How to refresh a small bedroom — 7 dreamy ideas designers love using

Figuring out how to refresh a small bedroom will help you make your sleeping quarters so chic

Finding out how to refresh a small bedroom is so useful. Here is a white bedroom with beachy wall art, a white bed, and a drawer with flowers on
(Image credit: Emily LaMarque Design Studio / Douglas Hill Photography)

Working out how to refresh a small bedroom will do wonders for your sleep space. It's the room you spend a lot of time in (awake or not), so it makes sense to give it a glow up every now and then.

We've spoken with designers who love beautifying bedrooms to find out what they do to refresh them. Re-organizing the space and reaching for fresh fabrics are just a couple of tricks they love using.

If you're searching for small bedroom ideas and don't want to completely change the design and decor, a little refresh instead might just be the perfect solution.

How to refresh a small bedroom

Our designers have plenty of tips for you to try, with everything from organizing your small bedroom to adding clever finishing touches.

They have recommended specific products throughout, so where they have, we've found some gorgeous buys for you to shop.

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

1. Declutter the space

A green bedroom with floral curtains and a pink bed with white sheets

(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

We get it. When you’re about to catch some Zs, the last thing you want to do is pick up your clothes and trash.

Taking some time during the day to declutter your small bedroom is one of the easiest solutions, though.

“Getting clutter out of your space will give you more room to breathe and can help guide design decisions,” says Amanda Wiss, design expert and founder of Urban Staging and Urban Clarity.

A picture of Amanda Wiss, a woman wearing a purple top in front of gray shelves
Amanda Wiss

Amanda Wiss is a design expert and founder of Urban Clarity, a home organizing company. She is also the founder of home staging studio Urban Staging, whose design-savvy team gets homes — and tired bedrooms — market ready.

Two quick ways we recommend doing this are dividing your ‘floordrobe’ — clothes scattered on the floor — into items needing to go in the wash and back on the rack, and going around with a strong trash bag (these Amazon Basics trash bags have over 64,000 five-star reviews) to pick up any stray pieces.

2. Try multifunctional furniture

A white bedroom with a white bed, nightstand, brown drawers, and plants

(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

We love using small bedroom storage solutions to keep all our trinkets and treasures neatly stowed away. While we know plastic bins are useful, when they’re out in the open they don’t look very stylish.

Amanda says, “Try swapping out storage bins for more aesthetically pleasing options.”

For example, you can go for multifunctional furniture such as stylish storage ottomans.

“I like to go for beds with built-in storage space (we love this Lark Manor Albertien Bed on Wayfair) and nightstands which can also serve as a desk,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

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. He's refreshed plenty of different rooms throughout the years, and one of his favorites to do are small bedrooms.

Not only will these look much better, but they’ll also help you maximize space in your small bedroom.

3. Change coverings

A white bedroom with a white bed, a nightstand, and a pendant light

(Image credit: The Secret Linen Store)

Investing in the best bed sheets you can afford are a dreamy and luxe item to bring into your bedroom, and bring with them big brownie points for comfort and style. If yours are looking tired and dreary,along with any other soft furnishing covers, consider investing in new ones, or thrifting items you love.

Artem explains, “Changing coverings like bedding, curtains, and rugs will make a lot of impact. Choose light and breathable materials with minimal patterns, as well as ones corresponding with the color scheme, to increase the feeling of space.”

Even if you’re renting, you can still take off curtains (we love these sunny Opalhouse Jacquard Curtains from Target) and add your own — just be sure to put the old ones back and take your lovely ones with you when you leave.

4. Switch up your headboard

A white bedroom with beachy wall art, a white bed, and a drawer with flowers on

(Image credit: Emily LaMarque Design Studio / Douglas Hill Photography)

Changing up your headboard might not be the first thing you think of when decorating your small bedroom, but it’s worth paying attention to.

“For a quick and easy refresh on your small bedroom, consider placing a textile over the top of your headboard to bring in new color and pattern to the space,” says Emily LaMarque, interior designer and founder of Emily LaMarque Design Studio.

A picture of Emily LaMarque, a woman wearing a blue blazer, white top, and blue jeans
Emily LaMarque

Whether the project is a blank canvas or a complete restoration, Emily brings to the table over 15 years of experience and a meticulous eye for detail to deliver spaces rich with style and individuality. This is the brilliant approach she takes to refreshing bedrooms, no matter how big or small they are.

You can do this yourself by picking a beautiful piece of fabric (we’re swooning over this Craftido Fabric Bundle set on Amazon) and simply sewing a cover you can slip over your existing headboard, or use an upholstery stapler gun such as this heavy duty one from Amazon to secure your textile.

5. Layer up lighting

A yellow bed with white bedding and a gold nightstand with a pink lamp

(Image credit: Sofas & Stuff)

We’re big fans of the TikTok interiors trend which says to never turn on the big light, and apply this in all rooms — especially the bedroom.

Instead, play with different light sources to create a cozy atmosphere you’ll want to snuggle up in. “Layered lighting can make a small room look cuddly and spacious,” says Artem.

He recommends using task lighting such as bedside lamps (we have this Better Homes and Gardens Lamp from Walmart on our wish list) and atmospheric lighting such as string lights to create a comfortable atmosphere.

6. Add personal trinkets

A rattan table with a green photo frame and plant on it, next to a brown chair in front of a white wall with palm tree wallpaper

(Image credit: Casa by JJ)

You want to be able to relax as much as possible in your bedroom, which is why it’s a great idea to add personal mementos that make you smile.

Artem explains, “Use things which create joy for you such as photographs, art, or a small collection of books (these The Puffin in Bloom Books on Amazon are adorable). Simpler decorations will help to reduce the clutter, too.”

Edit these down to pieces you really love and you'll feel more at home in this space.

7. Bring in greenery

A gray bedroom with a tall plant, a nightstand, a pink bed, and a gray wall with a large window

(Image credit: Sweetpea and Willow)

Adding the most suitable indoor plants for your space will not only refresh the look of the room, but also improve air quality too, especially if you choose air-purifying plants.

Amanda explains, “If you can fit them in, plants are often a great way to change the entire feel of your room. A touch of organic provides grounding and calm.”

Plants are also a fabulous way to bring good Feng Shui into your small bedroom, as they add balance and harmony to the space.

By taking the time now to refresh your small bedroom, you’ll thank yourself later on when you’re lying in bed and feeling fully chilled.

If it’s the bath you want to kick back in, you might also find renter-friendly small bathroom refreshes useful.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer 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.