10 small bedroom decor ideas to get the most out of your bedroom

Clever ideas to create your dream bedroom in a limited space with advice from industry experts

bedroom with wood wall panelling and neutral decor
(Image credit: Future)

Not blessed with the largest of bedrooms? Not a problem! You can still decorate a small bedroom to make it a winner in the style stakes, with smart small bedroom decor ideas.

From clever storage to practical layouts and statement pieces, there are lots of ways you can get the most out of your small bedroom. When it comes to colour, for example, lighter colours are often thought of to be the right choice in a small bedroom, but dark tones can also work really well, offering a moody, cocooning feel to the space that we want to retreat to at the end of the day. We tend to think of darker, warmer colours in the autumn and winter, and these shades are trending at the moment, so there's lots of choice out there, from chunky, knitted throws to luxurious bed linen, tactile cushions and cosy rugs. 

'One thing that definitely boosts our mood and general well-being at this time of year is to improve our surroundings,’ says Emma Bestley, co-founder and creative director of Yes Colours. 'Paying particular attention to the areas where we spend the most time, like the bedroom. Adding colour to this space can have an incredible impact on our mental health and choosing an uplifting palette will inject positivity into your home.’

Small bedroom decor ideas

When space is at a premium, it's not only colour we need to think about but also the practicalities and how to add interest without making the space feel cluttered.

1. Go all out with pattern for a maximalist look

Small bedroom with vibrant wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Don’t be afraid to use a bold pattern in a small space, it can look fabulous. There's a current home decor trend for maximalism – lots of clashing patterns that shouldn’t work together but do. It takes a brave soul, but the results can be stunning as a small bedroom décor idea.

This bedroom is a case in point, where a bold leaf wallpaper in orange tones has been teamed with a blue-and-white leopard-print bed fabric and funky bedding and cushions. 

If you're worried about attempting this strong look, choose a single colour palette and then mix up the patterns… you'll get a more cohesive look and be less likely to get it wrong. Want an extra tip? Choose small round tables instead of larger bedside tables to save on space.

2. Bring in colour and pattern with accessories

Small bedroom with white wall and wall art

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A lot of interior designers recommend painting walls white to make a small room seem bigger, but it can be a bit harsh. So, to inject some personality into a plain room, use colourful bedroom wall art ideas to create a focal point on the wall as you walk in. Your eye will be drawn to it, and in turn it will detract from the size of the room. 

Adding colourful, patterned cushions onto the bed will also add life to the scheme, as will colourful accessories on wall shelves.

3. Create a moody vibe for a cocooning feel

Small bedroom with green walls

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Dark colours can look stunning in a small space and are a great small bedroom decor idea, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge. If there is plenty of natural light coming into the room, it won’t feel gloomy, just dramatic. 

Paint all the walls in the same colour and be smart with your bedroom furniture arrangement and place the bed against the longest wall to make the best use of the space.

4. Build a false wall to streamline the space

Small bedroom with pink walls

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Although it might seem counter-productive when you are designing a small bedroom, a narrow shelf behind the bed can pay dividends. It won’t take up a lot of space, and if it runs across the width of the room, it evens out the differences in the wall and creates a useful shelf for prints and favourite pieces. It’s also a good backdrop to the bed and means you don’t necessarily need a headboard or additional furniture for display pieces.

5. Choose a favourite theme for your small room decor

Small bedroom with wooden bed

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The coastal theme is an all-time favourite in interiors and it’s an easy one to achieve. You can go for classic blue and white or opt for a more neutral, sand-coloured version. A rustic, driftwood-style bed will set the scene, then either add tongue-and-groove wall panelling or a coastal-theme wallpaper, like the fish one shown here. 

Finish by adding accessories that complete your scheme for an individual small bedroom decor idea.

6. Make an impact with wallpaper

Small bedroom with blue wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A large patterned bedroom wallpaper idea can look beautiful in a small bedroom, especially in soft tones like this aqua and white floral design. With such a striking pattern there's no need for artwork, so it offers an uncluttered look. Keep to the same colour palette for the rest of the room. 

