How To Make The Most Of That Tight Bedroom Space
Take a trip to any branch of Ikea anywhere in the world and you’ll soon learn that contemporary living is about saving space and creating a welcoming environment – and there is no place in your home where this is more difficult to achieve than in a small bedroom.
Despite what some folk might have you believe though, with a few clever design tricks and a little imagination, it’s not impossible to make even the smallest of bedrooms expand before your very eyes.
Why Is Room Design So Important?
In small box rooms and tiny bedrooms, room design is the number one consideration – get it wrong and you’ll be scratching around for space like a Rottweiler in a teacup.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to retire for the evening to a pokey little room that’s dark and uninviting, do they?
So unless you intend on filling your box room with a record collection, turning it into a claustrophobic home office or perhaps just piling it high with junk (my usual MO), you’ll need to be clever with how you make use of the space available, and in this blog I’m going to show you how.
Saving Space Like A ‘BOSS’
First things first – forget the notion that a small bedroom has to be sparsely furnished and decorated in light colours because that’s the biggest pile of rubbish since Ben Affleck was cast as Batman!
With the right choice – of storage, bed and colour scheme– you can create a box room filled with colour, texture and inspirational ideas that will not only make life easier but also leave your friends and family cursing your super-human design powers.
Ready to become a ‘BOSS’?
High Rise Your Bed
Unlike most other rooms of the home (to get the best results) a box room requires you to use the available space vertically as well as horizontally (more of that later).
A bed, for example, has a large surface area and will take up a lot of floor space, so keeping it nearer to the top of the room is a great way to maximise what little space you do have by freeing up the area underneath.
If you think about it, a standard single bed takes up approximately 18sq feet. If you high-rise your bed in your box room, that’s 18 extra feet to swing your cat in and still leaves enough room for extra furnishings too.
Get Creative With The Decor
Almost every single ‘expert’ I have read advice from on the subject of small bedroom colour schemes has said that very light paint is the way to go – but sorry experts, you’re wrong!
Small spaces make great areas to exercise your grey matter in and get creative. There’s nothing wrong with going completely overboard and wallpapering all the walls and then using the same colour scheme or pattern for the curtains as well.
Box rooms are more often than not children’s rooms, so being as quirky as you like is really a good thing.
If the space is already pretty dark it’s probably never going to look light, so don’t be tempted to paint it all in a brilliant bright white – you’ll run the risk of it appearing dull, grey and uninviting.
Instead, go in totally the other direction and be bold, moody and left of centre with your colour scheme, that way the lack of light won’t matter.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
It’s a long and established way of cheating the eye into thinking that there’s more space than there really is and a mirrored wall still has the effect of creating an illusion of space in any room, even though we’re supposed to be much smarter than when mirrors were first invented back in 77AD or whenever it was.
If you keep that in mind when it comes to storage for your small bedroom, you’ll be wielding a double-edged sword of space-saving wonder.
Built-in storage – if you can eek out enough room for it – is a great way of stealing some extra space in a small room and adding a wall of mirrors to a fitted wardrobe lifts you to a whole new level of space-saving guru.
If you can manage to get the mirrors on a wall opposite the window, even better, but make sure there are at least some mirrors in there to help expand the space.
Remember The ‘No Floor Lamp’ Rule
It is forbidden, totally against the law of small bedrooms and carries the penalty of ‘death by claustrophobia’ to include any freestanding lamps or to even have any lamps at all in a box room.
Okay, maybe there’s not really any law, but you get the picture – they take up floor space when there really is no need to and you can make a real feature statement with some integrated downlights.
Top Tip – Try your best to avoid using overhead lighting as that is guaranteed to dwarf a small space.
Pay Attention To What’s Under Your Feet
To avoid making your small bedroom or box room feel stuffy and confined, steer clear of thick deep-pile carpets and definitely get rid of a carpet that’s past its ‘use-by-date’.
Replace it with a light coloured carpet, or instead just leave the floorboards bare as a new-born baby, as you can always mix up the styling with a soft pile rug – this will help to create the illusion of more space.
And, if you’re completely off-the-wall, you could always paint the floorboards white for a really fresh look.
Think About A Fold Out Bed ‘Mr Murphy’
More commonly associated with Charlie Chaplin and the silent movie era, the fold-down bed is a great way of saving space, avoiding clutter and can also serve as a place to hide your naughtiest child when you have visitors (you didn’t hear that from me).
Also known as a Murphy bed – after the chap who invented it – the pull-down/fold-down bed is hinged at one end to allow it to fit neatly against a wall or inside a cabinet – perfect for creating extra floor space if the kids have friends round, or in a guest room that’s not regularly in use.
Get Neat With The Heat
And finally, but by no means, the least important of this group of ‘Magnificent Seven’ small bedroom design tips – think about the wall space you could save in a small bedroom or box room with a vertical designer radiator.
Having a convector radiator under the window isn’t too bad because that space is already considered ‘dead’ in terms of design – you can’t really put anything on a wall with a window now can you?
But many small box rooms or home offices often have a panel radiator in them taking up valuable wall space, and it’s just not on!
Invest in a stylish vertical designer radiator and bask in your space-saving magnificence like the boss that you know you are!
And Now The End Is Near…
To finish, it’s important to remember that space may be the final frontier, but it’s definitely not the end of the line when it comes to interior design.
With the correct preparations, a little ‘outside-of-the-box-room’ thinking (see what I did there?) and a little dedication to get the job done right, you’ll soon have a room that oozes space-saving style and a bedroom that’s the envy of every teacup dwelling canine this side of the Milky Way.
John loves reading design blogs and bringing those ideas to the Advice Centre in his own inimitable style. When he isn’t writing copy, you’ll find him reaching out to industry experts to get the latest on all the heating news.