How to arrange furniture in a small bedroom — according to the pros

Interior designers reveal 8 ways to arrange furniture in a small bedroom for a spacious look and feel

Bright airy small bedroom with low bed natural lighting and lots of green plants and clever storage shelves and ottomans Getty - KatarzynaBialasiewicz
(Image credit: Getty Images / Katarzyna Bialasiewicz)

Learning how to arrange furniture in a small bedroom well will maximize every square inch of the space. With a little expert knowhow and a solid plan before getting started on the actual furniture moving, your efforts will transform the space.

Our eight expert tips reveal the way interiors pros work: deciding how to arrange furniture in a small bedroom to fit in what’s necessary, look great and leave enough to move around. 

We called on our interior design experts to share their top advice on how to arrange furniture with their small bedroom ideas – and they delivered. Your room might be small, but with our designer-approved tips, it will never feel it.

How to arrange furniture in a small bedroom

Small bedrooms are only alike in their lack of square footage. After that, they’re tricky in their own special ways. But that doesn’t mean maximizing space in a small bedroom is the impossible dream.

Professional tips on arranging furniture in small bedroom layouts come with guidance you can apply no matter the particular issues of your own small bedroom. Plus, our experts' eight neat tricks will help stretch your space.

1. Choose multipurpose designs

A white storage bed by Le Redoute with shelving incorporated into headboard. Bed linen is red chequered and teal statement pillow

(Image credit: Le Redoute)

Let’s talk about what you place in the room before we get to how to arrange it. Small-space furniture needs to work hard for its living. In other words, it should serve more than one purpose.

“Picture a bed with storage space below it or a desk that can be hidden,” says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky, founder at Arsight. “This way, you use your space smartly without losing beauty.”

Other hard-workers for a small bedroom include a headboard that doubles as display space with a ledge along its top for fave photos and objects. We love the storage headboard with charging station options from Walmart. Storage ottomans are great too for doubling up as a perch for pulling on jeans as well as and a place to stash bed linen.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

2. Start from the bed

a small bedroom with statement pendant light and pendant lights at the bedsides - Katie Lee

(Image credit: Future/Katie Lee)

Having the best bed you can afford is the most important purchase for a bedroom. But once you have it, finding the right spot for it is key and that will depend on the size.

“If you opt for a smaller bed (such as a platform bed from Urban Outfitters), I would put that against a wall,” advises interior designer Jamie Mitri, who is founder and CEO of Moss Pure. “But if you go with a larger bed, in the middle of the room is best.” 

If you're sharing a dorm in a small bedroom, beds on opposite walls work the best. Don't forget to leave space around your bed, ideally two to three feet on the open edges. And if you’re super-short on room loft bed ideas can come to the rescue.

Jamie Mitri
Jamie Mitri

Jamie Mitri is a chemical and environmental engineer turned interior designer. Jamie founded her company, Moss Pure, in June 2020, and uses both her engineering and science skills and her love and skill in fashion and interior design in her work.

3. Work around the window

A neutral colored bedroom with a wooden vanity opposite the window

(Image credit: Getty Images/Andreas von Einsiedel)

The window is important in every room, but it’s particularly crucial in a small room that needs all the natural light it can get to feel its most spacious. “Work around the window to ensure you’re not blocking much-needed light coming into the small space,” says Brooklyn Burdon, who is the chief design officer of Nathan James.

That’s a no to placing bedroom storage furniture there if it will block the lower part of the window but also a resounding nay on partially covering it with a headboard. If the bed has to go in this location, choose a bed design with a low headboard (such as a tufted wood low headboard bed from Wayfair).

Brooklyn Burdon chief design officer at Nathan James is a woman with long dark hair pictured head and shoulders
Brooklyn Burdon

Brooklyn Burdon is the chief design officer at Nathan James, a design-first home furnishing and lighting company for urban dwellers and first time home buyers. Brooklyn has been working in the design industry since 2014.

4. Swap out bulky window coverings

A neutral bedroom with a bed and a set of drawers

(Image credit: West Elm)

To arrange furniture in a space-stretching way in a small bedroom, it’s important to have the full dimensions of the room available and that means avoiding bulk when it comes to small bedroom window ideas

“For window coverings, choose something light and easy,” says Artem. ”Pick light curtains (Urban outfitters curtains include a range of light ones) or smooth blinds instead of big, heavy drapes to keep the area feeling free and not crowded.”

