A small bedroom can be really hard to decorate, many times because you don’t know where to first put your furniture. This is why space planning is so important. When starting ANY decorating project, it’s extremely important to take measurements of the space first, so you can efficiently space plan. One of my most popular posts to date is all about how to measure spaces. In the post, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to easily take measurements.

So, after I measure a space, the space planning begins. I’m going to walk you through the space planning of a small bedroom project I worked on in the past. If you want to see the mock design board I created for this space plan, click here.

Here are before photos:

space planning a small bedroom

As you can see, this is a VERY small bedroom. There’s not a lot of space for any other furniture besides the bed and a dresser. Right now, there’s a Queen bed with headboard, a painted dresser, and a small chest of drawers that match the headboard. We could save so much space by switching to a Full bed, but for my client, a Queen bed is necessary.

The current headboard is at least 10″ deep, taking up valuable space in the room, so I suggested that we get another. My client is open to changing out all the furniture, but prefers a dresser over a chest of drawers. She’s also hoping for a mirror and a chair.

So, I took my measurements and came up with four different ways I could make this space work.

Original layout:

space planning a small bedroom
With the current layout, the space isn’t maximized well. There’s space between the bed and window that isn’t being used and the right side of the right set of drawers are hard to get into.

Below are four different options (I sometimes call them furniture plans) that I came up with:

Space Plan Option 1:

space planning a small bedroom

  • Bed in the corner. Can’t access both sides.
  • Not much room for a chair.
  • Dresser drawers still have little clearance. Still hard to access clothing.
  • Bottom right corner isn’t very easy to get to.
  • Can’t hang a mirror in front of the dresser (unless you want it in front of the window).

This option could work. I kept the bed in the same location, just removed the headboard, which frees up the space between the window and bed. This option lets me center the dresser on the window. There is over one foot of clearance between the dresser and bed to open up the drawers.

If you notice, in this option I’ve added a small, round bedside table so that a lamp could be placed on top. It’s close to the door, but there is still enough room to open the door all the way.

Space Plan Option 2:

space planning a small bedroom

  • Not much room for a chair.
  • Bed in the corner.

In this layout, I’ve rotated the bed along the same two walls that they were on before. This option provides a lot more clearance between the bed and dresser.

Again, the dresser is centered at the window, giving much needed space in front of the closet to access clothes. In this layout, a bedside table is able to perfectly fit next to the bed. Notice I used a small round one, but you can also go with a larger nightstand with drawers (or shelves) for extra storage.

If I would take the dresser off center and push it closer to the wall by the table, we could fit a small chair by the closet.

Space Plan Option 3:

space planning a small bedroom

  • No space for chair.
  • Bed in front of the window.
  • No open space. Room may feel a bit stuffy.
  • Still not a lot of clearance for dresser drawers.

This option is very different from the first two. The bed is now centered at the window, facing you as you walk in the door. The bed can now be accessed from both sides. It’s not a lot of walk-through space, though, and would probably be a hassle getting to the other side.

Having the dresser on this wall, opposed to in front of the window, gives us wall space to hang a mirror, and/or shelving for more storage. We couldn’t do this above the dresser in either of the other two layouts.

Space Plan Option 4

space planning a small bedroom

  • Not enough clearance around furniture.
  • Can’t fit in a chair.

This layout is actually my favorite. The bed is on the wall opposite the closet. A bedside table can fit on the side of the bed by the window, and the dresser can still fit on the wall opposite the window. Floating shelves and a mirror can be added above the dresser, to complete a beautiful vignette for getting pretty (or handsome) in the morning.

Space Planning Tips for Small Bedrooms:

  • After taking measurements of your space and furniture, make note of existing furniture that will stay and additional furniture that needs to be added.
  • Brainstorm and sketch different layouts of furniture and keep in mind that many pieces come in different sizes, i.e.: desks, tables, ottomans, beds.
  • Allow for at least a bed, dresser (or chest of drawers), chair, and set of bedside tables to provide major functions of a bedroom.
  • Think of unconventional places to place furniture to maximize space. For example, if you need to fit a desk in the bedroom, but the space is tiny, try placing your desk next to your bed and having it work double duty as your bedside table.
  • Furniture must have ample clearance between it and other furniture, walls, windows, and doors. Find what’s comfortable to you, but you don’t want drawers bumping into other furniture when opened.
  • Doors should be able to open all the way, and not be constricted by furniture or other items in a room.
  • For maximum comfortability, you should allow for, at minimum, 12″ on the least used side of a bed, and at least 22″ on the other side.
  • 22″ is a good clearance for major circulation path (ex: from room door to bed).

I hope getting a peek into my space planning thinking process helps you out with your own small bedroom. If you need help with space planning a troublesome room, visit my services page. Sign up for my newsletter for updates on new blog posts.

This project was my space planning package, so I didn’t do any actual decorating for this client, only the 4 space planning options you saw in this post. Click here to see a mock design board for this room.

What layout would you choose for this space? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment below!