Small Bedrooms and Big Ideas: Making the Most of Your Space

Haven’t you heard? Small is big this year, and getting bigger. With the blooming popularity of micro-homes and studio apartments, many people are beginning to think on a smaller scale square-footage wise. Limiting the space you take up is great: it saves you money, consumes less resources, and can generally make you more mindful and organized. And downsizing does not at all have to be a downgrade. There are a bunch of simple and creative ways to make the most of limited space. Here are just a couple ideas for how to make small bedrooms work for you.

Double Up 

When you are looking to conserve space, shelves are your best friends. (By John Longpre)
When you are looking to conserve space, shelves are your best friends. (By John Longpre)

When looking to make the most of a small space, the single most important rule to keep in mind is that furniture can serve more than one purpose. A headboard can double as a bookshelf, a bureau as a desk, a day bed as a sofa. Many pieces come built in with both shelves and drawers, intended by the manufacturers to be used for multiple purposes. How you handle storage and set-up really makes a big difference when utilizing space.
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Surface Area 

Utilize all your surfaces! Even the walls. (By Malcolm Davis Architecture)
Utilize all your surfaces! Even the walls. (By Malcolm Davis Architecture)

While you are considering which objects you can combine into multipurpose pieces, remember the oh-so-important and often underutilized surfaces in your room–the walls. There are lots of things that can be regulated to the walls when you are working with a small space–shelves, clothes hooks, lights. Lights especially, since standing lamps take up floor space and table lamps tend to be bulky and take up elbow room. Pendant lights and ceiling lights are both trendy alternatives for conserving surface area.
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Let the Light In 

Natural light saves a small space from seeming oppressive. (By Garret Cord Werner Architecture)
Natural light saves a small space from seeming oppressive. (By Garret Cord Werner Architecture and Interior Designers)

Speaking of light, let that be a factor when choosing what space to try to turn into a comfortable small bedroom/living space. Any room without natural light becomes oppressive fast, and a small room even more so. A source of natural light goes a long way, and you can help this along by decorating with paler colors. White especially gives the illusion of extra space, and so do reflective surfaces. A strategically placed mirror can make a room look twice as big as it actually is.
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One Wall Only 

Add some visual interest with decoration on one wall. (By InDesign/Lori Ludwick)
Add some visual interest with decoration on one wall. (By InDesign/Lori Ludwick)

Another instance where the walls are an indispensable asset when trying to go small. This is a great trick that I never would have come up with on my own, but one I really like. When decorating small spaces, reserve color or wallpaper for one wall only. This adds depth to a room and creates a focal point to distract from the size. Wallpapering the entire room would very quickly become overwhelming–just too much noise for such little surface area. If you can swing it so the set up is like the above photo, with the color on a wall adjacent to the window, even better.

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Small but Chic 

This studio apartment is a great example of well-utilized space. (By Vertebrae Architecture)
This studio apartment is a great example of well-utilized space. (By Vertebrae Architecture)

Okay, this is not exactly a bedroom, but the above photo is such a good example of making the best use of a small space. The shelves, the hanging lights, the counter set up so the stools can be pushed underneath when they aren’t being used, the large window and light colored bedroom wall and linens. This is just a perfect model for pulling it all together.

Simplifying your life is a common modern goal, and downsizing and reorganizing your space is a great way to start. With a little thought and creativity, small rooms can make a big difference!