Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Room Reveal Part 2: Tips for Small Bedrooms

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If you missed out on yesterday’s post, I wrote about painting the new striped walls in Ryan’s little box room. Today I am doing the second part of the bedroom reveal and focusing more on how we tackled the storage aspect of decorating his room. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my home, my littlest boy’s bedroom is so very, very small – approximately 8ft by 8ft - that it is hard to make it feel like a lovely bedroom rather than a cupboard with a bed in it. Re-decorating it took careful planning.

Creating a Focal Point

The first decision I made about decorating it was what to do with the walls. The smaller the room, the harder I think it is to create any visual interest because the more you add to the room the greater the risk of it just coming off as cluttered. So I decided to forgo bright colours, fuss and pictures and paint simple horizontal blue stripes. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but for me it creates a little wow factor and makes the space feel more fun.

Since the walls are a focal point in themselves, I didn’t want to overdo it by adding lots of pictures as well (in direct contrast to the rest of my home where I hate blank walls!) Where I had things I wanted to hang I’ve hung them from a hook on the door instead.

Storage for Small Bedrooms

The  biggest challenge with decorating a box room is balancing storage with space, and I’m really happy with how this room has worked out for us (I’m not sure if I’ve conveyed the feeling of space in the photos, but in real life the room is great!) The most important part of this was finding the right bed. I had three criteria:

·         Excellent storage
·         Does not block light from the window
·         Not too high

And maybe my American readership has a wealth of choice when choosing cabin beds but in the UK the options were limited and I had to discount every cabin bed from the major retailers for one reason or another. But then I discovered the Children’s Bed Centre who will make cabin beds to order and we opted for this bed:

It is absolutely ideal for our needs (for any fellow UK residents looking for kid’s furniture, I would really recommend the Children’sBed Centre, our experience with the quality and customer service was very positive!). We chose four drawers so that there is plenty of space for tops, underwear and pyjamas:

In the right hand cupboard we decided that we would leave out a shelf and, after the bed arrived, handy hubby fitted a rail to convert the cupboard into a mini wardrobe. A little unconventional perhaps, but for us it is the ideal solution to get us through the next few years.

Another option we went with was the addition of a pull out desk. This means that when Ryan is older he can retreat to his bedroom to do homework if he wishes, but in the meantime it functions as a sidetable.

In case you are wondering what is in the left hand cupboard, we now have so much storage that it isn’t really needed at present. It currently homes the hand me down clothes.

You can read more about my hand me down organisation here.

I didn’t want the cabin bed to be the sole thing in the room so I also brought in the bookcase that used to be in his brother’s room. It creates a bit of extra storage for books and means Ryan can make himself feel more at home by putting out some of his favourite toys. I deliberately picked the size of bed so that the bookcase and bed could go against one wall, to leave the other side of the room free and spacious.

Finishing Touches

There’s a lot of things you take for granted in larger bedrooms, like being able to switch on a bedside lamp to read in bed without needing to get up. Without a proper sidetable a bedside lamp was out of the question and I didn’t want anything too obtrusive on the wall. So, since it is a kid’s room, we put up a battery operated Lego light. There are no unsightly wires and it is easy for a 4 year old to turn on and off!

Ryan chose a glow in the dark space themed duvet cover for his new room so I looked for finishing touches that would compliment this without being too overpowering. So I added this glow in the dark starry lightswitch cover and glow stars on his ceiling.

His blinds, conveniently, coordinate very nicely with the new duvet cover so we didn’t change that. Blinds are great for small bedrooms because they are sleeker and neater than fussy curtains.

That concludes the bedroom reveal! I hope that fellow parents who are having trouble decorating a tiny kid’s room have picked up some useful ideas.

Anyone who is wondering how I’m getting on with decorating the other bedroom, I am still planning on doing the big reveal before the end of November. Fingers crossed!


  1. WOW!! I love those striped walls, the look beautiful! Visiting from Not Just a Housewife

  2. I LOVE the bed! What a fantastic solution in the search for great storage in a tiny room!

  3. Great bed! All that built-in storage, just perfect for a smaller room. I bet your son enjoys sleeping high up, too!

  4. What a great bed. Excellent use of space there, good job!

  5. what a CUTE room!! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing at Happy Hour!
    Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

  6. It looks GREAT! I love the stripes (even my 'grown up' haha foyer has stripes: http://www.adasinteriordesign.com/mm-stripedfoyer). I especially love the pull out desk/side table, and the lego light is ADORABLE!

  7. Well done! I'm going to have to look into the lego light I think... My eldest would love it! (he has a version of a cabin bed too).

    1. Thanks! I accidently deleted your other comment on the striped wall post - so sorry! To answer your question, no we did't wash the walls with sugar water first. I think it's mostly used over emulsion and our walls are newly plastered.

  8. I've never heard of a cabin bed! Very cool idea!

    Thanks for partying with us at Keep Calm & Link Up last week! Our party is starting a tad later this Thursday evening at 9 PM EST! Come join us when you get a chance sometime this weekend...can't wait to see what you've been working on!
    xo, Meredith @ www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

  9. Impressive, very impressive indeed. I really liked what you've done with the room. It looks very neat, tidy and clean. Good job and good blog post. I like your recommendations for storage in small bedroom.

  10. We love seeing how customers have designed their children's rooms and this one looks fab Angela - what a lucky little boy you have. (And the bed looks pretty great too!) ;)
    Childrens Bed Centres


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