Our bedroom is small. Our closet is small. Our 100 year-old house has very little storage. How do we handle it? We get creative with dual function furniture. Here’s what we’re using to make this small bedroom function like a big room.
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If you missed the last four weeks of the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge, I encourage you to go back and read about how we built this entire space from scratch after our house was hit by a tornado (here), how we settled on a really crisp color palette based in neutrals (here), how we’re planning to make this bedroom and bathroom very fun (here), and how we turned a small closet into a storage workhorse using custom shelving and furniture (here). Or you can click any of the images below to get caught up:
When I left you last week, I showed you how we added a couple small dressers inside the closet to create additional folded clothes storage. That’s my first tip for small bedrooms with limited floorspace for storage:
SMALL BEDROOM STORAGE TIP 1: Add a small dresser in the closet
When your bedroom can’t accommodate additional furniture, check to see if your closet floor is wide and deep enough to house a small dresser for folded clothing. Most closets – even reach-in closets – have enough width and depth to accommodate for a small dresser that can provide optimal storage for cotton clothes.
Since most of our clothes are more casual (jeans, tee shirts, leggings), I would prefer to fold them into drawers instead of hanging them. That frees up space on the closet rod so only our nicest clothing items (blazers, dresses, trousers) can hang more loosely. The more space you free on your closet rod, the less likely you’ll have to iron your blouses and trousers every time you wear them.
In the other side of our odd little closet, I added an additional small dresser to accommodate casual shoe storage:
We have a lot of shoes but not all of them are nice or big enough to warrant being placed on display on the shelves. This little dresser gives me just the right amount of space to store clogs, sandals, and our extensive Chuck Taylor collection within the drawers. (yes, I said “our” because we are lucky enough to wear the same shoe size which means what’s her’s is mine)
Here’s a peek inside the small shoe dresser:
These are my everyday, workhorse shoes. They’re not the ones I would probably wear to take cute photos. But they are my favorites. While I don’t necessarily want to display them, I do need a place to store them. This suits the purpose just fine.
I added a sachet of dried lavender to the drawers to keep them smelling fresh.
While the specific dresser you use will depend on the amount of space you have, here are three that have a low profile to allow for tucking in under hanging clothes (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
SMALL BEDROOM STORAGE TIP 2: Use space-saving clothes hangers
I also use velvet hangers instead of wood or plastic to hang my clothing. These hangers grip delicate fabrics more easily so they don’t continuously slide off when I’m rummaging for my favorite top. Velvet hangers also provide the added bonus of taking up less space, width-wise, so you can more easily fit more clothing on the rod.
There are a lot of different space-saving clothes hanger styles and colors to choose from but here are my favorites (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
SMALL BEDROOM STORAGE TIP 3: Make your bed perform double duties
Every bedroom requires a bed. It’s a giant piece of furniture that you must own in order to sleep at night. So if you have to have it, why not make it work harder?!
Literally, use the empty space under your bed for storage! I’ve been employing this trick my entire life in some capacity. The space under your bed is the perfect spot for spare linens or seasonal clothing that you don’t need to access frequently.
Originally, as a young adult, I used under-bed storage bins on wheels to house all of my winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter. There are tons of options for gliding storage bins. Some are plastic and heavier duty. Some are fabric and help protect clothes from moths. Here are my favorite inexpensive under bed storage items you can buy right off the shelf (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
Bins are an excellent option for under the bed storage but this year, we got an upgrade to the hack. WE BOUGHT A BED WITH BUILT-IN STORAGE DRAWERS!! Can you tell I’m excited?!
When I originally began researching beds with built-in storage, I kept finding beds for kids. Which is fine if you’re a kid. We are full adult women with Perimenopause on the horizon and I already have to sleep with a fan and throw a leg out the comforter to stay cool at night. If my wife literally even breathes near me while I’m trying to sleep, I would rather sleep on the floor.
All of that is to say: I need a king sized bed. I cannot fathom sleeping in a queen or full at this stage in my life. But, you know, you do you.
It took a long time to find a good storage bed that wasn’t made in a smaller size but I finally did it and then I found a bunch of them! Here’s the one we have (note that it sells out really quickly from every retailer and this is the only place I could find it at the moment):
We bought the bed in the linen color because that’s what was in stock at the time but we’re planning an update to the headboard which you’ve likely already snuck a little peek at in the first photo of this post.
Here’s the storage under our bed. Yes, I have a child’s winter hat. You can decide if it’s mine or my kid’s:
I like upholstered beds for adult bedrooms but I’m actually looking at other options for the guest room and I chose a painted wood trundle bed that can be converted to a storage bed for our daughter’s bedroom.
