Tips and Guides

Expert Advice: 5 Designer Tricks to Improve Your Bedroom Situation

Let these solutions help you make the most of small bedrooms—from floors and walls to choosing the right storage and colors


Most of us face the common problem of having a small bedroom. While adding mirrors and decluttering are some of the things that would immediately come to mind to make your room look bigger, here are a few more pointers to help you maximize your existing floor area:

Main photos from: Gravity Home via Tumblr and Sheghuoatjia.

Emphasize width or height

Not all bedrooms are built the same way. Some have higher ceilings, others with longer walls. Whichever of the two fit your bedroom’s description, it is important to take advantage of these features. Play with some pattern in order to draw your attention toward the height of your ceiling, rather than the size of the room.

For walls, you can use stripes to create an illusion of width or height—use vertical stripes for a room with a high ceiling, or horizontal stripes for longer walls. Apply this trick with the use of wood paneling preferably in white, a striped wallpaper, or with painted stripes instead.

Photo from Style Caster.

Choose light colors

Since lighter colors reflect light, it is advisable to give your room a fresh coat of paint in an off-white to a light gray shade. The use of lighter neutrals for your walls will instantly make your room look bigger.

Although uncommon, painting your ceiling and trim (baseboards and cornices) in the same color as your walls create a seamless look by blurring the line between wall and ceiling. Cool colors in light shades are also accepted. In this case, paint your trim and ceiling in white. For flooring material, pick lighter shades of wood, if possible.

Photo from Gravity Home via Tumblr.

Reflect the light

Let natural light stream into the room by using sheer window treatments. You can add simple grommet or pleated block-out curtains in a neutral color. Install them directly below the ceiling and outside your window line so that you can draw them to the sides without blocking natural light. This will create an illusion of height for your wall and width for your window.

And again, use mirrors. You can place your mirror beside or opposite a window to reflect what’s outside and add depth to your room.

Photo from Dust Jacket.

Choose hanging storage

Keep less things on the floor. Make use of hanging furniture or fixtures. Spruce up a part of your wall with hanging shelves for books or accessories to emphasize height. Use floating side tables with drawers and wall lamps in place of table or floor lamps.

Photos from Sheghuoatjia and Apartment Therapy.

Prioritize scale and function

Don’t forget to measure. Avoid picking bulky furniture pieces that occupy too much space. Choose furniture pieces that are in proportion to the scale of your bedroom. You can opt for a double bed instead of a queen, or a daybed with trundle instead of two single beds. Work with functional furniture like a bed with drawers underneath or a side table with storage to maximize space.

Photo from RH Baby & Child.

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]



Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at] with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

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