15 Tricks to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

Neutral small bedroom

 Astronaut Images / Getty Images

If you have a ​small bedroom, you’re not alone – it’s one of the most common bedroom decorating issues. You have to remodel to add actual square footage, but luckily, there are decorating tricks to fool the eye into seeing your bedroom as larger than it actually is. Here are 15 bedrooms that show you how to make your room look bigger.

  • 01 of 15

    Use Vertical Space

    bedroom with dark walls, taller headboard, photos on top half

    Modern House Vibes/Instagram

    When you’re dealing with a small room, think vertical. You might not have much floor space, but by using the walls right up to the ceiling, you use the space you have more efficiently while drawing the eye upwards, making the room seem larger.

    Built-in shelves that extend from floor to ceiling are a great way to add storage, interest and visual space to a bedroom, but unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone. An easy alternative is investing in a tall headboard and hanging artwork or other decor above the bed, taking up the full extent of the space.

  • 02 of 15

    Hang Mirrors

    pink bedroom with mirror hanging above dresser

    Erin Williamson Design

    Every bedroom needs at least one full-length mirror so you can check out your outfit from head to toe, but the small bedroom can use more. Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to fool the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it is, and there are so many ways to work them into the bedroom: add mirrored closet doors; hang an ornate mirror over the dresser; put a starburst mirror over the bed; group small, fancy-framed mirrors on the wall; go for mirrored or chrome-finished lamps, furniture, and decor.

    Choose two or three from the list, and watch your bedroom magically "expand" as the mirrors bounce light around the room.

  • 03 of 15

    Choose Furniture With Legs

    minimalist bedroom with wooden bed frame, large plant in corner

    Home Consultant

    Give your furniture a lift with legs to create an airy, open feel in the bedroom. Not every piece needs to be legged, but try to have at least one piece with some height, whether it’s your nightstands, dresser, or bed. The midcentury modern decorating style is perfect for small rooms, as most of the furniture is elevated on thin legs. The more floor and wall that shows, the larger your room will appear. Notice the bed frame in this room – the legs aren’t especially tall​ but add just enough height to help enlarge the space.

  • 04 of 15

    Match Window Treatments to the Walls

    white bedroom with open windows, blue accent pillows on bed

    Hannah Tyler Designs

    While large bedrooms can make great use of drapes or blinds that contrast with the walls, it’s better to match your walls and window treatments in a small bedroom. This keeps the eye moving across the space, fooling it into seeing the bedroom as a little bit bigger than it really is. Notice how in the small, white bedroom shown here, paneling adds a bit of texture to the walls yet seamlessly blends into the windowpane. That’s how you add interest without making the space look smaller.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Use Sconces by the Bed

    bedroom with black sconces on either side

    D Burns Interiors

    Instead of taking up space on your nightstand with ​bedside lamps, install sconces above and slightly to the side of your headboard. This works to draw the eye upward, helps to give the room an open, airy look and reduces visual clutter around your bed. Adjustable sconces are perfect for nighttime reading – just move the light right where you need it, and push it back when you’re done.

  • 06 of 15

    Mix Subdued Prints and Solids

    small bedroom with subtle blue pattern wallpaper and solid color bedding

    JLA Designs

    You don’t have to avoid all prints in a small room, but you’ll make the space look larger if you stick with small prints and plenty of solids. This is especially true on your bed, which is generally the largest item in the bedroom. Choose a solid or mostly-solid bedspread or comforter, then add some color and interest to​ printed sheets and throw pillows. Stick with light-to-mid tone colors to help visually enlarge the space.

    The bedroom shown here has plenty of texture and pattern, but because the palette is confined to pale blue and pastel pink, there is interest without a closed-in feeling.  

  • 07 of 15

    Cut Clutter

    minimalist bedroom with open windows, white walls, small pop or orange color on the bed

    Home Consultant

    Nothing makes a bedroom look as small and cramped as clutter. One of the easiest ways to open up your space is with a good purge – get rid of excessive knickknacks, items that belong in other rooms of your home, and anything unneeded or unattractive. You don’t have to overload a room to make it personal–instead, find the happy medium with just a few pieces of artwork, photos, textured fabrics, or other accessories.

