Small bedrooms?

whitemurOctober 9, 2006

How do I make them look bigger? I thought of using mirrored bifolds as closet doors and getting closet organizers so I can avoid having dressers. Any other ideas?

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Wall mounted t.v. (if you use a tv in the bedroom)? My future closets will have a lower rod and upper rod to get double the hanging clothes. The shelf above usually just gather junk in my house!. But I will have a small section for the long coats and dresses. I think wood floors give the illusion of space better than carpets and we will be putting wood floors in our master.
It's funny how on those shows where people are looking for a house to buy (like House Hunters) they always comment on how small the bedrooms are. They usually look a good size to me and I wonder what the heck they plan on doing in those bedrooms that takes up so much room. Trapeze maybe? I spend about 15 waking minutes a day in my bedroom so small is fine with me!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 9:03AM
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emagineer with you on the amount of time spent in the bedroom. And those TV shows....not all the rooms are as big as seen. The wide angle cameras used make them appear larger. But agree with the amount of room one needs and was considered when moving to a smaller house.

Whitmore....I am not using the larger master for my main bedroom. Master is 2 ft longer but the windows and closet didn't allow me to arrange the room well. I am using a smaller bedroom which has a full window across one end and it feels more open.

Got rid of the TV, never used it. My sleep is far better with minimal and cozey. Also figured my laptop for any movies...if it really came to such in the bedroom.

Mirrored closet doors are fine, but am not a fan of them and never really felt they added a feeling of space. I put in closet doors which open out rather than sliders. The price was actually less than sliders and make the wall look larger. This actually gave me more closet room too as I can use the back of the doors for storage. My every day clothes are in this room, dress clothes in another bedroom closet.

I have my bed (queen) on a slight angle which makes the room feel larger also and chose not to have a foot board. Space behind the bed has a corner end table with a lamp if needed and have a half round end table next to bed with a wall lamp. The wall lamp opens up the table area. My dresser is high and wide, but works fine.

Love darker colors, the walls are tan and accessories dark with the exception of window coverings which match the walls. There is ceiling trim which I am considering painting the same as walls, think this will open the room up even more.

Am also considering some high shelves on one end of the room with various small trunks to hold little used items, shoes, etc.

Do a search on the decorating forums as there are a lot of storage ideas and some small room suggestions. Also IVillage has a lot of photos, ideas....and you'll get some good responses from our group.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small room decorating

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Our bedrooms are small so we are using light and windows to make them appear "spacier". There is a transom over the door to the hallway, the door to the master bath is glass letting in light from the two bathroom windows. There are four high windows above the bed and a double patio door to the deck. There's a master closet off the bath so only a bed and two night tables in the bedroom. Of course that is all on the plans, lets just hope the idea works. Tom

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 12:52PM
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Closet organizers are a great idea, because you can put shelves in that will hold sweaters, etc, eliminating the need for a large dresser. Also, just read in a cottage magazine, about making small rooms appear larger. White walls will and light carpet will always make the room appear larger. By the same token, those trendy 'art deco' melons and lime green walls, set off by all white bedding, has the same effect.

You could also replace the bed with a day bed, but I am not sure myself I would want that unless the room is for a guest. I have a waterbed headboard propt up, behind my regular mattress as a headboard, because it has shelves with small doors at both sides and room for my photos and other displays.

Utilize the bottom of your bed as well, with storage boxes that slide under the bed.

Mango Princess

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 1:08PM
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Thanks, everyone! These are great suggestions. I should have mentioned that the rooms are for my kids who are 6 and 4. They currently share a large bedroom. We can't afford and addition, so we'll need to split the room. My 6 year old is a boy and he's nearing the age where he'll want more privacy.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 3:21PM
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Is your husband handY? I always wanted the kids to have platform beds with space under to play with storage. They are easily built and wouldn't require more than one mattress. You could also add a dummy wall attached between the two beds. Your little ones are small issue for high beds.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 4:26PM
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My two kids bedrooms are about 8x10 each, 7 and 4 years old. Both have twin platform beds without head or footboards. They do not have night stands. The reading light is mounted on the wall. The beds have drawers under the platform. The closets have relatively expensive and flexible organizing system that has shelves, drawers, double hangers etc. It's more than enough to store their stuff. I also do not allow them to keep alot of junk. Clothes/shoes are weeded regularly and cast off.

The older one has a small desk in his room but not necessary since he only uses it to pile his junk. He also has wall sheves above bed to store his "prized posessions".

