Small Bedroom Design Tips

Anyone who's ever had to go at it alone in a small apartment has a good sense of how to manage available space in a small bedroom.

You're in this room, your clothes or dressers take up one part; your bed, makeshift futon, couch or something else takes up the sleeping space, and then you have .... what? A short path on one side of the bed or drawer and another path to the restroom or kitchen. You stare at the blank walls and one small window, and wonder how are you going to make this an enjoyable room, one in which you can spend time even in the quietest moments?

It's not easy, but it's doable. Here's how:

Single types can strip their room down to bare essentials - a raised bed, bookshelves along the walls, use of mirrors, plants and a few throw rugs to open up the floor space. By keeping personal effects slight, a small bedroom can actually give the appearance of being larger than it is with strategically placed objects, lights and pictures.

Couples can work together on bedroom projects. One couple, chronicled at YoungHouseLove, decided to redo their bedroom, adding clothing wardrobes, curtains, new bed sheets and more to come up with a beautiful solution to a small apartment problem.

Families have a tougher time with the number of bodies in a small apartment, but with a little ingenuity about placing cribs or beds for the kids a certain way, moms and dads can save space for their kids as needed.

These are just a few of the small pointers. Thankfully, the Internet helps with suggestions at every click! Here are some easy-to-implement solutions for sprucing up your tiny bedroom.


Clearly, your twin, double, queen or king size bed will take up the most floor space. There are no easy ways around this. If you want a large bed to roll around in, you'll need the floor space. Smaller beds take up less floor space, but they also limit your bed rolling.

One alternative is to raise the bed. By building a deck platform in the room and putting your bed onto the deck, you can free up all that space below to add a desk, sitting area and more. However, you may not be able to ever enjoy those nights when you just want to fall into bed. Your ladder walk up is always going to be the issue.

You can buy a loft bed kit online or find DIY ways to get the job done. Recommended for rooms with higher ceilings!

Bed Sheets & Comforters

When working within your small bedroom space, it's important to take into consideration the light colors and light textures to open up the room's appearance. Having light, ambient colors filling your bedroom can give you much needed peace and serenity after a long day of work. But light colors can smudge easier too.

Look around for possible color combinations that work for your room. If your bed faces the window and gets a lot of light, you may not need to have a bright yellow bed cover. There are plenty of duvets and comforters at to get a sense of how a particular bed sheet and comforter setting could help to restyle your room.


Do you have room for a shelf of books? Instead of using floor-standing bookshelves, which takes up valuable space, how can you add shelving higher up the walls to elevate your knowledge?

Built-in bookshelves higher up the walls can help free up crawling space for young babies and toddlers and help keep junior's books in some reasonable shape. Often, the bookshelves lend a strong presence to the room's overall aesthetic glow. Plus, shelves hold a lot of stuff, and that's important in a small room.

Mirrors & Art

Most bedroom design experts suggest mirrors to open up visual lengths, widths and overall appeal. Apartment Therapy suggests using over-sized interior mirrors to expand the illusion of space in a small area. For instance, when a large mirror is placed directly opposite a window that streams in light, it can double the amount of light that comes into your room.

Other ways that mirrors can build space in your bedroom is to use dual mirrors on each side of the bedroom door. If the mirrors are balanced against the incoming light from a window, you might even be able to create a trifecta of light pattern in your room. And how sweet would that be?


Recessed lights into the ceiling are the best way to avoid lamp space on your floors. If you can do this, try to get a dimmer switch for separate lights throughout the room. Having a brighter reading light and a dimmer light near your dresser at the same time can create swell effects.

If recessed lights aren't an option, think about clip-on lights placed strategically throughout the room. Varying shades of light, coupled with mirrors and light colors can do remarkable things to a room's visual space.

A small bedroom may be a temporary item in your life, but for the time being, making visual and aesthetic adjustments in your space will optimize the light, color and overall appeal of your room. Remember, the more stuff you bring into the room reduces the size of your room that much more. So be particular and enjoy open spaces, and you'll find that leads to more energy and goodwill spread throughout the room.