Here are more storage bed options, depending on the look you want (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
SMALL BEDROOM STORAGE TIP 4: Use vertical storage options
Since our bed is wide but our bedroom is not, we had to get creative with our bedside tables. We don’t have the space for big, bulky tables and even if we did, they would obstruct the access to the under-bed storage. So that wouldn’t be functional. How do I know? Experience:
But we do have about 20” on each side of the bed where we could have small tables. One option would be to use small, lightweight tables with no storage capacity. But I require a little bit of privacy in my bedside tables. Between the pill bottles, chapstick, water bottle, a little tray for my daily jewelry and hair ties, remotes for the fan, TV, and mattress (yes, we have a fancy Sleep Number mattress), my bedside table surface would get pretty cluttered without some capacity for concealed storage.
To the rescue? Floating bedside tables!
That’s an image from before they were installed. Notice something?
A STORAGE DRAWER!!!!!
Okay, so this floating bedside table has a drawer and it attaches directly to the wall via a French cleat hanger on the back and the company that makes them, Article, includes all the hardware and the anchors you need to install them.
Also in the package was a template for you to use in order to get your anchors in exactly the right spots.
I searched for so long to find a quality floating bedside table and these are real wood with a beautiful veneer (not a sticker). They’re stained black – not painted – so you get the texture of the wood shining through. I love them so much!
Here’s how they look installed on the wall:
They’re very simple pieces of furniture which is exactly what I wanted. You can also see how they blend right into the wall. In order to make this bedroom feel bigger, I’ve chosen many black pieces of furniture to allow the eye to continue around the room with fewer visual obstructions.
As you can see, I’ve also installed two sconces on either side of the bed and I’ll be detailing more about how I am going to hide all these cords in a couple weeks when we discuss lighting and decor.
For now, here’s how the bed area looks with the new bedside tables:
Because this bedroom is narrow, rather than wide, a simple bench is the perfect addition to the foot of the bed. And because I believe every room deserves at least one iconic splurge, I opted to finally buy my dream bench: A George Nelson Slatted Wood Bench.
This bench is a real splurge at around $1500 but there are a ton of less expensive options available in a few different color options. Here are the best knock-offs I’ve seen (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
SMALL BEDROOM STORAGE TIP 5: Shop kid’s furniture
I know I just railed on how I don’t want a kid’s bed BUT hear me out. On the wall opposite our bed, we have a small amount of space to place a dresser. The depth is perfect for a standard dresser but the width between the bathroom door and the inswing of the bedroom entry door is tight.
One option would be to go vertical again by purchasing a tallboy dresser. Highboy dressers are generally taller and more narrow than a standard dresser. They usually feature four to six drawers that are stacked vertically, rather than appearing in columns.
Here are some cute highboy dressers (click images to shop directly through the retailer using my affiliate links):
There are some really pretty highboy dresser options out there but, unfortunately, that wouldn’t have worked for us. We like a TV in the bedroom and with a highboy, the height above the dresser would have been too high to hang a television for comfortable viewing.
Luckily, kid’s furniture is often made smaller than standard adult furniture. Usually, that presents an annoyance for me in my design work but in this instance, it worked out great!
I love this small dresser because it’s a very dark grey which lends itself to blending into the black wall background but it also has a really fun modern wood leg detail that will draw from the additional wood elements we will be adding in the room before the end of the project.
Eventually, the TV will be mounted just above the dresser on the wall. This will clear up space for a bit of the decor on the dresser. I also love those cubby shelves. This will allow me to store books and decorative objects within the dresser to create a more polished look. For now, while I await bins for the closet, they’re mostly housing miscellaneous items I need to put away.
The depth of the dresser allows for space to walk through the bedroom to the bathroom. That’s important because remember our bathroom is the only one upstairs and functions as a family bathroom.
Before I show you one final image of the bedroom at this stage, I want to remind you that I’m completing this bedroom and bathroom in my personal home as part of the One Room Challenge. The One Room Challenge is a community event. That means there are a ton – literally hundreds – of other designers and home bloggers completing spaces in their homes alongside me.
Please go take a minute to look at their projects. I know there are a ton you’ll enjoy seeing. Click here to see them all.
I’ll be back next week with some additional updates to show you. Next week is all about TEXTILES! So make sure you check back because textiles for a bedroom and bathroom can make or break the space.
Lastly, here’s the entire source list and design plan for both rooms (affiliate links). The bathroom design has gotten a serious new look since last week:
See you next week! Until then, stay safe and sane.
DECORATING ON A BUDGET ISN’T ALWAYS EASY BUT I’M HERE TO HELP.
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