Many of us may dream of a large, lofty bedroom space with ample room to sit, sleep and relax. Yet often the reality can fall somewhat short, as we find ourselves cramped into a tiny den overflowing with clothes and clutter. But with careful planning and consideration, it’s entirely possible to transform a small overflowing room into a tranquil den which belies its bijou proportions. If you’re looking to redecorate or just refresh your space, consider giving some of these ideas a try.

Put your bed to work

Usually, the largest item of furniture in any bedroom, and undoubtedly the one taking up the most floor space is your bed. The otherwise wasted area underneath your mattress is well worth capitalising on. Opting for a bed base with built-in drawers is one way to do this. For something a little different, look out for lift-up beds, which use hydraulics to allow you to easily lift the mattress up for easy access to the storage area beneath.

If you prefer a bed frame on legs rather than a divan, try to make the most of the available area beneath it without sacrificing your style. Pretty wicker under-bed storage baskets will keep things organised whilst still looking good. Alternatively, you could even stow away belongings in chic vintage suitcases, for a characterful look you won’t mind showing off.

Grey storage bed

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Try an optical illusion

Fashion and interiors trends have long been interlinked, but there are more tricks to steal from the fashionista than simply copying certain styles. For example, it’s often said that wearing vertical stripes can make you look taller and slimmer. The same rule can also be applied to your interiors. Hang vertically-striped wallpaper in a squat bedroom space to make it feel taller. Adding a striped rug to your floors will make the room appear as if it’s receding backwards.

Go for wrap-around paint colours

Simply painting a small room white is not always the best way to make it look and feel bigger. Whilst light hues can certainly help, plain white can sometimes simply appear dull, especially in areas which are naturally dark. As a result, more interesting hues in a calming palette, such as blues or greens, can actually be more helpful in making the space feel larger.

One trick designers often use is to paint everything. Walls, woodwork, ceilings or even floors in the same, or similar, tones. This effectively blurs the boundaries of the space, tricking the eye into overlooking the defining edges of the room.

Choose a single art piece

Hang one large, statement artwork in a prominent position in the bedroom, such as above the bed head. This provides a single focal point to draw in the eye. Hanging multiple pieces causes the eye to dart around the room.

Sites such as Etsy.com are a great source for discovering new artists and illustrators. Or, think outside the box somewhat and frame up a large map of a favourite area as an alternative artwork. If you enjoy photography, blowing up an image of a favourite snap can be a great way to get something both original and personal up on your walls without spending much.

Related: 8 Tips On How To Create A Comfortable Bedroom Space

Bed with artwork hanging above it

Related: How To Make Your Bedroom A Relaxing Retreat

Free up your bedside tables

Keep surface clutter to a minimum by installing hanging lights as an alternative to bedside lamps. Have an electrician fit two long pendants either side of your bed. Alternatively, for a DIY option, suspend a long vintage-style fabric flex, with a bulb at one end and a plug at the other, from a hook or bracket fixed to your wall or ceiling.

As for the bedside cabinets themselves, select models which offer as much storage as possible. Choose ones incorporating drawers for storage and cubbyholes to keep bedside reading off the floor. If you’ve no space for a dedicated bedside, bring in a couple of stools instead, which should be slim enough to slot into a smaller space yet still offer a handy spot to place a drink or book.

Make the most of mirrors

Mirror in a bedroomDon’t underestimate the decorative punch a humble mirror can add when it comes to making a small space feel larger. Opt for as large a style as you can accommodate to really help open up the space. Industrial designs which mimic old crittall-style windows can work particularly well as the eye is initially tricked into thinking you’re looking through into another room. Alternatively, start up a collection of vintage bevelled mirrors until you’ve filled a sizeable chunk of wall. These can be found inexpensively at car boot fairs or charity shops and added gradually as funds allow. Mirrored furniture can be equally useful to visually open up the space.

Related: How To Turn Your Bed Into A Sleep Haven

Opt for fitted furniture

When space is limited, you need to ensure every square inch is being put to good use. Fitted pieces can be the best bet, allowing you to kit out an entire section of room from top to toe. Not only can this allow you to free up floor space in other areas of the room, the clean lines of fully fitted furniture can help them essentially disappear into the space. Furniture finished in a similar colour to your walls will aid this. If you rent, or fitting furniture isn’t an option, get the look by buying as large and tall a single wardrobe or storage unit as you can fit in the space, rather than several separates. If you’re handy at DIY you might even be able to box in any redundant slivers of space, to give the illusion of a fully fitted piece.

Rein in window treatments

Sleek blinds, or even shutters, will physically take up less space than bulky curtains in a small bedroom and will give a fresh, clean look too. However if curtains are your preference, try hanging them all the way from floor to ceiling, providing an uninterrupted finish. Make sure your curtain pole or rail is wide enough so that when open, the curtains sit against the wall rather than blocking any valuable light from the window panes. Sticking to a fabric in similar tones to your walls will help them blend into the space. If you’re worried about your room being dark, look for curtains which have a slight shimmer to them, to help bounce the available light around.

Do you have a small bedroom? Pop your tips for maximising the space in the comments below.