A small bedroom isn’t necessarily a bad thing…. there’s less square footage to clean, it’s cozy and snug and with less furniture, it’s easier to decorate. Still, many people with small rooms want to make the space look larger than it really is. If you fall into that group, there’s no need to call a contractor – with a few decorating tricks, you can make your room look bigger, no remodeling required.
You’ve probably always heard that a small room needs white walls to open up the space. While it’s true that white DOES give an airy, open appearance, it’s also true that dark colors visually recede, making something that’s dark look further away than it really is. Take advantage of that color wizardry by painting your walls a medium-to-dark shade of a cool color like indigo blue, hunter green or charcoal gray. If you don’t want that much drama, paint just one wall in your favorite dark shade.
Careful with Pattern
A small room doesn’t mean you are limited to tiny prints or to no pattern at all. But if you want your small room to look more spacious, it’s best to limit large prints to small accents, such as throw pillows, sheets or lampshades. Use solids or small-scale patterns on your comforter, window coverings and upholstered furniture.
Bare the Floor
Breaking up your floor space with small area rugs is a sure way to make a small room look even smaller. Whatever your flooring choice, if you want your room to look larger, think wall to wall.
That doesn’t only mean carpet — Bare hardwood or laminate floors with a slightly glossy finish are also excellent for visually opening a space. If you want to use an area rug, choose one large enough to fill nearly the entire room.
The right drapes work double-duty to open up a small space. First, choose drapes the same color as your walls. Second, hang them up high, with the rod just an inch or two below the ceiling line, and the fabric hanging to the floor. The lack of color contrast with the wall makes the room look wider, while the long curtains make the ceiling look higher. It’s a double win for a small room.
Let There Be Light
A dim room feels claustrophobic. Dispel the darkness with good lighting – even in a small bedroom, you need at least two sources of light. At a minimum, you’ll need a bedside lamp and a floor lamp across the room. If you have ceiling lighting as well, that’s even better.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
You can’t beat the eye-fooling qualities of a mirror for visually enlarging a small room. And you need at least one large or full-length mirror in the bedroom anyway, or how will you know if those shoes complement that outfit? Hang a large mirror over your dresser, or install full-size mirrors on your closet doors.
Forget the Footboard
While every bed needs a headboard of some sort to balance the large horizontal surface of the mattress, footboards or benches at the bottom of the bed are optional. If your bedroom is very small, and especially if there is little space between the end of the mattress and the wall, skip the footboard. Instead, match your bed skirt to your comforter, or use a bedspread that drapes to the floor. An unbroken line of fabric keeps the eyes moving, making your room look a little bigger.
Color it Clear
Just as a window expands a room by allowing the eye to travel beyond its confines, clear glass or Plexiglas furniture opens up a space by eliminating visual weight in front of the walls. You wouldn’t want a clear bed or dresser, but a see-through bedside table or vanity work perfectly in the small bedroom, and look very contemporary. If that isn’t your style, consider a metal-framed piece with a glass top instead.