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Tips to Make Your Small Bedroom Look Bigger

Newer houses have never been bigger so why do some bedrooms look so small? The average Canadian house, built in the mid-seventies, was a paltry1050 square feet compared to almost 1800 square feet in 2017. Canada takes the second spot globally with 618 square feet of living space per person per household, eclipsed only by the USA. In fact, North Americans enjoy 36% more living space per person than those living in Europe and significantly more than those living in Asia, Africa, and South America. As these homes have gotten bigger there has also been an increase in what are considered essentials, like closets, additional bathrooms, and home offices, all vying for precious square footage leaving some second and third bedrooms feeling overlooked and cramped. If your condo or home has a bedroom on the smaller side there are a number of strategies that we can use to make that tiny bedroom the guest suite or home office of your dreams. Here are some tried and true, very small bedroom ideas that can really open up a space.


Obviously, the addition of a coat of paint is not going to actually increase your space but the impression that a paint change can elicit is staggering. It is well known in design circles that lighter paint colours are more reflective and make small bedrooms look bigger. The best colours to achieve this effect are soft tones, like off-white, blues and greens; these lighter colours all help to make the room appear more expansive. Painting an accent wall a complimenting colour can add to the decor without being too overpowering. Painting your wall trim and mouldings in a lighter colour than your walls can make the walls appear farther back, creating the illusion of additional space. Colour is the most important consideration when trying to make small bedrooms look bigger without the light airy backdrop of light colours all other attempts to create this open effect will fall short. The great news is your bedroom will take very little paint to transform so it won't cost much to get a couple coats on the walls and maybe there will be room in the budget for a little experimentation.


Nothing will make a room feel more claustrophobic than walls adorned with numerous paintings, surfaces covered with knick-knacks, and every square inch of floor space filled with accent tables and clutter. Minimalism is the key to small spaces. Get rid of all surface clutter that goes for your walls as well, one large painting will feel less obstructive as numerous small paintings clustered on every available wall space. Arrange a small bedroom with only the essential pieces of furniture that the use of the room requires, all other items should be stored away and brought out when needed. Area rugs can be cozy but the same rules that apply to the walls go double for your floors. Get rid of area rugs and consider floating end tables or glass-topped furniture pieces that contribute to keeping the most amount of the floor free and clear, and visible. A space that is kept clean and well organized with a few pieces of well-chosen furniture can go a long way to uncramp that spare room and get the most utility out of the additional space. Arrange a small bedroom with a minimalist mindset.


Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the smallest of them all? Not your small bedroom. If you use mirrors you will make your very small bedroom appear to expand in size and give the illusion of more space. A mirror angled towards a focal point will elongate the gaze and give the illusion of depth.  Mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light, a well-placed mirror can amplify the light, both day and night, to increase the brightness of the room which will give the impression of a larger space. Mirrored closet and cabinet doors can be used to create a more expansive feel. The single best use of a mirror is when it can reflect an outdoor scene, this will create the greatest illusion of increased square footage. Be careful not to create a house of mirrors and always err on the side of less is more.

The trend towards smaller living spaces will only increase as families get smaller, land gets more expensive, and the cost of construction skyrockets. The increase in condo ownership brings with it smaller square footage which results in smaller rooms and many people are pioneering whole new models for living like tiny homes, vans, and boats. Some are downsizing for economic reasons, however, many people are choosing to live in smaller spaces to decrease their environmental impact as larger properties cost more to construct but also cost more to light and heat. These increased costs are not just financial but have a very real impact on the overall health of the planet. Whether you adopt a clean minimalist space or choose bright reflective colours to achieve your design goals, learning to arrange a small bedroom that feels unconfined will be a skill frequently required. These very small bedroom ideas can be utilized individually or used in conjunction to really create a one-of-a-kind small space that feels bright, open, and is a joy to spend time in.


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