How to make a narrow bedroom look wider, according to design pros

We've asked the experts how to make a narrow bedroom look wider and scoped out their top industry tips

Three pictures of narrow bedrooms - one with a window with striped pink and white curtains and a dark pink rug, one of a green bed with pink striped walls behind it and green drawers next to it, and one white bedroom with light wooden drawers with a white piped mirror above it and a wooden chair next to it
(Image credit: Future / Annie Sloan / Tori Murphy)

You might want to learn how to make a narrow bedroom look wider if you've felt a little cramped while lounging in yours. 

If you can't change the shape of the room, you can still switch up how it appears with a few clever tricks. We've spoken to design pros for their tips, and spoiler alert: they're super easy to do. We're talking vertical decor, airy colors, and more.

If you're on the lookout for small bedroom ideas and are catering to a narrow room specifically, transforming the size of the space to the eye is an important part of making it look gorgeous.

Designers explain how to make a narrow bedroom look wider

From smart small bedroom layout ideas to bright finishing touches, you don't need to knock down walls to make a narrow bedroom look wider.

Our experts have handily recommended specific buys along the way, our expert shoppers have picked out matching quality buys.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Choose lighter colors

A side view of a white bed with a duvet and pillows, with a gray wall beyond it and a black and gray wood nightstand with a photo frame and plant next to it

(Image credit: Marquis & Dawe)

Learning how to brighten a small bedroom will create the appearance of spaciousness, giving the room a dreamy, open finish.

“Light and neutral colors are known to make a room appear larger, while dark and bold colors tend to make it feel smaller,” says Ana Coddington, lead interior designer at Archival Designs

A picture of Ana Coddington against a gray background
Ana Coddington

Ana Coddington is the lead interior designer at Archival Designs. She has over 10 years of experience with consultations, CAD software, and space planning. Her goal is to provide clients with thoughtfully designed homes that reflect their architectural tastes and lifestyle.

She continues, “This is because light colors reflect light, while dark colors absorb light and make a room feel closed in.” Ana recommends using light-colored furniture and  brilliant bedding in lighter shades.

“For a narrow bedroom, I always recommend using light-colored paint or wallpaper, as this will reflect light, making the room feel more open and airy,” adds Ricky Allen, interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper.

A picture of Ricky Allen in a suit
Ricky Allen

Ricky Allen is the interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper, experts in high-quality wallpapers and murals, using non-toxic, odorless, and environmentally friendly materials. He has over 10 years of experience in creating visually stunning and functional spaces. His approach is straightforward yet effective — maximizing the use of space and incorporating visual illusions to create the appearance of larger rooms.

If you’re renting and can’t paint or add regular wallpaper, you could always choose the best peel-and-stick wallpaper (we like this Wade Logan Audin Peel and Stick Roll from Wayfair, which is so modern farmhouse) , as this will leave walls damage-free.

2. Consider furniture placement

A gray bedroom with a wooden bed with white bedding, three throw pillows (two white and beige and one gray), a beige throw on the end of the bed, a window to the left and a rectangular nightstand to the right

(Image credit: Future)

The way you arrange your furniture can have a big impact on how spacious your bedroom feels.

Ana explains, “In a narrow room, it's best to keep furniture against the walls to create an open flow in the center. Avoid blocking pathways with large or bulky furniture, and opt for smaller pieces you can easily move around if needed.”

Keeping the space open for energy to move through is also a big part of small bedroom Feng Shui.

3. Use vertical space

A bedroom with green walls, a white wall shelf with framed prints, a white bed with gray bedding and white and black pillows, a rectangular wooden tray on top of it, and two gray nightstands with round lamps each side

(Image credit: Future)

Drawing the eye upwards, rather than sideways, is an easy way to make your narrow bedroom appear wider than it is.

Ana explains, “Don't just focus on the floor space, but also utilize the vertical space in your bedroom."

She recommends adding shelving or wall-mounted storage (these Upsimples Home Floating Shelves on Amazon come in five different colors), as they can help free up more floor space and make the room feel less cluttered. 

“You can also use tall bookcases to create the illusion of a higher ceiling, making the room feel bigger,” she adds.

4. Bring in natural light

A bedroom with yellow blinds in front of a rectangular window, a white circular nightstand, the side of a sage green bed with pink and mustard pillows, a jute scalloped rug, and a wooden vintage drawers with a tall gray vase filled with colorful flowers

(Image credit: Hillarys)

One of the simplest ways to ‘widen’ a narrow bedroom is by bringing in as much gorgeous, glowy natural light as possible.

Ana says, “Natural light is one of the best ways to make a narrow bedroom look bigger, and it can add to the relaxed feel of the space.”

To maximize the impact of this light, Ana suggests sheer curtains or blinds instead of heavy drapes, and keeping windows clean (find out how to clean windows inside and out and you’ll see the difference) and unobstructed. 

5. Decorate with mirrors

A wall of a bedroom with a curved white mirror above a rectangular set of drawers with an orchid on top, a black and white wall art print above a wooden curved chair with gray cushioning, and the corner of a red bed

(Image credit: Future)

We always recommend hanging up mirrors to make a small room appear bigger, and this trick works especially well in smaller bedrooms.

“If possible, hang more than one mirror to brighten up the bedroom, and place them on the opposite side of a wall to a window to reflect this light effectively,” explains Tommy Mello, home improvement expert and founder of A1 Garage Door Service.

A picture of Tommy Mello, a man with short brown hair wearing a white shirt
Tommy Mello

Tommy Mello is a home improvement and DIY expert, and the founder of A1 Garage Door Service, a $100M+ home service business and home service industry leader. He is also the author of Home Service Millionaire and the Home Service Expert podcast. Tommy is an expert at changing how rooms look for the better.

He also says it’s a good idea to place these as high up in the room as possible, as making the most of height will take attention away from the narrowness.

6. Hang curtains high

A window with two cream and dark pink striped curtain panels draped either side and a terracotta plant pot on the ledge, three hats on the righthand wall, and a black wooden chair underneath these

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

Along with choosing vertical furniture pieces to create interest in a narrow bedroom, it’s also a good idea to pay attention to your curtains.

Ricky says, “Another trick is to hang curtains higher than the window and let them extend beyond the sides of the window frame.”

He’s a fan of using lightweight and sheer curtains to bring in more light. For example, these Wayfair Basics Sheer Curtains from Wayfair are a budget-friendly choice.

7. Finish with lighting

A bedroom with dusky pink and light pink striped wall, a sage green woven bed frame with light pink ruffled bedding, and a dark green chest of drawers with scalloped red decoration and a white table lamp on top of it, plus a red circular plate above this

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

While you may now have natural lighting covered during the day, in the evening you’re still going to need to shine a light on the space. 

Tommy explains, “Light changes the entire feel of the room — a poorly lit room will feel gloomy and claustrophobic.”

One of Tommy’s favorite small bedroom lighting ideas is floor lamps, as they’re the right shape for this space and will add aesthetic appeal as well as light to the room.

We also like using table lamps on nightstands (how pretty is this Ribbed Little Glass Lamp on Urban Outfitters?), as they can make a small bedroom feel cozy before bedtime. 

If you don’t want to grab a new light, you could always head to a secondhand furniture store such as Goodwill to find a cute vintage light to add unique style to your space.

By combining a mixture of decorative tricks, you can make your narrow bedroom look wider, which will make it much more stylish and inviting to sleep in.

For those with other rooms in the house with this sort of shape, finding out how to make a narrow entryway look wider will make a great first impression on guests.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.