Small space, grand design: compact master bedroom décor

7 min read

Last Modified 28 December 2023 First Added 3 November 2022

No matter its size, every bedroom deserves love and attention.

At times, it may seem a fool’s hope with a smaller room, but don’t worry – creating an elegant and sophisticated small master bedroom is always possible. Whatever your budget, it’s essential to consider how your colour, furniture and layout choices will affect your room’s look and feel.

From cosy colour combinations to clever tricks for layout, we bring you the best designer tips from experts around the globe for making your compact space a grand design in its own right.

The best furniture and accessories for small master bedrooms

The key to a well-designed small master bedroom is the clever use of furniture.

It’s all about using space-saving tricks to get the most out of every single piece. Ensuring your bedroom is a master class in multipurpose functionality is the best route to success.

Here are some key furniture pieces and accessories for a small bedroom:

Grey velvet double bed frame, raised to display the shadow ottoman storage area.

1. Storage beds

Ottomans and divans provide underbed storage, helping to limit the amount of larger furniture pieces needed in your room. This frees up the space for decorative additions, such as artwork or feature walls. Check out our guide to storage beds for more information.

Our top tip is to consider a shadow ottoman bed. These have the appearance of a raised bed frame with cleverly-disguised underbed storage for a truly boutique style. What’s more, raised frames help create the illusion of extra space.

Melissa Read, Creative Director at Studio Burntwood recommended steering clear of visually ‘heavy’ furniture:

I would suggest sourcing furniture and a bed base with legs if possible so you’re able to see the floor underneath. This will fool the eye into thinking the room is in fact larger than it is. 

tall dresser in small bedroom with plant on top and chair to the side

2. Tall dressers

When floor-space is minimal, using the height of your bedroom is key. A tall dresser will maximise storage space without taking up any more room than its smaller counterpart. You can use the top of your dresser as a shelf for indoor plants and a decorative lamp too! Here’s what Grace Baena, Interior Designer of Kaiyo Used Dressers had to say:

Vertical space will be important when you’re working with a small master bedroom. Low, bulky furniture will not only reduce the visual size of your room but will also limit the available floor space and can quickly make a small bedroom feel cramped. Instead, focus on wall-mounted lighting and shelving, and furniture with a tall profile.

dressing table turned into a desk with laptop and makeup on top

3. Multi-purpose furniture

Look for opportunities to use furniture for multiple purposes. For example, a bedside cabinet can double up as a bookshelf or a place to house underwear, socks, hats or any other small clothing items.

We spoke with Interior Designer & Writer Sylvia James from HomeHow.co.uk to uncover more multi-purpose furniture tips:

If your master bedroom is quite small, you may need to reduce the amount of furniture in the room. However, you can make the most of your furniture by choosing pieces that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, you may want a desk and a vanity in your bedroom. If so, find a table or desk that can be used for both purposes.

mirror on bedroom wall reflecting light from window

4. Mirrors

Floor-standing or wall-mounted mirrors take up minimal space and help create the illusion of extra space. They’re also great for maximising light, particularly if you place them directly opposite a window.

Lili Will, French interior designer from Ever Wallpaper advises:

Putting mirrors in the right position and angle can help bring more light into your room and make your space seem wider. And mirrors can also serve as a good decoration piece in your room.

white-and-beige-bedroom

5. Floating shelves

Opt for floating shelves and place them above other pieces of furniture such as desks, dressers, and bedtime cabinets to reduce taking up unnecessary floor space. Sylvia James, Interior Designer at HomeHow.co.uk adds:

When decorating a small master bedroom, it’s best to keep things simple. The less cluttered you can make the room, the more spacious it will feel. One of the best ways to add some style to your bedroom is with floating shelves which are perfect for displaying things like pictures, books, blankets, or other pieces of home décor.

While choosing the right furniture is key to maximising space, there are plenty of other considerations to be made too. We spoke to several other designers to uncover further tips for creating the right ambience in small spaces.

Expert tips for making the most of a small master bedroom

house-beautiful-moodboard-pink

1. Direct focus towards your bedroom walls

Stacy Lewis 
Interior Designer – Eternity Modern

Wallpapers with bold designs and patterns or striking wall murals are a great way to take the visual focus away from your room and onto your wall and make a small room appear wider. Just remember to keep the rest of the room minimal in terms of color and pattern.

2. Add a floating cove as a headboard for your bed

Stefan Bucur
Design expert and Founder of rhythmofthehome.com

A great idea for shelf and book lovers is to add a built in cove as a headboard around your bed. The wall space is already occupied by the bed so it makes the most sense to use up as much space as possible on the wall. By doing this, it will free up the other walls and make the room appear larger. The cove can be decorated with all your favourite books, pictures, and décor prices. The cove can also have custom night stands built in to create a cohesive look.

3. Add patterns and texture to simple design schemes

Joe I. Human
Interior Designer at DBHUMAN, New York

I often like to play with textures and patterns. No matter the room size you want your eyes to keep interest and not get bored, but not overwhelmed. In a smaller master bedroom don’t overdo it with pillows on the bed.  I love pillows but they can take up a lot of visual space in a room, keep it simple but interesting.

4. Use a clothes rack instead of bulky wardrobes

Sylvia James
Interior Designer at HomeHow.co.uk

If you have a small master bedroom without any built in storage for clothes, opt for hanging clothes racks over a bulky wardrobe. This is an excellent way to store all of your clothes, keeping them free from creases. This also makes it much easier for you to access your clothes and can also work well as a decorative piece in your bedroom.

5. Hang large wall art

Kris Lippi
Property expert at ISoldMyHouse.com

Whatever artwork you put on the wall will be the focal point of the room, so make sure it’s big enough. One big piece is more than enough in a small room because a lot of small pieces put close together make the space feel cramped and too occupied. 

6. Choose wall lights over free-standing or table lamps

Kerry Sherin
Home Valuation Expert – Ownerly.com

If a lamp is placed on the wall, it frees up space on bedside tables and other bedroom units. It’s best avoid cluttering tall nightstands and the like with lamps. Instead, opt for wall fitted lights. Sconces with adjustable arms are recommended as you do not have to be as precise about their placement.

7. Minimise clutter

Jeanette FuscoInterior Designer at HiHomePicks

To make the most out of a small master bedroom, it is important to keep the space as open and uncluttered as possible. Furniture should be kept to a minimum, and only essential pieces should be included. Make sure to declutter the room and keep it free of excessive personal belongings.

Ultimately, balance is crucial to the design of any small space. Ensuring that every single item within your bedroom is considered and planned is the key to falling back in love with your sleep space. Look for places to double up the function of your furniture and ensure your use of colour and lighting creates the illusion of more space. Most importantly, keep your room as clutter-free as possible! Find out how in our easy guide.

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