “if you can see more of the floor the room will appear bigger.”

The Bookmark Bedside Cabinet (£79.00) from A Place For Everything, offers storage with personality - and you can hang your favourite read over the roof to act as a bookmark.

Alternatively, mount one long slim shelf on the wall above your headboard. “If it’s painted the same as the wall it’ll visually disappear,” says Wendy. “Clip-on lamps take up minimum space and if you wire in the lights at the plastering stage you’ll get a neat, minimalist look.”

The headboard itself can also help with storage. Try Ikea’s Oppdal headboard (£120) or the Malm headboard shelf unit, £110.

Some beds have flat-screen TVs that rise out of the footboard – again, ideal in keeping a small room looking tidy - if your budget allows of course.

Finally, Wendy suggests bringing your whole bed slightly out into the room and building a false wall behind the headboard. This may sound crazy but it will create a whole new storage area, all hidden from view. The more you hide things away, the more spacious your small bedroom will appear.

Maximise your storage

Getting the storage right in a small bedroom is key. This means tidying away clutter and storing seasonal clothes and blankets to make space for the things you use every day.

A lift-up storage bed or one with built-in pull out drawers is great if your budget allows.
Alternatively, opt for under-bed storage boxes, £21, from Ikea or one on wheels for easy access, like this metal rack, £14.99, from Dunelm Mill.

If you have room at the end of the bed, invest in an ottoman, which acts as storage as well as a seat when dressing. 

Creative wardrobe solutions

A jam-packed wardrobe with a messy pile of shoes at the bottom isn’t the best way to keep your clothes organised and in good condition. Thankfully, you don’t need acres of space for built-in wardrobes. 

Sleek wardrobes will help keep things tidy, and if you opt for light or mirrored exteriors, will help create the illusion of more space. Sliding doors don’t require space to open, so are a good choice if there isn’t much of a gap between the wardrobe and bed.

Companies like Sharps, Hammonds and Tidy bedrooms offer a range of options and can be customised to fit the space of your room. With plenty of internal racks, rails and shelves inside so there is a space for everything.

If your budget is limited, Ikea do a wide range of practical, modular furniture and internal solutions for wardrobes and cupboards. An option may be to have a single Pax wardrobe, £80, at either side of the bed with a shelf above for a lamp and books, negating the need for bedside tables.

For a real style statement, opt for a slim unit, such as this stunning blue Madras wardrobe, £790, from Maison Du Monde and increase storage potential with wicker boxes on top. You can also customise the inside by hanging a row of pretty hooks for scarves and belts. 

If the room has an alcove, fill it with shelves, rails and hooks for the ultimate in customised organisation. Hang a pretty curtain to pull across when you want to hide it away.

Create the illusion of more space

The classic design trick of using a large mirror to create the illusion of more space works well in a bedroom. “A huge framed mirror leaning against the wall will work wonders in visually doubling the space,” says Wendy. “It can look amazing to mirror-clad the whole wall behind the bed head - speak to your local glazing company for advice.”

Keeping the décor simple and light will also make the most of a small bedroom. Steer clear of fussy details and complicated patterns and think about keeping window treatments simple with a fitting blind.

“If you prefer the luxury of curtains, go for ones that are the same colour as the walls, as this adds to the feeling of space,” says Wendy.

Small rooms can still be big on personality according to Wendy. “You don’t have to have light colours if you don’t want to. A small bedroom can feel fabulously cosy with darker shades and warm textures – enlivened by light reflecting silver lamps and mirrored furniture.”

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