Transform a single room with a smart look that can be easily refreshed in the future
Whether used by a family member or set aside for guests, the smaller size of a single room makes it a quick – and fun – space to decorate. Your bedroom should be a place to unwind and relax after a busy day, or a space to make guests feel welcome when visiting, so selecting the right design is vital in dictating the mood you want to create.
It’s important to decide on what look you want to achieve; whether it’s a chic hotel-inspired boudoir or a natural, peaceful retreat, picking the right colour, furniture and accessories are key for a successful revamp. Think about the size of the room and wall you want to decorate and remember that large patterns and darker colours tend to work best in larger spaces, whereas a design with smaller patterns and lighter colours is better suited to a compact space.
MPU 01 Desktop
Want to learn how best to use colour in the bedroom? READ: Bedroom colour schemes to brighten your life
Have fun with a theme
Conjure up a fun scheme for a single bedroom – it is the perfect place to let loose and get creative. Look to wood-effect wallpaper to introduce texture and an on-trend prairie vibe. Dress up plain white bed linen with a geometric throw and smart stripes. Keep the look simple with an untreated side table and add lush greens with a statement wall display of ferns to enhance the sense of well-being.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar tray, Aldsworth Butlers Tray, Garden Trading
Focus on the bed
A comfortable bed is a must, especially if your room is often used by guests – invest in a new mattress if you can’t stretch to a bedstead. Choose a strong classic style that won’t date and position centrally for easy access and maximum impact. A neutral colour palette will please most guests and can be easily modified for individuals. Bring in welcoming colour and texture by layering fresh white bed linen with cushions and throws. Here, additional reclaimed furniture adds to the charming character.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar bed, Ikea
Hang a canopy
In a small space, use fabrics as vehicles for colour, pattern and character. Here a hanging canopy gives the impression of a four poster without the expense, while glorious shades of plum, lilac and deepest blue and light-filtered ethnic prints do the work of a decorating scheme. The simplest pieces of furniture can take a starring role in a scheme like this – team a plain wooden stool with a desk lamp for an easy bedside solution.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar paint, Putting Green Matt Emulsion, Dulux at B&Q
Brighten a blank canvas
Use a mix of coloured pattern to liven up a plain white scheme. Top a cool grey carpet with a large geometric-patterned rug in vibrant blue and teal. Tie in the window with a Moorish-inspired blind that echoes the rug. Add an orange and white cushion to work in harmony with the base colours. The grey upholstered bed and matching bedside table grounds this lively scheme.
Get the look
Buy now: Rug, Starflower Blue Rug, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby at The Rug Company
Add a day bed
Make a bedroom space versatile with multipurpose furniture. Bring in a day bed that can function as an everyday sofa, but convert into an extra bed when needed. This low-level, relaxed design is the perfect fit for an all-white modern scheme. Complement pink upholstery with plenty of cushions in a selection of toning pastel shades.
Ideal Home newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house tours, project advice and more
Get the look
Buy now: Similar day bed, Eleanor Day Bed, Worldstores
Planning on redecorating a guest bedroom? READ: Guest bedroom design ideas
Introduce a little hotel chic
The smaller a room, the further your budget will stretch, so why not up the glamour with a chic hotel-style decorating scheme? Look for a stylish feature wallpaper; a black floral repeat is both delicate and smart. A well dressed bed is key to a beautiful guest room. Go for a large cushioned headboard in sumptuous grey velvet and layer white bed linen with applique cushions and cashmere throws in warm mustard and inky blue. Place an elegant glass table lamp on a classic bedside table and complete the luxurious scheme with a statement chair.
Pay attention to the little things
The smallest of details can make a big difference in a single room, so don’t overlook them. Reflect a floral-print wallpaper in a bedside bistro table filled with home comforts. Add fresh flowers to echo the wallpaper design, a vintage-style radio if you have guests – or even if you don’t – and a white table lamp. If you’re creating a feature wall, make sure to check that the wallpaper colour compliments the paint on the remaining walls – you could opt for similar shades or go for a contrasting colour to make a bolder statement.
Do you need more small bedroom decorating advice? READ: These small bedrooms are big on style
Pare it back
Make a small room feel bigger by limiting furniture to essential pieces only. Both the gunmetal bedstead and preloved cabinet have enough space between them to really come into their own. A cool grey palette helps to open up the room too. If you can, keep the space under the bed clear – it’s a good spot for a guest’s suitcase – and give your minimalist scheme a little atmosphere by hanging cotton ball fairy lights around artwork or a bedstead.
Use an all-white room as an excuse to go all-out for colour on bedding and accessories. Look for just a few key pieces that really earn their place in your room. Track down a geometric table and place it bed-side below a showstopping low-slung pendant. Foreground the bed with feature lighting – like this bold-as-brass anchor design – and echo its colour with jewel bright bed linen and throws.
Be clever with small spaces
If you don’t have a spare room, why not make the space you do have work harder. Here an extra bed has been built under the eaves in an attic room. A high sleeperbed with storage drawers below is fun, cosy and practical. Incorporate accessable open shelves in your plan and an integrated reading light for a smart finishing touch. Paint the wood a pale shade to keep the nook bright and lift the scheme with a zingy accent colour.