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Six Quick Tips For Making The Most Of A Small Master Bedroom

I think we all dream of having a big master bedroom – a private place with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a little peace and quiet. Unfortunately, there isn’t always floor space to spare, and master bedrooms are often a bit cozier than you might have hoped for. That said, there are a lot of ways to make the most of a small master bedroom, from making smart choices with regard to storage to tricking the eye with the right accessories.

The bed you choose will shape the style of your master bedroom as a whole, so make sure the style matches the tone you want to set
The bed you choose will shape the style of your master bedroom as a whole, so make sure the style matches the tone you want to set

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Choosing the right bed is the most important factor in working with a small master bedroom for the simple reason that the bed going to take up the vast majority of the space in the room. That said, what makes the perfect bed is a bit subjective. A slightly smaller platform bed that sits low to the ground can help make your bedroom feel taller and more open, but a large, traditional bed piled high with puffy white linens will make the space feel close and cozy. Metal bed frames are easier to look past (which is especially important if your bed is going to be partially blocking a window), while natural wood frames feel rustic, humble, and inviting.

Bed frames with built in storage may make your bed quite tall, but can be an invaluable way to add storage to a small master bedroom (by Inspired Interiors)
Bed frames with built in storage may make your bed quite tall, but can be an invaluable way to add storage to a small master bedroom (by Inspired Interiors)

In a very small master bedroom, once your bed is in place, there probably won’t be a whole lot of space left to spare, so it’s vital to prioritize what additional furniture you really need and combine functionality wherever possible. If you don’t have room for a full sized dresser, consider exchanging one or both of your night stands for a smaller dresser. You’ll still get the surface space you need, and also a little added clothing storage that you might not be able to sneak in otherwise. Also, if you have a lot of clothes and a closet that isn’t adequate for two, it’s worth seriously considering a bed frame with built in storage underneath. This will make the bed take up more visual space, but will significantly increase your available storage without encroaching on your floor space.

Built in shelves can add a lovely architectural element and ample storage space to a small master bedroom (by Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design)
Built in shelves can add a lovely architectural element and ample storage space to a small master bedroom (by Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design)

Installing a built in shelving unit around the head of your bed is another smart way to add a lot of storage without taking up much space, and is a particularly nice option if you’re inclined to read in bed. Look for shelves that are no more than a foot deep to keep them from creeping in on the room (and your bed!), but even with a relatively slim profile, these installations can easily replace your nightstands and really nicely accentuate your headboard. For a slightly more subtle and lower-impact option, consider building recessed shelves into the wall rather than building a shelving unit out. This has a clean, seamless look, and though it provides a little less storage, it also leaves your walls and floor space otherwise free.

As long as it doesn't block your walkways, adding a small accent chair to your master bedroom can add both functionality and style (by Straticon)
As long as it doesn’t block your walkways, adding a small accent chair to your master bedroom can add both functionality and style (by Straticon)

Perhaps the biggest practical drawback of having a small master bedroom is that there isn’t as much room available for dressing, both in terms of room to move around and room for furniture. But while adding in a full sized dresser will probably make the space feel cramped, adding a simple place to sit while you put on your shoes in the morning can make the bedroom feel more inviting. The trick is to opt for a chair that’s relatively small – a petite high backed arm chair or a decorative midcentury modern accent chair, say, rather than a large rocker or the broad bench that’s conventionally placed at the foot of the bed. It offers the same functionality in much less space, and can help turn a cramped corner into a cozy reading nook.

Replacing your bedside table lamp with a wall sconce, pendant, or swing arm light is a great way to declutter your nightstand (by i3 design group)
Replacing your bedside table lamp with a wall sconce, pendant, or swing arm light is a great way to declutter your nightstand (by i3 design group)

In a small master bedroom, a little clutter goes a long way to tanking the overall appearance of the room. One of the best ways to streamline the area around your bed in particular is to ditch the conventional table lamps in favor of simple wall sconces or pendants. These lighting fixtures are better for a small bedroom because you don’t have to set them on your nightstand, leaving you with a little more space (or the freedom to choose a smaller table), but they also have a very sleek, chic look that can make the area feel more stylish and streamlined. Plus, if you choose a swing arm light, it’s easy to focus the light for reading in bed.

Being able to open your master bedroom onto an outdoor space is a great way not only to add light, but to make the room feel much larger than it really is (by Kelly Hoppen London)
Being able to open your master bedroom onto an outdoor space is a great way not only to add light, but to make the room feel much larger than it really is (by Kelly Hoppen London)

Last but not least, if you have the option, it can be worthwhile to go the extra mile to connect your master bedroom to an outdoor space. That can mean a first floor garden, a second floor balcony, or even just a large picture window that opens on a view. At the least, adding French doors or expanding your windows will provide ample natural light, which will make even the smallest bedroom feel larger and more inviting. At best, it will allow you to sneakily “expand” your bedroom, extending the far wall outwards both visually and (to a lesser extent) practically, so your small space won’t feel so cramped.

What are your favorite ways to make the most of your small master bedroom? Let me know in the comments below.