Designers know all kinds of techniques and tricks when it comes to making bedrooms look bigger. These bedroom design secrets fool the eye into making a room appear more spacious than it actually is and all it requires is making smart, creative choices involving furniture placement, lighting, and a few other important design decisions.
The bedroom, in particular, can really benefit from employing these simple bedroom design ideas to make it feel more expansive. By making a few adjustments to establish a greater sense of openness in your bedroom, you’ll create a space that has a more comfortable, restful vibe.
1 / LOSE THE CLUTTER
Your master bedroom should feel like a cozy retreat, a place you want to go to at the end of the day. If it’s too cluttered with several small pieces of furniture (besides your bed), it could be the reason your room feels small. Basically, if it doesn’t belong in the bedroom, take it out. Floor clutter and surface clutter on nightstands and dressers also contribute to your space feeling disorderly and cramped. Make an effort to keep small, loose items in your bedroom organized and hidden from view as much as possible.
2 / KEEP YOUR CORNERS OPEN
It’s hard to discern the size of a room when you can’t see its corners. Your bedroom’s corners are not there to be filled. Resist the urge to stack books, plants, or items up against the walls in the corners. Remember, your room will look larger when its floor and wall space is more visible and there’s some empty space within it. Since your bed is your focal point (it’s a BEDroom, after all), keep all necessary items close to it. If you have room for a chair, don’t line it up against a wall. Bring it in, angle it to the bed, and make it part of a grouping.
4 / ADD AN OVERSIZED AREA RUG
If you have hardwood or hard surface floors already, add an oversized area rug. This helps to make the room feel bigger. Don’t just make the rug slightly larger than the bed, however. Make it occupy space at least 16″ to 18″ beyond the bed edge, all the way around. It’s amazing how adding some cozy texture to the floor can make the bedroom feel larger.
4 / USE STRATEGIC PLACEMENT OF ART
We’ve established that the bed should be the centre of attention in your room. If you’re someone who must have a TV in the bedroom, however, that can draw attention away from the bed. Add some strategically placed framed art around the TV to minimize any focus clashing. The framed art will help the TV to blend in with the wall, as opposed to dominating it.
5 / INSTALL HARDWOOD FLOOR DIAGONALLY
One of the bedroom design secrets that also applies to other spaces is to rethink how your flooring is installed. Whether it’s hardwood flooring, tile, laminate, or stone, laying your flooring on a diagonal can make a room appear larger. Hardwood flooring installed diagonally in your bedroom fools the eye into thinking you’re in a bigger space. This happens because the pattern is not squared off with the room’s walls.
6 / ADD MIRRORS
Another of the bedroom design secrets for making spaces look bigger is to use reflective surfaces. Mirrors can expand the room’s appearance and add some sparkle at the same time. A full-length mirror or smaller-sized mirror reflects both light and the view, which creates the appearance that a bedroom is more spacious than it actually is. Mirrored bedside tables may not be for everyone, but they can also help add to the illusion of your bedroom having more space. Custom-made “floating” side tables also make a room feel bigger, simply by allowing the eye to see under the table.
7 / FIND THE RIGHT LIGHTING
Consider hanging lamps over the bedside tables. This keeps the table surface free but still brings the light down to eye level. Add dimmers so they can be adjusted according to the needs of the room. We’re also seeing more modern, extendable wall lamps and sconces used by the bedside. They’re great for task lighting and reading.
8 / USE THE RIGHT BEDDING & PILLOWS
Nothing makes a bedroom look smaller than skimpy bedding and pillows on a bed. For king-sized beds, two super-king Euro pillows will fit better than three regular euro pillows. Two super-kings will fit properly, will offer great support for reading or lounging, and will stay in place.
9 / DRAPERY CAN MAKE IT OR BREAK IT
The last of our bedroom design secrets involves choosing the right drapery. Drapery should be hung from the ceiling to the floor. Short curtains tend to disrupt the flow of a whole space when your eyes move around the room. To make your drapery look fuller, add heavy blackout lining, rather than cotton.
Whether you’re making changes big or small, using some of these bedroom design secrets can benefit even a small room so that it looks more expansive (and expensive).
JANE LOCKHART is an interior design professional, speaker, author, and television host of Colour Confidential.