Interior Design Tips & Tricks for Renters

How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

If you’re struggling with how much space you have in your apartment, you’re not alone. Rentals are getting smaller across the nation, giving us less square footage to work with in new and old buildings.

Fortunately, there are plenty of small bedroom ideas you can use to make the room look bigger. Whether you’re moving to a new place or just want to upgrade your most intimate space, here are eight tiny bedroom ideas to get you started:

Apply light-colored paint

Light colors reflect light, while darker colors absorb it, making the space seem more constricting. So, use light-colored paint on the walls to open up the space and make your bedroom brighter. Bright white never goes out of style, and neither do the most neutral of tones, such as warm gray or beige.

However, while you do want to keep the walls neutral, one of the best painting techniques to make a room look bigger is to paint the ceiling dark to draw the eye upward. One easy way to achieve this effect is to cover the ceiling in a dark blue or black hue and then paint the night sky on it.

Color-coordinate the room

Speaking of color, minimize contrast as much as possible. A color scheme based on different shades of the same color creates continuity and prevents the space from feeling too busy. So, what colors make a room look bigger? Light blue and bright green are always great options, as colder colors are more likely to give the room depth. However, if you prefer warmer tones, you can still use them as long as you don’t choose one that is too overwhelming, such as bright red.

Keep furniture to a minimum

Having as little furniture as possible is one of the cornerstones of small bedroom design. You want to save as much space as you can, so avoid clunky items even if they offer a bit of extra storage. Plus, there are actually quite a few tricks to make room for your belongings without losing space. For example, utilize the area under your bed for storage with just a few containers. Or, buy a bench or an ottoman with room inside to store blankets and more. Finally, avoid getting items that aren’t absolutely necessary, like bedside tables.

Use furniture with exposed legs

Furniture with exposed legs will make any room look bigger. That’s because furniture that doesn’t directly touch the floor essentially creates space where it wouldn’t be otherwise and makes your bedroom feel much airier. An added benefit is that with a few baskets, you can also use some of that space for storage; just be sure to keep most of the extra space free from clutter. Alternatively, if you already have furniture that touches the floor, try a DIY technique to add legs without having to buy new furniture.

Place mirrors in critical spots

One of the best small bedroom ideas is to use mirrors to open up the space. Mirrors give the impression of a larger room and also reflect light, making darker areas look more luminous. To create the illusion of space, attach a floor-length mirror to an area of the wall that doesn’t get much light or to the doors of your wardrobe; as long as the mirror faces a clutter-free corner of the room, the effect will be instantly noticeable. Or, to make your bedroom seem more open and bright, take advantage of natural light by hanging a mirror opposite a window or placing a mirror behind a light source.

Hang ceiling-to-floor curtains

Curtains are another simple way to make your bedroom look more roomy. By hanging drapes from the top of the wall down to the floor or an inch above it, you’ll achieve two room-opening effects. First, if your bedroom windows are smaller than you’d like, these types of curtains will make them appear longer and wider. Also, the length of the drapes will lead the eyes upward, which creates the feeling of an apartment with higher ceilings. Be mindful of the color scheme, though; select pastel or transparent curtains to ensure they don’t absorb the natural brightness or cut off a vital light source.

Keep bedding simple

Something as minimal as your bedding can also have an influence on your bedroom. You might be tempted to choose bold, heavily patterned designs and as many pillows as possible, but complex bedding setups can really close up your bedroom and make it feel cluttered. Instead, opt for modest bedding to make sure the bed is part of the flow of the room—rather than its centerpiece—and ditch decorative pillows and embellished designs in favor of light-colored linens.

Decorate with large items

When you’re thinking of small bedroom ideas, décor rarely comes to mind. But, while avoiding decorations altogether may seem like a good plan, you don’t need to sacrifice your style for space. An easy solution to keeping the room open while showing off your personality is to get a few large statement pieces and avoid small kick-knacks. While tiny sculptures, bowls, or other features can help you diversify the look of your bedroom, they may also make it feel cluttered. Instead, find a large vase or sculpture with a bold yet understated design, and avoid placing it next to other items. If you hang wall art, opt for sizable pieces and hang them low so they make your bedroom seem taller. For an added touch, choose abstract designs that incorporate plenty of space in the art itself.

In the end, even the tiniest of bedrooms can be transformed into a relaxing oasis if you keep a few rules in mind and use space-saving techniques. Just remember the basics: coordinate the room with light colors, keep furniture and clutter to a minimum, and use a few large décor items to show off your style. And, if push comes to shove, you can always find a new apartment with a spacious bedroom for your next move.

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About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina Lupa is a creative writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective. Irina holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. You can connect with Irina via email.

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