Small apartments are all the rage these days, and with smaller apartments come smaller bedrooms. In New York City, “micro-mini” apartments appeal to singles and couples who want to live in town but cannot afford a larger space. Other people choose to enjoy the simplicity of an intimate, cozy apartment without the clutter and bother that a large apartment would invite. There are many decorating tips, from fabric selection to furniture placement that can make a big difference in giving your small bedroom appear larger. Architectural additions like a loft can make a big difference. A host of simple changes, like natural light, reflective surfaces and larger pieces of furniture that fit into a monochromatic color scheme will also expand a small bedroom visually to create an open, airy look.
Make it Cozy, Not Cramped
You want your small bedroom to feel inviting and appealing, not crowded and cramped. The first thing to do to achieve that look is to get rid of the clutter. Limit your use of surface space, and place your things behind doors, in a closet or in drawers so they are out of sight.
To give the illusion of more space in a small bedroom, interior designers and decorators have come up with creative tips that demonstrate that small can be beautiful. Installing a Murphy bed that retracts into a wall, adding a second level loft space accessible with spiral stairs and providing plenty of storage can go a long way in making your smaller bedroom look larger.
There are plenty of options for getting organized, from closet systems to attractive bins and decorative shelving. Arrange items that you would like to display neatly to add a personal touch to the room, but yet not overpower the bedroom with too much “stuff” lying around.
Use Plenty of Storage
Make sure you have plenty of storage space in a small bedroom. Use every nook and cranny to stash your things. Under the bed storage can be a lifesaver, and you can also use those vacuum bags to suck the air out of bulky sweaters and comforters for easy storage that takes up less room.
Open Up the Space
Strategically placed furniture can lend an open, spacious look to a small bedroom. Whenever possible, place furniture and accessories against the wall. This approach works particularly well for tall bedroom pieces, like an armoire. Remember, the more the floor is visible, the larger the room will look.
The Bigger the Better
It may be counter intuitive, but decorating with several larger, simple pieces that make a statement will make the bedroom look bigger than using multiple smaller pieces. Larger pieces of furniture have a calming effect, which is especially important in a bedroom. Using multiple smaller pieces of furniture and accessories can make a bedroom feel cluttered and small.
Choose Colors Carefully
To make a small bedroom appear larger, select softer, lighter shades on the neutral or cool side of the color spectrum. Gentle hues of soft blues and greens will open up the room, while darker, warmer colors will make a small room look more intimate and cozy.
Painting the Trim
Once you have selected your wall colors in light hues of cream, blue or green, think about painting the trim in a lighter shade. When the trim is lighter than the walls and the ceiling, the visual effect is to push the walls back further than they are in reality, allowing the room to appear more open and larger.
A monochromatic color scheme with plenty of texture for interest will expand a small bedroom. Use variations of the same color family and then select textured wall finishes and tone-on-tone fabrics to bring an added dimension to the décor of the room.
Go Easy on Contrast
Using contrasting colors can break up a small space and make it look even smaller. On the other hand, selecting furniture that blends well with the wall color can provide a seamless appearance and make the bedroom appear larger. For the best result, coordinate wall and furniture colors for a unified overall appearance.
Let the Sunshine In
A well-lit room will appear bigger, even if the light is artificial, so add plenty of lighting to the bedroom. Arc lamps, indirect lighting and track lighting can help. You may consider installing a tray ceiling with indirect lighting. If you are lucky enough to have a window that lets in an abundance of natural light, eliminate the heavy drapery and allow the window to pull the outdoors in visually to give the room a larger appearance. Choose light, sheer window treatments and hang them above the window and extend them beyond the sides. This will give the illusion that the window is larger than it really is. Even better, if you have enough money to install a skylight, according to the professionals at A-Top Roofing & Construction, “besides providing natural light to a specific area, a skylight offers a view to the outside that can brighten any room.”
Decorate with Reflective Surfaces
If you love the look of mirrors, panel an entire wall of mirrors or get mirrored sliding doors for your bedroom closet. If a whole wall of mirror is not your preference, consider a beautiful, oversized framed mirror to expand the look of the room. Antiqued mirrored furniture is a stylish way to make the piece “disappear” into the room. Another room enlarging technique is to top a dresser or desk with mirror.
Choose Light and Airy Upholstery
Use light and airy fabrics in plain colors to make the bedroom appear larger. For window treatments and bed skirts you can choose sheer fabrics in neutral or cool tones. Bold patterns like stripes, prints and plaids in dark colors along with heavy fabrics will make the bedroom look closed in.
Mount your TV on the wall with mounting brackets and install swing arm wall lamps to free up the space on your night tables. If your closet is large enough, optimize your bedroom space by moving a small dresser into the closet.