Big ideas: How to decorate a small bedroom


Make the most of a compact sleeping space with these clever designer tricks.

With some clever ideas and an eye to the future, even cosy bedrooms can provide plenty of space for both guests and growing kids - and when it comes to teenagers, emphasis on the growing part! Here’s how to style small spaces to ensure they can cater to kids’ and guests’ busy lives, both today and in the future. 


Sleeping beauty

A queen-sized or double bed might be out of the question in smaller bedrooms. Plan ahead for lanky teens with a king single bed and mattress, with a generous length that can cater to their needs today and a few years down the track - it can then work double duty as a guest bed once the kids have moved out! A single mattress measures just 92cm x 187cm, a long single is 92cm x 203cm and a king single measures 106cm x 203cm, providing that essential extra legroom without taking up too much floor space.


Heads up!

In a smaller room, you won’t have space for a separate sitting area, so it’s a good idea to include a headboard for sitting up and reading. Whether you choose an upholstered bedhead or a timber or leather bedhead, provide extra cushions for lumbar support and a cosy sense of softness.



Small-space living calls for smart storage ideas. A combination of open and closed storage will make for a practical and functional space, including wardrobes, tallboys and bedside tables. Hidden storage under the bed will provide space for bulky winter items.


Up and at ’em

Lift as much furniture up and off the floor as possible with tapered legs and mounted furniture. This ensures sightlines are clear, visually enhancing the sense of space within the room.


Perfect palette

Light, white and neutral tones on the walls, floor and ceiling will keep the space bright and open. Add texture and depth in the form of bedding, throws and rugs in complementary tones. Maximise natural sunlight with light-reflecting pieces in the form of a large wall or floor mirror.


Light work

Avoid using just one stark overhead light, as this will remove any sense of depth. Instead, a curated selection of table and floor lamps, plus pendant lights or wall lights will create intimacy. A study lamp over the desk is a practical choice, while decorative lamps beside the bed or attached to the bedhead will create an inviting atmosphere.


Curtain call

Maximise natural light and play up the connection to the outdoors by hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains either side of the windows, ensuring the whole window is visible when they are opened. The height and length will add drama and lead the eye towards the natural view outside, while the fabric will add a sense of warmth and absorb sounds.