We’d all love a spacious boudoir fit for lounging in all day long, but let’s get real: This is just a pipe dream for many homeowners. Instead, we’re banging our shins as we struggle to straighten the sheets.
But you don’t need to feel constricted by the actual physical size of a bedroom. In fact, there are plenty of ways to create the illusion of more space—all by focusing on the right colors, lighting, and accessories.
For starters, make sure you’ve decluttered, since too much stuff is probably the No. 1 culprit when it comes to cramped sleeping quarters.
“All the square footage in the world won’t make a difference if your space is crowded with stuff, so keep your room picked up,” notes Marty Basher, a home design and organization expert with Modular Closets.
Multiple-use furniture and bare, spare windows are two more smart ways to create the feeling of a larger bedroom, say design pros. For more help, check out these seven ways to create an airy, open (and even romantic) oasis where you sleep.
1. Float the bedside tables
You have to edit your furniture ruthlessly in a cramped bedroom, so start by removing the bedside tables (they’re usually a big source of clutter anyway). If you can’t live without a special spot for tissues, lip balm, and your books, consider small floating shelves on the wall that act as bedside tables.
“There are also headboards on the market that come with drawers on either end, which can be used as bedside pieces, too,” notes Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
2. Fake a headboard
A bulky headboard or bed frame takes up precious real estate. The fix: Mimic a real headboard with a row of pillows, a design painted on the wall, or stitched fabric.
3. Use light paint and linens
The best paint colors for a smallish bedroom are light neutrals and whites, as these paler shades tend to make spaces look bigger, shares Basher.
The same goes for your bedspread and sheets.
“The lighter and more monochromatic the linens, the better for enlarging a space,” says Jaime Novak, an organizing pro and author of “Keep This Toss That.”
4. Add storage and clean lines
Small furniture with clean lines is a critical consideration when outfitting a tiny bedroom. (Banish anything overstuffed!) Chairs and other pieces made from Lucite are also worth a look as they take up less visual space and give the feeling of a more open room, notes Basher.
“Stay low to the ground with your furniture—and don’t pick a tall chair, as it’ll make the space feel smaller,” says Novak.
And try to go the extra step and consider pieces that have integrated storage. (Think ottomans and benches that open up to hold sweaters, extra pillows, and blankets.)
5. Expose the windows
Let there be light!
“Leaving windows uncovered lets more natural light in and creates an airy, spacious feeling,” points out Basher.
Can’t ditch your drapes? Try sheer panels—you’ll still have some coverage around your windows while allowing some brightness in.
6. Mount sconces
Floor lamps take up floor space, and table lamps may sport wide shades that also fill a small room. The pros recommend that you skew higher with lighting by affixing sconces to the wall.
“The ones with swinging arms are perfect because they can be adjusted for reading, though pendants lights work well, too,” explains Basher.
7. Play with art and mirrors
A wall gallery may seem like a pretty addition to your bedroom, but all those frames break up the space and tend to make it look cramped, says Novak.
“Opt for a large piece of art over the bed,” she suggests. And look to mirrors, which have long been used by decorators to aid a room with space woes.
“Mirrors let your wall hangings, furniture, and accessories reflect back into the room, and any natural light you get is also played off this glass, making the room brighter and lighter—and somehow bigger,” says Basher.