The reality is that many of us live in small spaces. For some of us it is because we want to make a smaller ecological foot print and for others it is the reality of the rental market. Living in small spaces can be a challenge, but it is worth putting some time, energy and resources into your bedroom sanctuary. Here are some suggestions of how to make the best of your small bedroom space.
Begin with your bed. For comfort, purchase a queen- or king-sized bed, and be sure you have at least 2” on three sides to make it up. Unless it’s a platform style, consider raising it up 7” or so to gain room for storage bins or baskets underneath as college kids do, says New York designer Libby Langdon. Instead of positioning your bed against the wall closest to the door when you enter the room, Langdon suggests arranging your headboard against the opposite wall, so you view the entire bed right away, which will make your room look larger.
Optimize storage. Rather than squeezing a chair and matching ottoman into your limited space, Langdon recommends a bench or ottomans for sitting, which often open up to include storage. Because a small bedroom may not have room for a chest, many designers recommend hiring a professional closet organizer to maximize this space, no matter how small. Designer and author Marianne Cusato suggests getting as much “stuff” out of your bedroom and into the closet as possible to make the space look bigger.
Choose practical tables. When looking for bedside tables, go for a matching pair that fit the scale of your bed and room. Choose a flat surface on top for books, a water glass and lamp.
Find comfortable flooring. Lay wall-to-wall carpet for a warmer effect. If you have nice wood floors and want to show them off, consider placing an area rug on top, but one that covers the majority of the floor space, so you have 6” of surrounding bare floor.
Add colors and patterns. Whether you use paint or wallpaper, a soft palette is best on walls for a tranquil mood that inspires good sleep. Los Angeles designer Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design likes to use wallpaper to keep the eye moving all around the space. You might paint one wall a rich color or use a darker tone near the ceiling to make the room seem a bit bigger, says designer Barbara Elliot of Decorating Den Interiors.
Light the right areas. Good lighting should come from multiple sources. If you like to read in bed, Langdon suggests installing swing-arm lamps on either side of the bed for better task lighting. Islas always includes one overhead source that provides illumination in all directions, and makes it dimmable for different light levels.
Accessorize. Mirrors do wonders in small rooms to magnify dimensions, particularly in bedrooms where they offer a way to check clothing and makeup in private.
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