My kids do not have toys in their rooms. They have a play room where they keep all their toys. It keeps their rooms neater and organized! They are little, so books are still stored in one of the selves in the closet. When they are older, I will hang book shelves on the wall, but not on the floor.

If you have a small room, the goal is to minimize putting furniture on the floor. if you can, mount them on the wall. This gives you an unbroken floor space leading to a feeling of a larger space.

By the way, I do not like mirrors in the bedrooms. It provokes a certain degree of psychological invasion for me! It also cries out that the space is small and that needed help!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 6:58PM
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White rooms don't necessarily make a room look bigger, they just make it look white. :-) Many color theorists and designers argue that darker colors actually make rooms look bigger because darker colors "recede"... like any controversy you can find someone to argue either way! It all depends on how YOU perceive color. I also don't fall for the "illusion" that mirrors make a room look bigger or brighter - I actually think they make the room look much more cluttered, because of all the "stuff" reflected in the mirror.

It also depends on how small you consider small. Our master bedroom is 12x12, which I now consider pretty spacious now that we removed a largish dresser and installed Closetmaid wire drawers in a closet (we have two ridiculously designed 24x36 closets in the master, they could have done a 7 1/2' long single closet in the same space) to serve as a dresser, but compared to the 16x20 and even larger bedrooms that folks over on Home Dec talk about, it's tiny. I find just having shelves in the closet gets super messy, which is why we went with the drawer setup. We had beautiful handprinted wallpaper borders installed at ceiling and chair-rail height and it does seem to lend a sense of horizontality to the room, which serves us a lot better than an attempt to visually raise the low ceiling. We do have a tv (a big 'un even, a 29" because I spend a lot of time abed due to illness), but it sits atop a small chest of drawers rather than a bulky entertainment center or armoire... I've had a wall-mount tv before and unless you can afford a plasma, I think they are just a bit too reminiscent of hospital rooms. I also save a lot of space in the house in general by using a laptop with a wireless internet hookup rather than a space-eating desktop.

One of the best furniture pieces for kids' rooms, IMO, is the mate's bed, the bed with the drawers underneath. One of the nicest ones I've seen also had the option of a desk or a dresser integrated into the footboard, although danged if I can remember where I saw it! They're pricey (although you may get some great ideas from them) but PBTeen has some fantastic storage-intensive beds like the Stuff-Your-Stuff collection, or PBKids' Devon storage bed and headboard set.

If ceilings are high, loft beds are great for the slightly older kids - I had one in second grade, since we lived in a trailer that had a bedroom that I swear could not have been any more than 7x7. They can be kind of a pain to make up though.

I do not agree with the suggestion of light carpet for little kids... a hard, easily cleanable floor with a washable area rug is a better idea, I think! Especially if they have any tendency toward allergies or asthma as it seems like more kids do than don't these days.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 8:45PM
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All the furniture in the room is no taller than my own waist, this is something designers did in the fifties to make modern open-concept homes even more expansive.
I tried five different colors in my small living room over the years and finally painted it an off white, and yes, it instantly grew about a foot in size.
Some other things I did:
Decorating on a theme and not varying from it: I picked golden brown as my central furniture color and everything else in the room has to be a soft natural color to harmonize with it, beige, gray, sage green, off-white, various browns, I have a couple turquoise ceramic tchotskies for a 'color' accent, and I can add small amounts of brighter colors that change with the seasons for variation. I've had for three years like this and still love it.
I keep the room as minimalist as possible without it seeming severe. Everything got put away in the beginning and I slowly added things back until there was just enough that the place seemed lived in, -then I stopped. Whenever I get a tchoskie, something else has to go to make room for it, period.
I have all the furniture in the room flat against the walls.

Also, if you have a small bedroom where you don't need a lot of privacy (like it's a craft room or something) consider removing the doors altogether, you can get more furniture in that way. If you don't like the open doorless look, try bead curtains or drapes.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:58PM
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IMHO I think that *color constrast* makes a room look larger. Right now my bedroom has the walls painted deep dark grey but I have light ash wood furniture and white drapes and a white down comforter. I tried the same furniture and accessories with light mint green walls and it seem to make the furniture seem bulky.

I have the bed on an angle. I think that having the bed up against the wall makes the room seem cramped and scrunched. Sure it gives a larger area of floor space that way, but the bed looks like it was shoved aside to 'make some room' when it is against the wall. You can also hide stuff in boxes and put them behind the headboard when the bed is at an angle. :)

Mirrors make things seem too "busy" in a bedroom and not relaxing and spacious. If you NEED a mirror in a bed room for dressing have one of those lightweight mirrors that can be installed on the inside of the closet door.

