How to decorate a small bedroom

Guide for a small kids' room

A small children’s room can be a big challenge, which takes planning to solve. But if you use the right solutions, it is far from impossible. We have gathered a bunch of advice you can consider, if you have the challenge of decorating and furnishing a children’s room with a limited amount of square meters.

Storage in a small kids' room

Storage for toys, books, clothes etc. is essential in any kids' room. Clutter can be overwhelming, especially in a small room, because it takes up whatever leftover space there might be. This is why spending time planning and considering storage solutions is time well spend.

If your child has a high bed, the space underneath the bed is valuable and can help you find those extra square meters. Underneath a high bed, you can place a dresser or a stack of boxes with toys. If the bed is closer to the floor, bed rollers or drawers under the bed would be the obvious choice.
Tall bookcases and shelves can utilize the height of the room. They are great, if the room has more vertical square meters than horizontal. Make sure to use all the space - whether vertically or horizontally.

Creating a system for your storage can also be helpful. To get the most out of your storage solutions it can be a good idea to sort items in smaller storage units, such as boxes and similar. By color coding boxes you can make it easier to maintain a good overview while making it easier for your child to find the right box of toys. Finally, smaller boxes may help you get rid of clutter, because your child will know where everything belongs.

Does he play with trains and race tracks? Then I would never invest in closets and boxes for small things. Then I would choose big, wide boxes with wheels that can be moved around and contain all the huge parts for the train tracks" - Sine Grenna, mother of 2, interior designer


Big furniture

Do you have to avoid large furniture in small rooms, or is it actually possible to utilize their size? This age old discussion has no clear winner, as there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides.

Large furniture might seem more dominating in a small room. It can take up a lot of the already sparse floor space. However, large furniture can have serve as multifunctional furniture and add loads of storage space to the room.

A big wardrobe is great for storing clothes with both shelf space and options for hanging the clothes. By decorating the furniture they can also become part of play time. For instance, by creating a dress up- area in the lower part of a wardrobe while storing larger or rarely used items at the top. Large furniture can also be placed differently in the room and help you create ‘a room in the room’ where you can have small caves or cozy reading nooks for your child to explore.  

"Don’t be too scared of large furniture in small rooms. It is actually possible to create rooms within the rooms if you place the furniture a little differently" - Sine Grenaa, mother of 2, interior designer

Small furniture

Small furniture can be a great solution too, because they take up less (floor) space and help you optimize what really matters: Room for fun and adventures.

One of the large and basically impossible pieces of furniture to leave out is the bed. Looking into solutions that help you optimize floor space is therefore worth your while. Most children's beds are available in different sizes and heights. A bed with a smaller mattress size will take up less floor space, while a higher bed will help you utilize the space underneath.

A bunk bed provides two beds in the same space as one, and the lower bunk can be used as play area and guest bed. The higher beds are often available with a smaller mattress size as well, giving you both benefits at once.

Before you decide on small or large furniture, it is important to consider what kind of activities your child enjoys. If you have a bookworm, perhaps consider the large furniture and create small, cozy nooks. If your child loves to play with building blocks or train tracks, perhaps it’s a good idea to focus on getting as much floor space as possible.

Use the height of the room

Especially in small rooms, it is easier to find additional space in the topmost part of the room than in the lower one. You should include this space in the furnishing to use the entirety of the room, which is important when space is an issue. Shelves and hanging bookcases are ideal for storage in the heights. The top of a tall closet can also be used for storing things you don’t use that often.

The key to creating room and space is getting floor space. So get everything up on the walls. Get some shelves on those walls and get the mess off the floor” - Annemette Voss, mother of 3, architect

At the same time, high beds are great solutions for using the overlooked space. They stand tall and create room underneath, which can easily be made into hideouts, storage space, floor space. You can also add a desk under the bed if your child needs that.

Quality over Quantity

If you furnish with multifunctional furniture, you get more functions in less space. There are a number of ways to do it. For instance it can be a bed that is also a sofa and a playground, or a bed which also has storage space. If you decide to build something yourselves, you might be able to create more functions in less space as well. It can be a staircase to the bed made from book cases, a bed placed on top of two dressers or something else entirely. Let your imagination run wild!

However we will strongly encourage you to consider the safety of your child when both building furniture yourself and in general.

Decorate according to your child's needs

No matter the size, the children’s room should be furnished so it fits your child. A desk is no good if your child would rather play on the tablet or run around the house dressed as a princess. Nobody knows your child like you - and your child of course, and you both know which toy is the favorite and how the time is best spent.

Especially in small children’s rooms, you can’t just use whichever piece of furniture you want, if it's not going to be used. You have to be economical about the space and settle for only the things that bring joy to your child.

Decorating a kids' room with slanted walls

Slanted walls can often feel like a big challenge. Perhaps especially in a small room, because it makes it difficult to fully utilize the space. Slanted walls can, however, prove to be a blessing in disguise, because slanted walls can help you create a cozy atmosphere in the room.

One of the most popular solutions when dealing with a slanted wall is to place the bed under it, because your child will be lying down anyway. This is a great solution in narrow rooms where the bed will take up most of the width of the room. Utilize the space between the bed and the slanted wall for storage – i.e. a built in closet – or a reading nook.

Another solution is to place large furniture under the slanted walls. Besides creating an illusion of straight walls it also creates a “secret” space behind the furniture. By decorating with fairy lights, blankets and pillows you will create a magical and fun room for your child.

Built-in storage for clothes and toys is also a great solution. Storage usually takes up most of the space in a room with slanted walls because the tall furniture often has to be placed against a straight wall. The advantage of built-in storage solutions is that you can utilize the odd-and-difficult-to-use space underneath the slanted walls and leave room for shelves, decoration and floor space.

Top 5 advice for decorating a small kids' room

  1. Use multifunctional furniture. It saves a lot of space because you get more functions out of them.

  2. Spend time finding the right storage solutions. Mess in a small room can make it seem even smaller.

  3. Use the height of the room for storage or high beds to create more floor space to play on.

  4. Paint the walls of the room in light colors that can open up a small room.

  5. Furnish and decorate the room so it fits YOUR child, and get rid of everything your child won’t use.

How to add color to the kids' room

Most children love color. Since the room will mainly be used by your child, it might be tempting to paint the walls in your child’s favorite color. There are arguments both for and against painting the walls. Some argue that painting the walls will make the room feel smaller or darker and that it might clash with the colorful toys. Others believe that walls with color create a happy and fun room.

An alternative to painting the room is to use wall stickers and colorful posters or pictures – or paint only a single wall. Another alternative to painting the walls can be to furnish it with colorful furniture.

By choosing neutral colors for furniture and walls, you can also use multiple colors for accessories and decorations. Choose the solution or combination best fit for you, but make sure to maintain a balance between serenity and color.