Much ink has been spilt over huge houses and sprawling rooms being the epitome of luxury. However, small bedrooms can be made to feel as cosy or as luxurious as you want them to be. When designed well, small room ideas can lead to functional spaces that serve as a retreat after a long day and leave no room for extra clutter (Marie Kondo would be proud).

Small bedrooms and style don’t need to be the antithesis of one another. Even though the lack of space may feel like a burden at first, it’s a golden opportunity to flex creative muscles. Furthermore, you can judge just how innovative one’s design thinking can get.

Small Room Ideas #1: Adding Colours
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Add a dash of colour

The prevailing mantra is that small bedrooms need lighter, brighter, whiter colours. That is indeed safe play, but there are ways to use dark colours in small room ideas that will reflect a keen sense of design. Whites and neutrals make a small space look bigger, especially if there’s natural sunlight to play with. Creams, off-whites, greys, beiges and ecru tones are ideal if you’re going for a neutral colour palette.

A clever way to break up the monotony without introducing visual clutter is to incorporate darker colours in pops here and there. That doesn’t mean a boring black-and-white palette– instead, experiment with deeper hues of the above-mentioned shades or go in with aquamarine, forest green or royal blue. These colours could be channelled by way of a statement wall, textured rugs or upholstery.

Small Room Ideas #2: Adding Textures
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Plush velvet bed

When it comes to adding layers of depth to compact small room ideas, textures can clinch the deal. This is especially true in rooms that will use a dominantly neutral or white colour palette. Since it adds depth and dimension as opposed to letting the entire room look flat or boring. 

A good way to incorporate texture into a space is to begin with upholstery. Velvet and suede can be used in upholstered bed frames, curtains, pouffes and ottomans. These fabrics instantly give off a luxe vibe regardless of what colour you choose– this way, even if you want to stick to a restricted colour palette, you can still achieve a dramatic look.

Small Room Ideas #3: Choosing Finishes
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Easy to maintain wardrobes

When picking out finishes for essentials such as wardrobes and vanity units, opt for ones that are durable and easy to maintain. High-gloss acrylics can be used to induce colour into the space and reflect available sunlight. On the other hand, matte finish laminates look a lot soberer. They are also available in a variety of colours and textures.

Veneer has the ability to replicate the texture and colour of wood, so for small room ideas that use a classic aesthetic, this finish is a good choice. Lacquered finishes are ideal to create reflective spaces that aren’t glossy but still diffuse light. They’re also a good choice for wardrobes with panelled doors as the effect is quite regal.

Small Room Ideas #4: Opting for Space-Saving Furniture

At some point in the design process, homeowners working on small room ideas will have to face the proverbial music and deal with space constraints. However, clever planning and the use of space-saving furniture will go a long way in finalising a design that is visually and practically seamless. 

Trundle Beds
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Space-saving solutions

These beds are low, wheeled frames that are stored underneath a normal bed. The drawcard of a trundle bed is that it can be pushed back under the higher bed when not in use, and rolled out when needed. This saves a lot of previous square footage that otherwise would’ve been lost under a second bed. It also prevents the space from looking cramped. In rooms that are used by adults or growing children, trundle beds are more practical options than bunk beds. These are ideal for children and for use in rooms with a lot of vertical space.

Storage Benches
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For seating and storage

If you’re looking to add seating to your room but prefer that the bench of choice serve another purpose. Then, storage benches are your best bet. These are benches that can be sat on but also come with drawers or under-the-lid storage to keep bedding, cushions, clothes or the like.

Mounted Lamps
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Stylish & convenient options

Light fixtures seem like they don’t take up a lot of space but when factored into small rooms, they can visibly add to clutter. Instead of choosing floor lamps or table lamps that could restrict movement, consider mounting your lamps on the walls or headboards. Walls often go unused apart from art frames and paint. Therefore, this is a good way to maximise available space other than the floor.

Floating Shelves
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Seamless shelf designs

Another method of using vertical space is by installing floating shelves. They increase available storage and make perfect display spots for decor elements. For a discreet finish, consider painting the shelves the same colour as the wall. This reduces visual clutter; alternatively, if you prefer a bolder look, wooden or contrasting shelves will become statemen features in and of themselves.

Sliding Wardrobes
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Sliding doors for a packed room

A space-saving marvel, sliding wardrobes provide all the functional benefits of a regular wardrobe. However, instead of hinged doors, use sliding doors. The obvious perk is that sliding doors do not take up any extra space. When they’re open, unlike hinged doors which effectively block off a certain amount of floor space. For small room ideas that are using a restricted colour palette, sliding wardrobes can be painted the same colour as the wall. However, reflective or mirrored doors can reflect light and wooden finishes can lend the room a sophisticated look.

Small Room Ideas #5: Staying Organised

Whether you believe in the clutter-free principles of Feng Shui or just don’t want to trip over a stray shoe again, staying organised will mean visual appeal and an accident-free room. The linchpin to keeping small room ideas clutter-free is developing an organisational system. This system should be along the lines of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’.

Purge the extras
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Only the essentials

Begin by tossing out any multiples or has-beens to immediately clear up available space. If you have furniture in the room that doesn’t quite fit, try repositioning it in another room or give it away. For items that you’d like to have around, keep them in a box and store them away in the loft. That way, you don’t have to throw them out but they’re not creating clutter in the space. In small room ideas, keep decor to a bare minimum to add just enough charm without the subsequent mess.

Plan your wardrobe
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A wardrobe with accessories

Wardrobes often go from organised to untidy in a matter of days, but the key to maintaining a cohesive collection is to plan the way your wardrobe is split on the inside. Consider adding different types of storage spaces to match varying needs. Long dresses, suits and coats will need a hanging rod while intimates and nightclothes can be put in drawers. Shelves are ideal for trousers, shirts and other clothing items. A low rack is perfect for shoes. Furthermore, hanging knobs off the wardrobe walls can keep belts and scarves in one place.

Small room ideas need not be boring. Practical or messy– it’s perfectly possible to achieve a balance between the two extremes. It takes quite a bit of advance planning and clever furniture and organisation hacks, but the resulting design (and free square footage) is well worth the extra effort!

If you enjoyed these handy-dandy tips, take a look at: How to Design a Space-efficient 1BHK.

Send in your comments and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com