Common Spare Room Mistakes: Could You Be Making Your Bedroom Look Smaller?


Our bedrooms are sanctuaries. However, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of making your bedroom look much smaller than it is. Whether you’re changing up a room for guests, renting out your spare room, or your personal bedroom needs an overhaul, we’ve got you covered. Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them so you can make sure your bedroom feels as spacious and tranquil as you need it to be.

1. Overcrowding with Large Furniture

Many of us fall into the trap of cramming our bedrooms with large, bulky furniture. You might feel like you need that king-sized bed, massive wardrobe, or a couple of hefty nightstands, but all of these things can take over the space, leaving you little room to move around – or your guests, if it’s a guest room.

The Solution

Go for furniture that’s proportional to the size of your bedroom. A queen-sized bed or even a full-sized one can be just as comfortable as a king-sized, and take up much less space. You could also consider multi-functional furniture (like a bed with built-in drawers) to minimize the need for additional pieces.

2. Poor Lighting Choices

Lighting doesn’t just help us see – it plays a crucial role in the perception of space when it comes to interior design. A single overhead light can create harsh shadows and fail to illuminate corners, making the room feel cramped.

The Solution

Try layered lighting. This is where you use a combination of overhead lights, task lighting (like bedside lamps), and accent lights. This will not only enhance the ambiance of the room but also make it feel larger by distributing light more evenly.

3. Excessive Clutter

Clutter is a major culprit when it comes to making rooms feel smaller. An excess of items, whether it’s too many decorative pieces, an overload of pillows, or just general disorganization, can make the space feel chaotic and confined.

The Solution

Adopt a minimalist approach. Keep surfaces clear and choose decorations wisely. Use storage solutions like under-bed boxes or closet organizers to keep things out of sight. Remember, less is more when it comes to room decor.

4. Using Dark or Loud Wall Colors

Dark or very bold colors may make a statement, but they can also make a room feel smaller and more closed in. While they add character, they can also absorb light, which may cause the space to feel so much more constricted.

The Solution

Opt for lighter or neutral colors for your walls. Bright colors reflect more light, which will make the room feel open and airy. If you love dark colors, don’t be disheartened! You can still use them. Just incorporate them in small doses, like accent pieces or a feature wall, so they don’t overwhelm the space.

5. Ignoring the Full Potential of Mirrors

Mirrors aren’t just there to tell us what we look like or help us get ready. The right mirror in the right position can do wonders to double the space in a room. Despite this, many people either use them sparingly or not at all.

The Solution

Strategically place mirrors to reflect light, as this will help create an illusion of depth. A large mirror on one wall (or even mirrored closet doors) can open up the space hugely and make a room look so much bigger than it actually is.

6. Wrong Rug Size and Placement

A poorly chosen rug size can disrupt the flow of your bedroom. For example, a small rug in a large room can look lost, while an overly large rug in a small room can make the space feel small and cramped.

The Solution

Choose a rug that fits the size of your room and furniture arrangement. Ideally, the rug should extend under the bed and out to the sides, as this will help to give the room a balanced feel.

7. Poor Use of Wall Space

Neglecting wall space is a missed opportunity. Overcrowding walls with artwork or leaving them completely bare can both contribute to a room feeling smaller.

The Solution

Balance is key. Use wall shelves to create additional storage space without taking up floor space. Arrange artwork or photos in a way that draws the eye upward, as this will make the room feel taller.

8. Badly Positioned or Sized Curtains

Short curtains that are hung directly above windows can make your ceilings look lower, which can contribute in making the room feel smaller.

The Solution

Hang curtains close to the ceiling and ensure they touch the floor. This trick creates a sense of height and space. Opt for light, airy fabrics that will allow more natural light to enter the room.

9. Neglecting the Position of the Bed

The bed is the focal point of any bedroom, and its position can greatly affect how spacious the room feels. Pushing the bed against a corner or crowding it with other furniture can make your space feel cramped.

The Solution

Position the bed with equal space on either side, leaving room to move around it. This placement will allow for a better flow and make the room appear larger.

10. Forgetting About Vertical Storage

If you store everything at ground level, this not only takes up valuable floor space but also makes the room appear cluttered.

The Solution

Use tall bookcases, wall-mounted shelves, or tall cabinets to draw the eye upward and make use of vertical space. This will free up floor space, making the room feel more open.

In Summary

Your bedroom should be a comfortable haven, not a cluttered mess. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can transform a cramped spare room into a spacious retreat.