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Make Your Small Space Your Dream Space!

Whether you’ve lived in a college dorm or a tiny bedroom, you know that making the most of the given space you have is key to comfortability and peace. As most students have decided to stay home this semester due to COVID-19, the idea of doing an entire school day from bed sounds ever-so tempting but will do you no good in your retention of information.

Even if you consider your room to be relatively clean (aside from the occasional pile-up of clothes in the basket from trying on multiple outfits and being too lazy to put them back on the hanger—please agree so I’m not ashamed to publicly admit that) a small space doesn’t have to feel confined to storage bins, plain white walls, and teeny-tiny furniture. If you prefer the minimalist aesthetic, that’s great! There’s a reason it’s become an ongoing trend for the past several years: it’s an effective way to declutter and looks sophisticated no matter the given size.

Personally, I admire designs that totally reflect a person’s tastes, such as artwork/photography, plants, pops of color and texture, etc. However, having a small room can feel limiting because even one cluttered, cramped area can totally disrupt the flow of the entire space.

I’ve curated several tips to not only make a tiny room open up but to also encourage you to style it with your own personal touch!

Bed Placement – The Cheapest Illusion!

Before you go start gathering paint swatches at Home Depot, you need to figure out where to place your bed that will give the maximum amount of room as possible, while also ensuring you can comfortably fit other essential furniture, such as a desk or dresser. You can measure the size of your room and bed and draw a blueprint of where you want to move the bed. If your room is rectangular, try placing your headboard directly in the middle of the shortest wall away from the door to allow more room to walk around on the left and right sides of the adjacent walls. I’ve included a video that gives some more placement ideas.

Once you’ve found a place for your bed, feel free to liven it up pillows and blankets that go with your aesthetic. Making your bed the focal point is recommended when there’s not much wiggle room, so don’t be afraid of choosing pops of color and textures that will bring in more depth and interest.

Symmetry and Height Using Furniture

Optimizing the height of your room is a must when there’s not much area to work with. A simple way to do this is to hang your curtains above the actual window frame in order to give the illusion that the room is taller. The same goes for furnishings, as well. When furniture feels low and heavy to the ground, your eyes will naturally divert to the ground, only accentuating small floor space. Instead, try giving your bed and dressers a lift using risers—which also works great for more storage.


Thinking about buying a new nightstand or getting rid of a wide, bulky bureau? Consider downsizing to two identical side tables or tall, thin bookshelves to place on either side of your bed! For those with asymmetrical rooms, dedicating one area of the space to match items can help bring a sense of balance and peace that’s essential for a good night’s rest—there’s a reason hotel rooms are designed like this!

Get Creative with an Accent Wall!

Remember how I said color and texture helps with depth and interest? Well, the same applies to your walls. When there’s not much ground to work with, make a short wall standout out by painting it a color you like or add in your own touches, such as artwork, twinkle lights, vinyl records/posters, etc. Being home this semester is a great opportunity to try out some DIY decorations, such as hanging flowers or vines. Or, simply purchase a removable wallpaper with a cool texture like a brick pattern to give the room a trendier feel. Add a shelf or two to put trinkets or books on and BOOM! A stylish room that’ll inspire anyone to try it out, themselves.

Although these tips are focused on bedroom interior design, feel free to include some of these reference photos and tips to other small spaces, such as bathrooms or offices!

Nikki Haslett

West Chester '21

Nikki Haslett is a West Chester University of PA alum and former Vice President for Her Campus at West Chester. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in English writing and a minor in journalism, she is currently seeking out writing and editorial opportunities for digital/print news publications and magazines. Naturally, she's drawn towards creative outlets, whether it be beauty & fashion, writing, drawing, or working with multimedia tools for journalistic projects, such as podcasting and styling magazine layouts using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. As an aspiring journalist and editor, she is determined to use her natural interpersonal skills to make meaningful connections with individuals and bring unique stories to the forefront. Fun Fact: One of my bucket list goals is to write a complete, feature-length movie script and attend a Hollywood awards show.
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