7 small bedroom design mistakes to avoid, according to experts

These small bedroom mistakes do happen, but here's how to avoid them!

small pink bedroom from dormify with a bed, nightstand and small vanity
(Image credit: Dormify)

Small bedroom design mistakes are more common than you might've imagined. It can be tough to cram all your essentials into a tiny room and make it feel like your own.

Working with limited room somehow opens up more opportunities for mishaps, but fortunately, we've uncovered expert-backed advice to keep your room stylish and functional...even if it is a tad on the teeny side. 

When you're putting a lot of sweat and money into making your dream small bedroom idea come to fruition, keep these mistakes in mind so you can create your best sleeping space yet.

Small bedroom design mistakes

We had our experts spill on all the small bedroom design mistakes that we should be avoiding — and how to turn it all around. 

1. Poor planning

Take it from a renter who's impulsive and didn't listen to her mother's advice upon move-in. Adequately measure your space before you start to fill up a shopping cart. Yes, decorating your first space is an exciting process, but if you rush it, you'll be left with a paisley rug that doesn't fit in when you're designing a studio apartment and a standing lamp with no place to call home. Been there done that, friends. If you want to save yourself some time making returns, be thoughtful in the planning process.

2. Ignoring vertical space

Just like when styling a nook, dealing with a small bedroom begs you to get creative. If there isn't enough floor space, you're going to have to turn to the walls for storage and statements. Good thing decorative hooks — and these other small bedroom must-haves — are at the ready to keep you organized and simultaneously stylish. (That cowboy boot hook, though!)

3. Going overboard with paint

Contrary to what you might believe, you don't need to drench your entire room in a certain color. In fact, paint experts are in agreement that one statement wall not only be a renter-friendly way to add color to your space, but it'll make a greater impact. 

"One rental-friendly way to add color to a room is by painting one feature wall," Erika Woelfel, Behr’s vice president of color & creative services previously told Real Homes. "That way, you get the benefit of personalizing your space without a total room re-paint upon move out."

Likewise, Hannah Yeo, color marketing & development manager at Benjamin Moore, says, "Carefully thought-out pops of colors can make the space appear larger."

4. Cramming too much into one space

Home has taken on a whole new meaning over the past few years. If one room has to be responsible for multiple functions — hello bedroom office ideas — make sure to differentiate each space.

"Make it clear there's a boundary line," Laura Cerrano, certified feng shui expert says. "We usually recommend that if you have a desk, some people will use some type of area rug or side runners — something that says, 'This is my zone for work and this is my zone for sleep' and then everything will shut down."

5. Not multitasking 

Need a few small apartment storage hacks? You and the rest of us! Let your decor and accessories double as storage. There's a reason we can't get enough of those ottomans, folks. Every bit of space counts, so might as well make the most of it. 

Instead of shoving numerous pieces of furniture into a tiny bedroom, opt for items that can serve more than one purpose.

6. Incorrectly positioning your bed

When discussing the importance of avoiding small bedroom feng shui mistakes, Cerrano noted how important the bed can be. You don't want it to be too close to the door so that you're inviting in outside energy. 

But you don't want to be directly under the window, either, as it can become brutal when temperatures drop and cause disharmony. It can make for a conundrum, especially if you're quite literally working with minimal real estate. 

7. Opting out of clothing racks

Yes, it's possible to learn how to make a clothing rack look good and keep it functional. If that closet space is feeling a little tight, despite the way in which you expertly folded those sweaters and dresses, let your favorite pieces make a statement even while they're not in use. 

7. Going overboard with aesthetics 

"A bedroom is typically what we call a yin space, causing more calm and restfulness, but [not] if you have artwork that's overstimulating or encourages the illusion of fast movement," Cerrano notes. "These are the tiny details for a modern-day discussion of the environmental psychology of the space and how it can impact your sleep, your mood, your emotions."

8. Not embracing corners

Corner desks are having a moment, and you'd be remiss not to cash in on the look and the efficiency. They truly don't let a drop of space go to waste. What's more, it can double as a vanity and a workstation. 

9. Forgetting to stay organized 

No that pile of laundry isn't a look — it's just a mess taking up space. (We're partial to these best hampers, btw.) Plus, it clouds space for the things you actually need. 

"Surroundings become a narrative of the subconscious mind," Cerrano insists. Do you want your innermost thoughts scattered across the floor? Didn't think so!

Meet the expert

Laura Cerrano headshot
Laura Cerrano

Laura Cerrano is a certified feng shui expert and the founder of Feng Shui Manhattan. She is a first-generation Certified Usui Reiki Master within her family. Laura graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a double bachelor's degree in art education and fine arts.


How do you make a nice small bedroom?

How should I style a small bedroom?

Scandinavian design focuses on simplicity and embraces a more subdued aesthetic than, say, maximalism, so it's perfect for a small space and totally ups the hyggee factor.  

Once you've styled your tiny sleeping space and swerved these mistakes, you'll want to next figure out how to organize a small bedroom to keep everything in its place and tame clutter.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.