Furniture Arrangement Ideas for Small Bedrooms

Sally Painter
Modern bedroom with floral decoration

Small bedrooms don't have to be neglected or scaled down to have a great design layout. You can create an inviting and warm bedroom whether it's a short and narrow, square, or long and narrow bedroom, depending on how you arrange the furniture.

Start With Spacing Around Bed

Be sure you leave enough empty space around the furniture pieces so the bedroom doesn't appear cramped.

Amount of Space to Leave

Space around the bed is especially important. A general rule of thumb is to leave around 18 to 24 inches around the sides and foot of the bed with 36 inches being the ideal. If you can't afford a minimum of 18 inches of space, then go with a smaller sized bed.

Furniture to Include

As with any room design, don't clutter a small bedroom with too much furniture. You will need a bed and at least one nightstand with a lamp. If the space allows, you can add a dresser, chest of drawers or an armoire. Other pieces of furniture you may have room to include might be a comfortable chair or possibly a window seat, but be sure it can all fit comfortably.

Design a Short and Narrow Bedroom

Short, narrow bedroom

Narrow bedrooms present design challenges that require creative solutions for a stylish and inviting bedroom. The first goal of design is to take advantage of the room size. Don't scale your furniture down to the point that it's no longer functional, much less comfortable. Create a design that allows more usable floor space and adds versatility to your bedroom activities, such as sleep, work, lounging, and reading.

Multi-Functional Furniture

Look for multi-functional furniture, such as a daybed, futon, or sleeper sofa. These bed styles give a narrow bedroom the illusion of space besides providing a different look when not being used for a bed. Place this piece of furniture on one of the long walls of the room.

There should be room for a dresser or armoire on the opposite wall. You can add a comfortable chair and table on the end wall or perhaps a desk and chair, if needed.

Accessorize the Room

Accessorize the bedroom

Once you've selected and placed the furniture, it's time to accessorize the room. This is part of your bedroom design where you can scale down objects to make the room look larger.

  • Narrow tall lamps are excellent choices for smaller spaces to give the optical effects of height. Placing them on a narrow table emphasizes the lengthening of the vertical lines.
  • Take advantage of an upholstered headboard, create a bed canopy, or design a faux window effect behind the bed for added design interest.
  • Scaled down framed artwork completes the look.

Small Square Bedroom Ideas

A square-shaped bedroom presents its own challenges with furniture layout, although mostly, beds are rectangular in shape and fit easier in rectangle-shaped rooms.

Queen and Full Bed Design Options

Bed with fitted comforter

You may have room for a queen size bed, but in some cases a full size bed will be the largest you can get into the room comfortably. Place the bed on a solid wall to anchor it to the room. Accessorize with the following items:

  • Add floating shelves instead of nightstands with wall lamps or sconces in place of table lamps.
  • A fitted comforter will help minimize the size of the bed by creating a cleaner and more compact look.
  • A pair of scatter rugs on either side of the bed or a round area rug will help to break up the square shape of the room.

Other Bed Options and Room Design

Twin beds or a single twin bed are good design options, as are bunk beds. A loft bed combination like the ones sold at Pottery Barn optimize space with a desk and storage area underneath the loft bed unit.

A murphy bed is another ideal solution, especially one that has a built-in desk or an entire wall unit that features closets and drawers. If you only need to use the space for a guest bedroom or as a spill over to the guest bedroom, then a sleeper chair may be the best option.

You can add a desk and chair to complete the layout. Another possibility is to add a dresser and a single nightstand that can be used as a side table with the chair. If space allows, add a dresser or an armoire.

Additional Furniture and Accents

additional shelving

Select a collapsible/expandable desk, a wall mounted folding desk, or a wall floating desk to save valuable floor space. Some of the wall mountable desks can be folded up when not in use. Other accents and furniture pieces to consider include:

  • Floor and wall mounted lamps and sconces save floor space.
  • Minimize the window treatments with blinds, roman shades, or top-down/bottom-up shades. Use only a valance to allow more light into the room.
  • A dresser can be placed on the wall beside the bed, allowing the space in front of the bed to remain open and gives the illusion of a larger space.
  • Wall shelves can be added to conserve floor space and place bins or baskets there for extra storage space.

Long and Narrow Bedroom Layout

A long narrow bedroom can give you more space than you might realize if you capitalize on the length of room.

Bed and Furniture Options

Long and narrow bedroom

Start with a bed size that has enough space on either side to allow easy movement in and out of the bed. A good bedroom design avoids placing the bed lengthwise against the wall, except for beds designed for this like daybeds.

Depending on the bed size, you can place a loveseat, chair or bench at the end of the bed. Use the width of the bed to determine what size of bedroom furniture to place here. Opt for low back furniture so you don't overpower or obstruct the bed. If the room is large enough, add two chairs and a table instead. You may wish to invest in an electric or gas fireplace for the opposite end of the room. Place it directly across from the loveseat or chairs for a truly cozy warm room design.

Storage

If you need storage space instead of ambiance, then place an armoire or dresser at the other end of the bedroom. If space is a premium in your home and you require a work area and this is the only place for one, then opt for a stylish desk and chair instead of storage furniture.

Add Vertical Accessories

The bedroom can be given the illusion of height with draperies or a tall headboard with framed prints above it. Use mini-chandeliers or other hanging lamps or wall sconces to free up tabletop space and give the illusion that the nightstands are larger than they are.

Layer Accents

Layering is especially effective for the long narrow bedroom because it creates a sense of depth and reduces the long narrow effect.

  • Don't be afraid to treat the bed and loveseat the same way you would in a larger room. Layer pillows to create depth with textures, sizes, and color. Comforters and throws are also part of the layering effect.
  • A pair of framed prints can be hung in a staggered layout above a nightstand to create a vignette for layering in front of it. A tall lamp placed on the nightstand helps to frame the vignette further. Stacks of boxes or even books can be placed in the center and in front of the lamp.

Design Tips for a Small Bedroom

Bedroom appears larger with nightstand and small desk combo

To create more space, place other pieces of furniture on the same wall as the bed. To get more furniture in your room, downsize to a smaller nightstand so you can place a desk with a chair on one side of the bed. Add matching table lamps to keep the eye moving along the wall and provide symmetry to the design. These additions will also make the bedroom appear larger.

There are other things you can do make your bedroom design:

  • Use floating shelves for storage and have minimal floor space usage.
  • Wall mounted cubbies with storage baskets keep the floor clear.
  • Angling the bed from a corner sometimes creates more space.

Making a Small Bedroom Layout Work

Whether you bedroom is short and narrow, square, or long and narrow, make sure you always have enough empty space around the furniture so you can move about without stubbing toes or tripping. Crowded furniture is neither appealing nor easy to move around. Your ultimate goal should be a bedroom design that is so charming, comfortable, and inviting that no one pays any attention to the size.

Furniture Arrangement Ideas for Small Bedrooms