Small Bedroom Ideas: The Best Ways to Maximize Your Tiny Space

featured on wirecutter by Caroline Biggs

image credit: Rozette Rago via    wirecutter

image credit: Rozette Rago via wirecutter

Small bedrooms pose big challenges, particularly if you’re short on closets or if you need to fit in a home office. That’s why we asked five design and organizing experts for advice on getting the most out of a tiny bedroom, then tested decor in a 275-square-foot New York City apartment. Whether you want a storage bed, a compact nightstand, or a room divider, the 19 items we recommend should help maximize your small space.

Why you should trust me

I’ve been writing about small-space design for over seven years, for publications including The New York Times (now the parent company of Wirecutter), Refinery 29, Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, and Domino. For this guide, I researched hundreds of bedroom furnishings sold through Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, IKEA, Target, and other retailers. I tested more than a dozen items in my own 250-square-foot apartment and I evaluated other products in person at IKEA and West Elm.

I also spoke with five home-organizing experts to get their insights on designing a small bedroom: Emily Henderson, interior designer and blogger behind Style by Emily Henderson; Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, professional organizers at The Home Edit and authors of The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals; Tali Roth, interior designer at Homepolish; Anjie Cho, interior architect, holistic designer, and feng shui educator; and Nicole Anzia, professional organizer and founder of Neatnik.

How to organize a small bedroom

Before you decide what to buy, consider the types of items that work best in a small bedroom. Our experts recommended thinking about these four general guidelines to help maximize every inch.

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If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Small Spaces

Feng Shui for Small Spaces.jpg

I am trying to use more basic Feng Shui tips to make my medium-sized bedroom into a sort of mini convertible studio. During the day I would fold my bed up into a mini couch and have much more open space to do yoga and other activities. Then during the night I would unfold my bed and use ceiling curtains to separate my office area from the bed area (with balanced elements on both sides of the bed). Oh and the bed lays on the ground, which I personally find most comforting. What do you think about this setup in terms of Feng Shui? I really need to have a sanctuary at home from all the intense things going on in my life.

Tenzin C., Easthampton, MA

Hi Tenzin,

Thank you for sending in your question! Your description is careful and thorough, so I can only imagine that your bedroom is laid out with as much attention. 

I’m guessing that you live in a roommate situation, so your bedroom is where you find your personal space. It sounds like your daily ritual of transforming your bed into a sofa is beneficial. Not only do you have more space for your daily activities, but you have also created a separate “daytime” space for more active applications that goes hand in hand with daytime. The visual separation with curtains of your bed from the office is also wonderful, so that active yang energy will transition into the yin sleepy time when it’s appropriate. Plus you don’t have a bed in the daytime - which can prove difficult in a studio apartment setting. Seeing the bed while working can affect your attention and motivation. Also, good job on the balanced bed elements, probably nightstands and lights

The only thing I may comment on is the bed on the ground. In feng shui, it’s ideal to have the bed off the ground, on a stable bed frame with headboard so that the air and qi can flow around you while you’re sleeping. This is good for your health. Also, if you’re prone to depression, the proximity to the floor may correspond to the low mood. However, you have described you find the bed on the ground “comforting”, so pay attention that that. If it feels correct for you, then it’s okay. Especially if you don’t have a tendency towards depression.

You mentioned that there are intense things going on in your life. I don’t know the details, but I can suggest a feng shui adjustment to lighten things up! It can be very simple, but I’ll offer two suggestions. First, bringing fresh cut flowers into the bedroom. You can collect them yourself, or get some from the store. But fresh flowers uplift the qi and bring joy. Second, purchasing a new lamp where the light shines up. A Torchiere like this one works wonderfully. Again, this lifts the energy and can balance the low bed.  

Overall, I think that you’ve done a wonderful job of creating a feng shui studio sanctuary in your bedroom. All the attention to the details and the ritual aspect provide a lot of positive energy in the space. 

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-do business boosters for soulpreneurs and wellness practitioners”  coming up, too! check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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How to Arrange a Compact Teen Bedroom

featured this month on Houzz by Eva Byrne

A teen bedroom is a place of refuge, a private retreat from family life. You’ll need to provide somewhere to sleep, somewhere to study and somewhere to store clothes. With clever planning, you can accommodate these needs in even the tiniest of spaces. Think in terms of a ship’s cabin to squeeze the most out of every available centimetre.

