In this post: When moving from a family home to a small apartment, these downsizing tips can help you keep a small bedroom light and bright.⇒
I never ever wear sunglasses.
Yep, it’s true. It’s not that I don’t own them. Quite the contrary, I’ve spent a small fortune on really cool or uber-fashionable sunglasses. But I never put them on. In fact I’ve misplaced countless pairs because they’re never on my face. So why, you may be wondering, do I refuse to wear sunglasses?
Well, you see, I’m crazy obsessed with light!
And there’s nowhere I’m more obsessed with light that in the home. I believe that light spaces are uplifting and can make you feel happier.
So if you live in a small space or are looking for downsizing tips, the very first thing I would say is that you need to take care to keep your rooms light.
This can be done in many ways, beginning with natural light and the light fixtures you add. But that’s just the start.
When my parents decided to downsize to an apartment, I helped them decorate their new space.
Their new bedroom had a nice large window and overhead lighting, but the space wasn’t huge and was dominated by built in storage.
So the single most important thing we could do to keep it light was to work with a soft color palette. Tapestry beige walls set the tone and an ivory tufted headboard was chosen over dark wood furniture.
Pick a soft, light color palette. It doesn’t have to be white, although I love an all white room. But if you prefer some color and pattern, you can do just as well with a pale beige and a soft accent color like steel blue, aquamarine or blush pink. Just take care to ensure the color is a bit ‘dirty’ for a note of sophistication. It shouldn’t look like a child’s room with clean pastels.
The built in wall-unit was in distressed cream, essential to keeping it from looking too heavy. It offered the room amazing storage but was a very large piece that took up most of an entire wall and would be oppressive in a dark color. If you have dark built-ins, consider painting them a light color.
Built in storage is a huge advantage in a small bedroom, as you can take care of all your storage and entertainment needs with one piece. It may seem counter-intuitive, but a single large piece is better than multiple small pieces that are hard to place. As long as you have enough walk space between the bed and the unit, it can be as large as you have space for. But keeping such a dominant piece of furniture light in color is also essential.
For linens I chose a pale blue and beige print to keep up the light theme, but honor my mom’s preference for blue. I did buy a second set of sheets in ivory sateen for an even lighter look.
If you choose to include patterns, keep them muted in color. Bold patterns tend to over-power a small space. Alternatively, you can use texture to add interest instead.
The bedside tables were a grey-beige and I used several accessories to bounce around light, from the crystal fringe lamps, to the silver in the frames.
On a side note, I used my parents’ wedding photo on one nightstand and a recent photo on the opposite side, reflecting the span of their long marriage.
Use various materials to enhance the light, including mirrors, crystal drops, and metallic accents.
The artwork I chose for over the bed not only worked with their color scheme, but also itself depicted a pretty light source, a lovely French chandelier. The gold frame added another touch of warm light.
A tonal beige window covering could be completely rolled up, allowing in as much daylight as possible. For the bedskirt I went with an ivory pique, again to keep the foundation light, particularly since the carpet was a patterned golden beige.
The result was a comfortable master suite that was tranquil and calm, chock full of storage but light and bright, nonetheless.
More Ideas for Lightening a Small Dark Bedroom
- In a small space, less is more. In addition to fewer pieces of furniture, keeping decorative items to a minimum will keep the space looking uncluttered and hence, larger.
- Vary your light sources including natural light from windows, recessed overheads and reading lamps on the nightstands. A chandelier can help, as well.
- If you have room for a chair, the softness of an upholstered chair in a light color with bring light to the entire space.
- If you window coverings can’t be opened completely, consider using sheers.
- Make sure your lamp shades are white or ivory.
- Try an upholstered headboard over a heavy wood one.
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