The mirrors that come with bedroom sets are often sold separately. I never purchased the mirrors with either of my bedroom sets, to the amazment of the sales clerks.

Keeping the room free of clutter and chtotskies will make the room seem larger. Use just a few larger accessories like a ceramic vase or art glass bowl and don't buy those dinky little dresser lamps. The lamp I have next to my bed is 26" tall and has three levels of light setting for reading or all room lighting.

Painting the woodwork white makes any room look larger. Everyone always says "Oooh, don't paint wood. Leave it natural." But most likely the woodwork won't be the same tone of your furniture and isn't going to match anyway, and too much wood in a room makes it look smaller.

Think *vertical*. Use lightwight draperies that come all the way down to the floor and hang them high on the wall not on the window frame. Cafe curtians in a bedroom look cheezey - even in childrens rooms.

Hang photos and/or artwork high and limit wall hanging to just a couple of things, or just one *grouping* of photos.

Keep the corners of the room empty. Resist the urge to fill in the corners with wicker baskets or tiny end tables.

Shiney wood floors or linoleum will make the room seem larger than wall to wall carpeting. You can add throw rugs or a larger accent rug to soften things.

Those bi-fold doors always seemd clunky to me. I've had apartments that had them and they were noisy and never slid smoothly. I think a curtain or sliding screen are easier to use and give a more spacious look. Doors that swing out that have glass inserts also make things seem more light and airy. I am currently trying to find the right size doors with glass, to replace closet doors in both my bedrooms.

Closet organizers are a great idea. It is amazing how much more space you will gain when everything is organized that way instead of just a pole and a shelf! Underbed storage boxes are great for out of season clothing. You can even get plastic ones on wheels and be used for more everyday stuff since they are so convienient to access.

High shelves with storage boxes can be both decorative and functional. A little step stool can be used to access.

If you are able to, try to keep all electronics out of the bed room. Bedrooms are for relaxing. Computers and televisions in a bedroom add clutter with all the cords and bulk. If you MUST have these things in a bedroom put them in a unit to hide them or get a screen divider to keep them out of sight.

Just my humble opinion of course.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 6:30AM
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Are you sure you actually want the room to "look bigger"? Since we're talking about appearance rather than actual size, it must already be big enough to do what you plan to do in there, leaving only the look as the issue to deal with... and so much of the home building & decorating business seems so fixated on making things bigger or just making them "look bigger" that I wonder if this is just a case of thinking it's automatic that of course things HAVE TO be made to look bigger or it's what you're SUPPOSED TO want to do. It seems to me to be basic human nature to actually be more comfortable sleeping in a smaller space, even if we'd prefer more open space while awake, and sometimes people just let themselves be talked out of what they'd really be happier with...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Yup, I want the rooms to look bigger. And no, it's not because of anything I've read in a magazine. The rooms will be approximately 12x10. I want my kids to feel like they have some space.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:32PM
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I agree with many of BUD WI's comments. In the small home I just remodeled, I painted the walls a deep muted "plum" color, and the ceiling and woodworks are a cream color semi-gloss. My furniture is ivory color French style, and my headboard is a wrought iron filigree. I don't like my bed at an angle(it's a queen size) but I have it about one foot from the far wall. For comfort and economics I installed a mossy green plush carpet and I do have sliding mirror closet doors, which I happen to like. But I do agree with not having dresser mirrors, and also it's better to have a few large artworks and lamp (not the little ones). Absolutely NO electronics or TV of any kind. My room is very beautiful and restful, and I just love it - it doesn't feel small at all!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 11:45AM
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On the closet door note, I was thinking about installing a pocket door - any one had any experience with these? Our br's closet is right behind the open door, so bi-fold doors are out even if I did like them. Means construction, but I'm game :)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 12:25AM
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If you have the space (you need twice the width of the actual doorway), I highly recommend pocket doors. I just installed one as a passage between my DR and my small kitchen. Any other type of door would have eaten valuable space, but I had a non-load bearing wall to work w/, so the pocket door was perfect. We bought a pocket door frame kit in adjustable widths and then removed the multiple layers of plaster/lathe/drywall on the kitchen side of the wall, carefully cut and reframed the area to fit the frame kit and then drywalled back over. Once it was all secure, I just cut through the other side w/ a reciprocating saw.

It was a fairly easy project that required a bit of patience as I didn't want to destroy the finish in the DR, but I'm very happy w/ the result.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 4:09PM
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What is a pocket door?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 9:55PM
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