  • 08 of 15

    Keep Furniture in Scale

    green bedroom with tall headboard, accent tables scaled ti match bed

    Erin Williamson Design

    A small room doesn’t have to mean tiny furniture, but it does mean that you’ll need to find pieces that match in scale and are sized appropriately for your space. A king-sized bed flanked with two tiny nightstands looks silly.

    Instead, choose a bed size that allows you to fit at least one or two nightstands large enough to hold their own beside the mattress, like the bedroom shown here. Your dresser should match the nightstand in scale – often, a dresser that is tall and narrow works better than a wide, short piece in a small room.

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  • 09 of 15

    Try a Light Palette

    lighter color scheme

    Michelle Boundreau Design

    You’ve probably heard that white opens up a room, and that is generally true. But that doesn’t mean that your bedroom needs to resemble an operating room. You don’t need to decorate in all white, but it helps to stick with a soft, light palette. Pastels work wonderfully in small rooms, as do whispery-light shades of gray.

    Try white mixed with one bright or mid-tone color, such as the blue and white shown here. For the most impact, stick with cool colors – shades of soft blue, green and purple help enlarge a space, while the warmer hues have the opposite effect.

  • 10 of 15

    Stick to Thin or No Drapes

    bedroom with black accent wall and open windows, city view

    Alvin Wayne

    Natural light is one of the best resources at your disposal to help make a room feel larger, so take advantage of it. If you can keep your windows bare and unadorned, it can make your room feel like it's connected to the outside space, making it feel larger. If you still want some privacy, you can implement curtains—just try to stick to thinner ones and still allow light to shine through.

  • 11 of 15

    Try a Mostly White Color Scheme

    bedroom with white walls and bedding, floating shelves attached to headboard

    Brophy Interiors

    White color schemes can work effectively to make a small space feel open and spacious. You don't have to keep every wall a sterile shade, but you can play around with texture and shades to see what works best for you. Adding in lighter neutral accents like the wooden bed frame shown here can add a small amount of diversity without cramping the space—or the style.

  • 12 of 15

    Use a Four-Poster Bed

    bed with four poster frame, blue and yellow bedding, gray walls

    Erin Williamson Design

    Drawing eyes up is a tried and true method for distracting from the size of any room, and there are plenty of ways to do that. Investing in a four-poster bed that uses vertical lines to keep your eyes focused on the height of the space rather than the width of a crowded bedroom. Adding a canopy for some flair can be decorative and still achieve the goal of focusing eyes up rather than scanning across the room.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Try Stylish Bunk Beds

    neutral color scheme bunk beds

    Mindy Gayer / Photo by Vanessa Lentine

    Smaller spaces aren't always forgiving enough to easily fit multiple beds with making the room feel cramped. Bunk beds can be a simple way to use some of the vertical space you have available without taking up unneeded square footage. Bunk beds don't have to be basic, though—there are plenty of stylish and modern options that will wow your kids or even guests who are staying over.

  • 14 of 15

    Try Floating Nightstands

    bedroom with floating side tables

    Michelle Boundreau Design

    While you may be familiar with floating shelves, but what about floating nightstands? Rather than tables that have bulky legs or boxy styles that take up floor space, installing the floating versions allows for plenty of extra space to be revealed. This gives the illusion of more space while still giving you a place to place a lamp or alarm clock.

  • 15 of 15

    Try a Different Rug Placement

    bedroom with white bedding, brown bed frame, white side table, black and white rug under half of the bed

    Mindy Gayer / Photo by Lane Dittoe

    We know rugs can play a vital part in a layout and design, and certain tricks can change up the entire feel of the whole room. Placing your rug at the foot of the bed and having only half the bed sitting on it can create an elongated effect, tricking your eye into believing there is more space and what is actually present. You can also use the trick in other parts of the room, placing only the front or the back legs of pieces of furniture on the rug for the same idea.