How to make a small bedroom look bigger

The other day I got asked how to make a small bedroom look bigger. Now this is a very common problem which most of us battle with. Let’s be honest. The average house in the U.K. has at least one bedroom classified as single room which is more like a cupboard with tiny window and just enough space for a small bed. If you have one of these in your home, pay attention. I’m sharing my tips on how to make that tiny room look cosy and bigger.

And I don’t mean just regular tidying up. It is absolutely vital that you declutter your room. If you have things lying around everywhere you will never ever achieve your bedroom looking bigger. Get bin bags and start clearing things away. Seriously. I bet you have things you don’t need or use. I call them dust collectors. Because that’s what they are! Reusable things give to charity everything else needs to go in the bin. Full stop!

This should be so obvious but still many people get it wrong. Large bed and miniature bedside tables next to it don’t go together. Your furniture should be in similar proportions to each other and to the space. Consider off-floor furniture like wall hung side tables, cabinets and shelves. Transparent, glass desk or ghost chair are also great options. Anything which helps to visually increase the space.

Almost all decent hotels have floor to ceiling mirrored wardrobes. Have you noticed? Usually they are located by the entry to the room. Why? Because when you enter the room you want to feel the space. No matter how small the narrow corridor is with mirrors covering one wall you immediately think that the room is bigger. This illusion is tricking your eyes into thinking that the space is much more “roomy” than it actually is.

And this, my friends, you have to create in your bedroom. I’m not saying that you should cover one whole wall in mirrors, which would be actually really cool. But if you have, say, a wardrobe just by changing the door to mirrored door it will make so much difference. I promise you, you’d be thinking why you didn’t do this earlier. If you can’t do that you need to use large (the largest, in proportion again, you can afford) mirror somewhere in the room. Either lean it against the wall or hang it above your chest of drawers. If you have a window positioned centrally, you can hang a mirror on either side. Here are some examples…

This is what we call spatial awareness. But basically it means that you should be able to move around your room freely without any obstacles in your way. For example, you don’t want to be hitting your legs on your bed corners or be unable to access the window. Maybe you should try to rearrange your furniture. See what works best.

TIP 5. USE REFLECTIVE MATERIALS (but in moderation)
I put in moderation because you don’t want to end up with a bling bling in your face kinda room. Use eggshell paint rather than matt. Get polished nickel, brass or copper hardware. Get glass pendant. Maybe even silk lampshades or silk rug. All of these will help to achieve your goal of making your bedroom look bigger.

I always say that you can go dark on walls as it won’t make the room any smaller. BUT. You have to have at least one large area in white. In bedrooms is the bed. So dress your bed in white high quality cotton sheets. Get few cushions and a throw to break it up a bit but all in neutral and light tones. A large rug is another great option. Here are some examples.

To help you get your bedroom looking gorgeous and bigger I put together my bedroom essentials. Check them out.

Small bedroom essentials


As I’m at it I also pulled together a small bedroom design board.  What do you think? I kept it in neutral and mixed masculine with feminine. Any thoughts?


Back later with my fashion post! Hope you’re having a great day so far!

Karolina Barnes Studio

Sources and credits: All featured bedrooms are from my Houzz bedroom ideas board. Credits from the top: Zephyr Interiors / The Couture Rooms / Anna Casa / Alex Maguire Photography / Turner Pocock / Kelly Hoppen / MPD Interiors, cover photo by Icon Interiors


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