When I decided to write this article I started asking friends what they’d want to change or improve about their own bedrooms. I asked them to create a wish list of 3 things.
As I expected, it seems we’d all like a little more room in our bedrooms. Both storage and lighting effect the feeling of how much actual room (i.e space to move) we have, so it makes sense that these answers were all topping the list.
The most popular response was storage space. Other popular answers included more space in general and more light, different colour schemes and new wallpaper and fabrics and so on.
We’ll look at the main concern first – not having enough space.
So, how can we increase the feeling of space? Thankfully there are many ways.
Let’s start with the basics; first of all, make space. Yes, make it. If there are things in your bedroom that don’t need to be there, move them somewhere else and voila, you have more space in your bedroom. Now, I know you might be thinking that once you move this unwanted stuff out of your bedroom, it’s just cluttering up a different room. And yes, unless you move it out of the house altogether then this is true. However, we’re dealing with the bedroom here. I’ll save my thoughts on the whole home organisation for a later, more detailed article. For now, back to the bedroom.
Once you’ve moved some bits and pieces out it’s time to look at the floor. The physical foot print of our furniture cannot be altered unless of course, we change our furniture. But simple things like tidying up wires, moving yesterday’s shoes to the cupboard instead of next to the bed, tucking the bin or laundry basket out of sight and anything to free up extra floor space will trick the eye into thinking the room is bigger.
Next, let’s consider our surface area. In the bedroom, our main surfaces are perhaps the dressing table, the chest of drawers, bedside tables and shelving. If during the “making space” stage, you moved items out of drawers or cupboards, you may find that you now have freed up space to keep some items that are currently displayed on your surfaces. When styling a bedroom in interior design and deciding what to have on display it is good to ask “is this beautiful or useful?”. If it is neither, then perhaps put it away in a drawer or move it to another room.
Having generous amounts of surface area available has a big impact on how the eye travels around the room and how the brain reacts to space. For example, walk in a terribly messy room for the first time and you’ll likely stop in your tracks and gasp. Walk into a neat and tidy room that’s been well designed, you’ll say “oooh” and walk though it calmly, running your hand along the surfaces and feeling the textures. So when it comes to surfaces, pick your most used and most beautiful items.
Now, onto perhaps the biggest piece of furniture in most bedrooms, the bed. I cannot stress enough how impactful our bedding can be when it comes to changing the look of our bedroom; Specifically creating the feeling of having more space. If you want to make your bedroom look bigger, then you need to get white bedding. Alternatives to white include Cream, Taupe, a soft blush pink, a soft powder blue, a light ashy grey, a light golden sand. Keep it light and keep it neutral and you cannot go wrong.
A big expanse of a light colour makes a room look so much more spacious. White or another neutral colour for your bedding is easy to live with and won’t go out of style. It’s also a quick and economic way to make a big change to your bedroom.
As I mentioned at the start of the article, the light we experience in a room has a lot to do with the feeling of space. The most practical and perhaps obvious way to improve light is to have as little obstruction of the natural light coming into a room as possible. I like to keep furniture away from windows and when possible I try to keep it away from below the window also. Partly for common sense for easy access to open curtains and windows, but also to allow the light to pour in without immediate disruption from furniture. Interestingly, I heard recently that having clean glass in the window frames can allow up to 40% more light into your room, I suppose depending on how grubby they were in the first place.
Once you’ve done all you can to improve the natural light we can consider the light fittings and lamps in your bedroom.
If you have a one bulb ceiling pendant, why not have a 3 bulb light installed? Perhaps with a dimmer switch. Or wall lights above the bed. Two lamps on bedside tables either side of the bed always look elegant and the symmetry of light is aesthetically pleasing.
Of course, there is a lot more to consider but I hope reading about common improvements on the bedroom wish list will help you create your ideal bedroom.