Home Decor

10 Small Bedroom Ideas for the Teensiest Abodes

Short on square footage, not on solutions.

October 26, 2021
Photo by Bobbi Lin

I like to think of living in a small bedroom like working in retail or the service industry—it builds character, and it’s something everyone should experience at some point in their lives. Whether your kids’ room needs to accommodate a bed and an overflow of toys, or you live in a city where space comes at a steep premium, or maybe the tradeoff in your home is for a large living room and a modest bedroom, small bedrooms are a challenge to get right.

That doesn’t mean they need to be cramped and frustrating, though. Below, find our favorite ideas for decorating and organizing a small bedroom—all without the headache.

1. Make Use of Behind-the-Door Storage

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the luxury of a home big enough to let my bath towels have their own dedicated spot on the wall, so for now, they’ll keep hanging on an over-the-door rack. There’s plenty of options for storage on the back of a door, like a shoe holder, towel rack, or series of baskets.

2. Create Bedside Built-Ins

I bet lots of us grew up with storage beds, but who says those are for kids? Shelves above, to the sides, and below a bed add functional and hidden storage where it doesn’t exist to begin with. Similar to a lofted dorm bed (but without the lofted bed look), a bed that’s raised somewhat from the floor provides extra space for drawers or bins, and shelves around the sides can house books, nightstand necessities, and even lighting.

3. Mount Shelves Up High

Sure, shelves within arms reach are great, but there’s not always space to do that in a small bedroom. Mounting shelves up high (close to the ceiling) adds extra storage that’s both out of the way and utilizes a space that most often goes unused. These are perfect for seasonal clothing, books you've already read, and pieces of decor.

4. Employ a Foldable Desk

If you work from home or like to get ready at vanity, a small bedroom is likely to encroach on these habits. Luckily, there are lots of fold-down desks to choose from, like "floating desks" that you can mount onto a wall, or desks that operate like folding chairs and can lean against a wall or tucked behind a couch.

5. Use a Storage Cart as a Nightstand

We’ve sung the praises of the storage cart before because it’s the most versatile piece you can own. It works as a bar cart, holder of cleaning supplies, kitchen prep station, or in this case, a nightstand. The best part about it is that you can wheel it from place to place, so if it’s holding your toiletries, you can wheel it right over to the bathroom in the morning.

6. Take the Door Off the Closet

Taking the door off a closet in a small room makes a world of difference because you can utilize the square footage ordinarily left empty so the door can swing open and closed. I know what you’re thinking: but then how am I going to hide all my stuff? Well, you can easily add a curtain with a tension rod, or take this opportunity to super-organize your stuff so it’s not overwhelming to behold (that’s what I did!).

7. Hang a Basket as a Bedside “Table”

Floating nightstands are a great bedside option because they can take up as much or as little space as you want. Plus, there’s room beneath them to store anything you might need. This example is simply a two-compartment basket mounted to the wall, which is nothing short of genius.

8. Surround the Door with Shelves

You know the name of the game by now—use every last nook and cranny to your advantage. The space around the doorframe is seldom used as storage (or decor, for that matter), but these custom built-ins are a super-smart way to store books, plants, art, and more.

9. Go for Custom Storage Where You Can

While this might not be in the cards for a rental, creating custom built-ins in a tough-to-organize space is definitely the best option for maximizing the amount of storage you can squeeze out of a room.

10. Don't Forget About the Corners

Don’t forget about the corners! A stack of floating corner shelves is perfect to house a book collection or a couple plants, all in a space that wouldn’t ordinarily be used.

Which of these ideas would you try in your own small bedroom?

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When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.