Dedicated: Thinking Big and Sleeping Small: Design Tips for Tiny Bedrooms

Some houses and apartments — particularly the older, more charming ones — have fabulous dining rooms and spacious living rooms, but they lack adequate volume where many people need it most: the bedrooms. Whether your family has outgrown your house’s number of rooms or space is at a premium in your studio apartment, here are several ways you can cleverly economize your sleeping area without compromising on necessities.

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1. Murphy Bed

Imagine walking into a bedroom and not seeing a bed at all. There’s a closet, a massive armoire, end tables, and décor, but the floor is virtually empty, and there is so much room for activities! This is exactly the bedroom you can expect when you own a Murphy bed. These clever contraptions fold neatly vertical and are usually disguised as another piece of furniture, like an armoire or dresser, but some engineers can build them right into the wall.

The Murphy bed undoubtedly is one of the best solutions for more space in tiny bedrooms, but they can run rather expensive. Before emptying your savings account on this wonder of engineering, consider these other space-saving solutions.

2. Adjustable Mattress for Two

Disparities in sleep patterns are some of the most widespread problems among married and cohabiting couples. In fact, sleeping is such an issue for some partners that more than 12 percent of married individuals sleep alone. Truly, separate beds does resolve most arguments about sleep, like preferred mattress softness or blanket hogging.

Yet, for couples living in small spaces, squeezing another bed into the room creates more problems than it solves. Fortunately, there is a better way: Instead of dividing to conquer the sleep situation, you can simply invest in a better mattress that accommodates both partners’ sleeping styles. These adjustable mattresses can be programmed to each sleeper’s ideal specifications. Sleep Number is the most popular brand for these mattresses, but Personal Comfort is more affordable than Sleep Number, so you can save money as well as space by buying off-brand.

3. Trundle Bed

Trundles are beds that collapse and roll under other pieces of furniture, like couches and other beds, to be pulled out when they are needed for use. For the most part, trundle beds aren’t feasible as everyday sleeping solutions: The need to make them before disassembling and stashing them usually dissuades people from completing the process. However, those who regularly enjoy overnight company should find having a spare bed nearby but out of sight amply convenient.

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Traditional trundle beds are built on metal frames and wheeled out from their storage space, but these unsightly beds aren’t your only option. Trundles can be exceedingly stylish and even more functional with a bit of forethought and an excellent engineer.

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4. Bunk Beds

Though bunk beds aren’t exactly most couples’ first choice for romantic bedding, kids love nothing more than climbing into bed with a sibling or friend just overhead or below. This is why so many growing families turn to bunk beds as the ultimate solution for fitting several sleepers in a small space: Stacked beds economize vertical space while allowing a separate and distinct sleeping area for every child. Though kids may share the room, each one has a unique bed to call his or her own. Plus, kids’ generally don’t mind the extra few square feet of play area, either.

5. Vertical Storage

Speaking of economizing vertical space — beds aren’t the only items of furniture that can be stacked overhead. By using shelves, cabinets, wall- or ceiling-mounted lights, and more, you can expose a bunch of floor space for strictly landlocked pursuits, like chairs, desks, couches, and more. Consider the following options for taking full advantage of your vertical space:

  • Stackable and nesting furniture. We discussed bunk beds, but other bulky items come in stackable options as well, like stacking washer-dryers and nesting tables.
  • Freestanding shelves. Some shelving units can even collapse when not in use, allowing you to expand your space as needed.
  • Modular storage. Closets, garages, mud rooms, and more can contribute to space saving in the whole house with small modules of storage built in.
  • Vertical green space. If you suffer from a lack of outdoor space as well as indoor square footage, you can still enjoy a green space by planting a vertical garden using trellises or stacked pots.

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.