A pale, padded headboard adds comfort and subtle detail, while a chest of drawers with a simple design boasts similar colours on the drawers. Ottomans come into their own in small bedrooms, too, for storing extra bedding or towels, saving space elsewhere.

7. Don’t forget about the ‘fifth’ wall

Small bedroom with wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A good small bedroom decor idea is to decorate the walls and ceiling in the same wallpaper – it makes for a complete look and a truly cosy feel. This trick works well in a bedroom with an angled, low ceiling, as the wallpaper can help disguise the shape, especially if you use a strong, vintage-look wallpaper like this one. 

If you're really tight on space, think about choosing a small double bed, at 4ft rather than 4ft 6in, so you can still fit in some bedside table ideas.

8. Consider a full-width built-in headboard

Small bedroom with grey headboard

(Image credit: Future PLC)

In a small bedroom with a low ceiling, choose a lower bed to trick the eye, then create a padded headboard idea that runs the width of the room to make the room seem wider. It makes a great design feature and doesn’t take up a lot of space, plus it also gives you a narrow shelf on top for accessories. 

For another space-saving tip, choose wall lights, so you can do away with bedside tables and lamps if you should want.

9. Zone the space with a wall panel

bedroom with wood wall panelling and neutral decor

(Image credit: Future)

Slatted wall panels are big news at the moment because they look great and are so effective – plus they're a great cover-up if you have lumpy or cracked walls. You could easily install one yourself if you're a competent DIY-er. Choose one that is full-height to make an impact and you could even carry it on to the ceiling. 

Picture shelves are another great small bedroom decor idea as they can be cut to fit and there are no brackets on show for a much cleaner look.

10. Personalise your space with decorating ideas

Small bedroom marble covered drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Storage ideas for small bedrooms are very important and drawers especially are useful for storing jumpers, underwear and nightwear, etc. Opt for a narrow design that won’t take up much space and consider adding a personal touch with a decorative finish on the drawer fronts using wallpaper, paint or vinyl wrap to create a look that is unique to you. 

How do I decorate my small bedroom?

‘Think about a lighter, cohesive colour scheme to create a greater feeling of space,’ says Ann Marie Cousins, founder of AMC Design. ‘For example, for your larger piece of furniture or your headboard, choose a colour or material that is a similar tone to your wall colour, with colourful accents added through cushions, lamps and accessories. This adds colour without detracting from the airy and soft feel of the room.’

How do you make a small bedroom feel cosy?

‘Make up your bed with grandeur in mind,’ says Mick Quinn, co-founder of Raft Furniture. ‘Boutique hotels often have small bedrooms, but this doesn’t interfere with how luxurious and homely they feel. At Raft, people often comment on how they just want to climb into the beds in our showrooms. That’s because we layer them up with thick duvets dressed in white linen, with gorgeous throws, multiple pillows, long lumbar cushions and scatter cushions to create plush depth and draw the eye in.’

How do I plan a layout for a small bedroom?

‘When arranging your furniture in a small bedroom, it's best practice to use symmetry to make the space seem larger by placing your bed in the centre of the longest wall,’ says Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft Home. ’Even in small bedrooms, a clever bedroom layout can help you to create different areas or zones for living. This can be a real asset if you spend a lot of time in your room and need it to function in a number of different ways. It’s also a good way to plan your space if you live in a studio or another type of bijou property.

'Start by looking at the shape and dimensions of the room itself,' Kelly continues. 'If there are alcoves in your bedroom, see if you can find furniture that slots neatly into the available space. Multi-functional furniture is another great storage hack for small spaces. Rather than splashing out on a simple bedside table, use an old trunk – or a series of old trunks – to create a practical nightstand that’s bursting with storage space. Books, lotions, PJs and more can be stored out of site, ready to grab whenever they’re needed.’

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk