Before you start your bedroom decorating tasks, examine the room (bare, if possible). Note the placement of doors and windows, as well as the room's dimensions.
Determine how you want to arrange the furniture, which will help you lay out the rhythm of the room's decorative elements later on. In a small bedroom, you might need to be especially creative when arranging furniture. In this bedroom, placing the bed in front of windows makes it easier to maneuver around the space.
Scale is the most important thing to consider when selecting furniture for a small bedroom. "Open" furniture, such as an iron bed frame or a sleek nightstand that's open below the tabletop, will help the room feel light and airy.
Take advantage of vertical space with tall pieces of furniture. Consider using two tall, slender cabinets and placing a bench or dressing table between the two. You can get the same amount of storage without the visual bulk of a large armoire. Plus, you'll be able to squeeze in extra function.
Eliminate the need for extras in a small bedroom by selecting items that can do double duty. Consider using a short chest of drawers as both a nightstand and dresser. A bench with a lift-top can stow away extra linens and provide bedroom seating. The nightstand in this bedroom is a DIY nesting table: a smaller cube slips under the taller table and can be pulled out for an extra tabletop surface as needed.
Once you know how you are going to arrange your bedroom, determine where you want to place color, texture, and other decorative elements. Using lighter colors on the wall will make the room feel lighter. Rather than using rich colors to bring interest to walls, consider wainscoting or beaded board, which will give the walls dimension.
Instead of scattering accessories throughout the bedroom, combine groups of objects in one or two places. When selecting artwork, arrange smaller pieces together so that they read as a unit, as the prints above the credenza in this bedroom do. For larger pieces of art, use a slender frame so that it doesn't overdominate the bedroom.
Whether you decide on a monochromatic color scheme or a multicolor palette, repeating colors is key in a small bedroom. Doing so will create visual rhythm and draw the eye around the room.
If you're going to use a piece that is out of step with the bedroom's color scheme, use the color elsewhere in a small dose. Here, the rich wood finish of the headboard pops against the neutral color scheme and ties in with lighter wood tones throughout the bedroom.
In this bedroom, a monochromatic palette of neuturals comes alive, thanks to variations in tones and intensities. The ocher pattern on the pillows reads as a color but is simply a more saturated version of the creamy linens on the bed and the wood tones used elsewhere in the room. A serene shade of lavender on the pillows and throw add color without disrupting the bedroom's relaxing vibe.
In a small bedroom where large furniture and a wild use of pattern would dwarf the space, decorate with texture. Mix smooth surfaces with nubby fabrics and woven window treatments. Shiny surfaces will also illuminate the bedroom. Keep in mind that texture is tactile, but also visual. Vary textures in the things you will touch, such as the bed linens, and the things you will only look at, such as the light fixtures. The beaded light fixture in the bedroom shown above serves as a visual representation of texture, while the linens are a smooth respite.
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