The other clever move is the same as when you’re arranging furniture in a small living room: hang them high, which will draw the eye upwards and make the bedroom’s ceiling feel loftier than it really is.

5. Work the walls

Bedroom with bed in alcove painted in dark green tone, with slim slatted panelling up to picture rail height and a shelf with artwork on above

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

If you think there’s only the floor area available for arranging furniture in a small bedroom, we have good news. The walls can be the place to put some of the room’s vital pieces. 

Go for a floating nightstand such as the Nathan James Jackson Modern Floating Bedside Nightstand from Amazon to keep the floor area more open. “Also, consider wall-mounted lighting and shelving to keep as much floor space available as possible,” says Brooklyn Burdon.

6. Expand space with a mirror

A student bedroom with white wall paint decor, framed wall art and black framed mirror

(Image credit: Dormify)

OK, a mirror won’t actually give you more space, but it will make the room look bigger and, combined with neat furniture arrangement, deliver a small bedroom that doesn’t look crowded. 

“Using full length mirrors can work wonders,” says Artem. “Put a mirror in the right spot to bounce light and make your room look bigger than it really is.” Luckily, the right spots to put a mirror in a small bedroom have already been detailed by our experts.

7. Consider color

A white small minimalistic bedroom with a white bed and wooden desk next to each other with a fuzzy white rug and modern white chair

(Image credit: Getty Images/Elliot Elliot)

Just as with mirrors, color won’t literally make a bedroom bigger, but it does plenty of heavy lifting to make the room feel more spacious and therefore, setting the stage for furniture arrangements that don’t look cluttered.

Color counts both for furniture and for painting walls if you’re able to decorate the space. “Consider bright and light-colored furniture to open the room up,” recommends Brooklyn. 

“Use light colors in the room,” agrees Artem. “Light colors on walls and furniture can give the feeling of more space, so your room seems less crowded.”

The best colors for a small bedroom reflect the light rather than absorbing it and make walls seem further away. It will knock the dark edge off gloomy corners that often result in a small room feeling even smaller.  

8. Layer in a rug

Loft bedroom with double bed with upholstered headboard, blue painted shelf behind and wood floor with neutral rug

(Image credit: Dunelm)

We’ve talked furniture and wall color, but another major area where color counts is the bedroom floor. In a small bedroom, lay a light colored area rug on which to arrange furniture. Just like pale tones for walls and furniture, it reflects light rather than absorbing it for an airier-appearing room.

Size up your choice of rug to make the area look bigger and to hide any dark, dated, or seen-better-days floor covering. We like the Artistic Weavers Melodie Boho Farmhouse Area Rug from Amazon, which is 5ft 3in by 7ft 3in, but comes in a range of other sizes and is designed to stand up to plenty of foot traffic.


How many pieces of furniture should be in a small bedroom?

Too much furniture in a small bedroom will make it feel cluttered, but there isn’t a magic number. What’s important is that the room caters to your needs but allows you to move around comfortably. To fit in what is essential, think designs that build in storage with another function. Go for wall-hung designs where possible to ensure the floor doesn’t become cluttered and, where pieces do take up floor space, focus on tall, narrower designs that use otherwise unused wall areas.

Is it OK to have a bed against the wall?

A bed can be positioned against a wall if this is the best option to free up space to move around in the room. There’s only one side available for getting in and out, but if this arrangement allows easy access this can be preferable to attempting to position it more centrally and ending up with two narrow areas either side. Additionally, putting the bed in the corner can help it feel cozy and secure. If the bed is larger, it can be preferable to position it away from the wall, however, to make it a focal point. 

Thoughtful furniture arrangement in a small bedroom is vital so the room is a real haven. A cluttered bedroom is never going to feel relaxing enough for a good night’s shut-eye. 

Focus on decluttering a small bedroom since excess stuff will  take up the space you just won back with clever furniture arrangement strategies.

Don’t just think furniture placement either. Tactics like reducing the bulk of window coverings, and reflecting natural daylight with the choice of colors for the room’s walls and furniture and with mirrors are winning ideas.

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.