When planning your family home, it’ll do no harm to think ahead to this stage from the outset, so radiators and wardrobes are in the best spots for the optimum teen layout.

Max the make-up

A teen girl will always appreciate even the tiniest of dressing tables. Your bathroom will thank you, too, with one less demand on its use.

Slip a narrow table within the run of wardrobes, perhaps near the window to maximise that all-important light. Add strong artificial light for night-time use, and, of course, a large mirror. A drawer beneath the dressing table would be handy for lotions and potions.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Teeny-Tiny Home

featured this month on Nylon by Jenna Igneri

image credit:  Jihyang Lim via  Nylon

image credit: Jihyang Lim via Nylon

All of us could probably stand to have a bit more space when it comes to our home—we, New Yorkers, know that to be a fact. (Really, though, what’s a girl gotta do for a walk-in closet around here?)

However, just because our living space is tiny doesn’t make it any less awesome. Home is where the heart is, after all, even if our living room is nonexistent and our bathtub is in our kitchen. Moving into a shoebox-sized studio may seem discouraging at first, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t have the potential to look and feel as spacious as your dream loft. We chatted with experts in the world of interior design to get their insider tips and hacks for making the most of a small space.

Read on for ways to make your space look larger (even if it is just an optical illusion), utilize your walls space, and help keep your spirits high, even if your square footage is low. 

Your choice in paint can make a huge difference

Whether you choose a darker color or not, painting your walls and your ceiling the same color can also trick your eye into thinking a room is bigger. Anjie Cho, architect, certified feng shui consultant, and author of 108 Ways To Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes, suggests going for an all-over color, as the monotone look creates a continuous surface, thus making the room look more expansive.

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7 Tips to Make the Most of a Small Space

Do you have a space you label cozy (as a code word for small)? Whether you’re living in a studio apartment or you’ve got a bonus room that could use just a tad more bonus, squeezing a little more from the space you’ve got is as easy as these seven tips. 

Hidden storage

You’ve got stuff, and that stuff needs a place to go. Having it out in the open can make even a large room look cluttered. Invest in items like an ottoman or bench with storage hidden under the seat. Look for tables with drawers or compartments. If it can double as storage and it fits your aesthetic, it’s worth considering.

Create illusion

There are a number of ways you can create the impression of more space without actually having more space. Mirrors and glass will reflect light, which in turn creates the illusion of a bigger room. A glass topped table, a mirror placed just right on the wall and artwork framed behind glass are all great options. In a similar vein, remember that rule about hanging artwork at eye level? Ignore it. Hanging your wall art a bit higher than usual will draw the eye up creating the impression of higher ceilings and, in turn, a bigger room. 

Go big

It sounds all wrong, but putting larger pieces in a small space can actually make the room look and feel bigger than it is. You’ll want furniture that multi-tasks to make this work. Use small bookshelves for end tables or nightstands, or place that bench with storage in the seat strategically at the foot of your bed. Be careful not to overcrowd the room. A few well selected pieces will do the trick. 

Let the light in

A dark room is a visually small room. Look for light. airy window treatments. Even better, choose curtain rods that are wider than your windows, and hang the side panels outside the window frame. This will allow your delicate curtains to frame – rather than enclose and block the window. Place your mirror on an opposite wall to reflect the sunlight as it streams through. 

Go outside the lines

In an attempt to maximize minimal space, people tend to place their furniture flush to the wall. The extra bit of room you may pick up doing it that way, however, can make the space less functional and awkward. Decorate in triangles. For example, place your sofa against a wall and then angle a chair away from the wall to face the sofa. Use an area rug to define the area. 

Edit

Don’t overfill the space. Your favorite collection doesn’t need to be all out on display. Every square inch of shelf doesn’t need to be filled. That library of music you once accumulated on CD can be pared down to the music you actually still listen to on CD. 

Vertical climb

Don’t let vertical space go to waste. The space above furniture is ideal for shelving and art work. Plus, remember: the more there is to draw the eye up, the larger those walls will appear.

by Anjie Cho