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Big ideas for small bedrooms

Melanie Whitehouse / 03 October 2016

Follow our guide to getting the most out of a tiny sleeping space.

Built-in wardrobe
Custom-made wardrobes are ideal for small, unusually shaped rooms

Small bedrooms can be a strange shape. They can be rooms in attics or even a nook off a corridor, have tiny windows and zero storage. Here’s how to make the most of the space you’ve got and turn it into something cosy and welcoming.

Brilliant beds for small rooms

Clever storage is key. Buy divans with drawers underneath or beds where the entire mattress lifts up. Both are ideal for storing bed linen and towels, out-of-season duvets and blankets.

Make beds cosy by layering up textiles. Use lots of pattern and texture and mix large and small prints that are linked by colour.

In a small bedroom, invest in bunk beds or slide-out beds for when the grandchildren come to stay. By raising the bed up high you free up floor space underneath, which can be used for storage or for a desk.

Read our tips for storing out-of-season clothes

Clever storage

If you have the budget, get in a good joiner to make your wardrobes. Got an alcove you could utilise? Build the bed into it with the wardrobes either side.

Sliding wardrobe doors are useful if a traditional hinged door takes up too much room.

No budget for built-in wardrobes? Use tie-top curtains on a length of rod or pole to hide areas where clothes are hanging.

Mount a small bedside table on the wall, so it takes up no floor space, or cut one into panelling.

Bookshelves securely attached above the headboard make good use of an otherwise neglected space for storing lightweight ornaments.

Turn a small alcove into shelving for books or knick-knacks.

No money for bedside tables? Use a wooden fruit crate instead.

Read our tips for maximising wardrobe space

Lights and lighting

Wall lights on retractable arms will give you far better reading light than a table lamp and won’t take up precious space on bedside tables.

A twinkly chandelier in the centre of the ceiling will give you an instant ‘wow’ factor and refract light around.

Mirrors also give the illusion of space by reflecting light around the room. Put in the right place and they will ‘double’ the size of the room. Use mirror panelling on walls or wardrobes to bounce light around.

Placing the bed in the middle of the room opposite the door will make it appear very symmetrical. Do not place under the window, though, as it can be draughty!

Use your imagination – if a bedroom is used as an occasional space and is on the side of another room or a corridor, say, make a feature of it by adding curtains and turning it into a cosy nook.

Find out how to make a dark room brighter

Wallpaper and fabrics

Feeling bold? Use a statement wallpaper on one wall to add drama and interest.

Bedroom very narrow? Make it feel wider by painting the end wall a darker shade than the side walls.

If your window is low and/or small, either use a blind at the window or mount the curtain pole high on the wall to make it appear larger.

Blinds can restrict light at the top but curtains can be bulky. Using just one curtain that can be drawn back and tied neatly on one side is a solution.

Use the same pattern on the blind fabric as the wallpaper, or the soft furnishings and bed linen (but never match all of them – it’ll look overdone rather than streamlined). Alternatively, cover the walls, valance and headboard in the same fabric.

Go for airy drapes in a small room – sheers bring a light touch to a cramped space.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.