Not all of us can boast a master bedroom suite complete with sitting area, dressing area and private bath. In fact, many more of us are stuck with small, 10 x 12 foot bedrooms that are sometimes so tight they can be difficult to furnish. If this is your case, you’ve probably lamented from time to time over your tight night-time quarters.
But wait. There’s no reason a small bedroom has to be a problem. In fact, it can be an opportunity to create a focused, restful space that can actually be far more functional than a huge bedroom would. All you have to do is keep a few basic principles in mind.
1) Keep it simple. Choose unadorned, small-scale furniture, and rethink the idea of heavy bedroom sets with the requisite matching bedside tables, dresser, etc. All you really need in your bedroom is a bed!
2) Keep it neutral. Stick with restful colors in the same palette. Avoid too many patterns and prints. If you go for print, go for one print only. While there is no strict rule that you can’t use bright or dark colors, paler colors usually feel lighter and more restful in a small space.
3.) Think built-ins. Eliminate furniture like headboards and bedside tables in favor of sleek built-ins that take over these functions in one fell swoop. A headboard that also doubles as a bookshelf and bedside table is one excellent way of creating space. So is a built-in closet and storage unit. Look for bed frames with storage or drawers underneath the bed. Consider eliminating a headboard in favor of simple framed artwork or wallpaper above the bed.
4.) Go low. Small rooms with high ceilings automatically seem bigger. But if you don’t have the high ceilings, consider a low-to-the-ground Asian style bed and tables. Low furniture takes up less visual space, making a small room feel much larger than it actually is.
5.) Avoid flounce. Too many ruffles, or too many heavy fabrics or lace weigh a room down. Choose lightweight linen-like fabrics for bedspreads and window treatments. Forgo curtains in favor of simpler clean-lined shades that can roll up out of sight.
6) Don’t forget lighting. The appropriate lighting can work wonders in a small space. Recessed lights under or over shelving, strategically placed to emphasize artwork or create mood, can instantly expand the space in a small bedroom.
7.) Don’t forget the drama. Just because a space is small doesn’t mean you have to relinquish all dramatic flare. Choose one statement-making element. A dramatic pendant lamp, a beautiful painting, a framed mirror or an antique carved headboard, can provide that sense of drama that defines a space. Just don’t try doing it all at once.
8.) Edit and declutter regularly. Get rid of knick-knacks and other non-essential decorative items. Consider eliminating any object that has nothing to do with sleep — including TVs, bookshelves, and chairs.
With these few design principles in mind, a tiny bedroom can feel far cozier and more restful than even the most palacial bedroom.
Design Dilemma: Furnishing A Small Bedroom
September 23, 2009 by uadream