How to Open Up a Small Bedroom


by Chris S 27 Jun 2013

Your bedroom is supposed to be the place where you can shut the door and escape to your own private refuge, but if you’re dealing with a small space, it can be difficult to fully relax and breathe deep. Not all houses come equipped with grand master bedrooms, but don’t lose hope just yet; there are many tricks and resources you can utilize that will help open up your bedroom and allow it to transform into the safe haven it’s meant to be.

Bring in the Light

A small room with poor lighting is bound to feel like a closed-in cave, so be generous with the light you’re utilizing. If you have a window, avoid covering it with dark curtains or shades, but instead, consider investing in a decorative set of blinds. Wooden blinds add a sophisticated touch, but unlike curtains, they allow you to have complete control over the amount of light you’re bringing in. Natural light creates a fresh and open feeling in any room, so try and maximize any sunlight that’s available.

For evening hours and cloudy days, you can still have access to natural looking lighting by replacing a few of your incandescent bulbs with halogen bulbs (they produce the most sun-like glow). The right set-up of lamps, sconces, or chandeliers can make a room appear much larger than it really is. The trick is to make sure the room is evenly lit to avoid dark shadows from occupying certain corners of the room.

Stick to Light Colors

If your room is already small, a dark color scheme will add to the claustrophobic experience, so stick to light, airy colors. Pastels work great in helping a room feel more expansive, so find a combination of lighter shades of greens, creams, blues, or purples that you like and keep those in mind when you pick out paints, linens, furniture, and décor.

Organize and Decorate Vertically

Decorating vertically allows a room to appear to have more depth, so always try and decorate from top to bottom instead of side to side. A tall, vertical mirror is a great choice to place in a small room because it will help reflect any light which creates an illusion of a bigger space.

Vertical tapestries, paintings, and family portraits are other options that that will help add a comfortable touch to your personal space, but it’s imperative to avoid adding too many ornaments to your room as this will create a congested feel that will defeat the purpose of your original intention.

Minimize to Open

A small room packed full of furniture, decorations, and clutter is going to appear even tinier than it already is, so take a minimalist’s approach to your bedroom. As mentioned before, decorate sparingly, but also reduce the amount of furniture you’re bringing it; try only allow room for your bed, a vertical bookshelf, a nightstand, a dresser(if that can’t fit in your closet), and if it’s absolutely needed, a chair for reading or lounging. If you have a TV, consider trying to hang it up on your wall so that you can avoid a TV stand in the middle of the room. Lastly, never let your room get too cluttered with dirty laundry, dishes, or any other odds and ends that easily find their way onto the floor. A clean and tidy space always appears larger than one that’s unorganized and messy.

Just because you happen to have a small bedroom to work with doesn’t mean it can’t be a space for you to feel free, open, and more importantly, relaxed. By using some lighting and color tricks, as well as keeping up with a minimalistic and vertical approach to decorating, you’ll have no problem turning your bedroom into a larger and more comfortable paradise where you can unwind and de-stress.

Ross Donald is a freelance writer and home design enthusiast. When he’s not looking for new ways to rearrange his home, he writes about lighting fixtures and design theories.

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