Written by Tumbleweed Staff — November 09, 2012

Filed under: 2012   bedroom   design  

Life Inside a Micro Home

Watch More News Videos at ABC | 2012 Presidential Election | Entertainment & Celebrity News
Pushing tiny to a new extreme, an architect designs a tiny home only 5' wide to fit in an alley. You've got to see this video!

Written by Steve Weissmann — November 02, 2012

Filed under: 2012   video  

Mixer before the workshop

The Santa Rosa Workshop 2012 was a blast. On Friday evening we had a mixer with Tumbleweed staff and fans at the Sandpiper Restaurant in Bodega Bay. Great time! Pictured below is the view of the bay from the Sandpiper.

Each month we visit 2 cities around the US. You can learn more about other upcoming workshops here.

I wanted to also thank our many presenters:

  • Kevin Casey from New Avenue Homes spoke about the process of building a backyard cottage
  • Mark Fallin, a Sonoma County local, shared his knowledge on HVAC and energy
  • Austin Hay dropped in to share his journey of building a tiny home (see his blog)
  • JT told his story of building and now living in his Tumbleweed (read more)
  • Pepper Clark of Bungalow To Go helped people design their own models and let everyone tour her two homes under construction
Just for fun, pictured below is me at the mixer enjoying a glass of wine. I'm the guy with the big goofy smile.

Written by Steve Weissmann — October 19, 2012

Filed under: 2012   Workshop  

From Tree to Tumbleweed

A Unique Approach to Keeping Building Costs Low

William Lampley is proof that a trip to your local hardware store is not the only path to owning a Tumbleweed of your own! A 100 year-old blighted Hemlock on his family’s property in the mountains of North Carolina will be getting a second life as a Tumbleweed Vardo. Getting this four-foot diameter beauty from a remote mountain access road to kiln dried construction ready material turns out to be an adventure in itself.

Retired early from the entertainment industry and debt free, William’s goal is to spend “as much as a month at a time in each of the as many Great National Parks as I can get to.” With a lifetime National Parks Pass in his hand William was looking for a comfortable mode of travel that would not put him in debt. The Tumbleweed Vardo was the solution. When asked about his choice in Tumbleweeds he said “ I just grew impatient recently and Vardo appears to be the quickest, most economical way to get me on the road.” Tumbleweed's Vardo is unique among their designs in that it is a small space mounted on a truck bed - not a trailer

Hemlock as a building material is quite popular with many in the construction industry and is stronger than pine, spruce or fir. The key in using hemlock, as with so many materials on the market, is finding wood free from knots and other imperfections.

William’s unique approach to acquiring one of the single most expensive components in building his new home on wheels required more than your normal list of tools. Included in William’s list were his two buddies, Skip and Duke, a 2wd truck, a 4wd truck with a winch, a 16 foot 12,000 lb trailer, three chainsaws and a small Ford tractor with a bucket on one end and a fork lift on the other. 

William shared with us some of his adventures in his first attempt at harvesting the Hemlock:

 “Getting to the tree was problematic today. The ground was wet, so my 2-wheel drive white Ford truck with the trailer could not pull up the soggy access road and bogged down too far up the road to back the trailer down again. We agreed to put Duke in the driver’s seat of the white truck and I got on the tractor and pushed on the back end of the trailer with the front bucket and assisted the truck and trailer up the hill. Also, once Skip got the red Dodge up the hill, he turned around and parked facing downhill, whereupon the Dodge stopped running. Apparently when level or facing uphill the carburetor is fine, but when facing downhill it stalls out… go figure!” 

After much head scratching and tree measuring the decision was made that they could not safely drop it. A professional needed to be called in. This will be an unexpected expense but, once the wood is on the ground, the three men plan on sectioning it, getting it to the sawmill themselves and ending up with lumber worth a lot more than what it will cost to cut down and process. 

Check back for more on William’s Vardo adventure!



Written by Bernadette Weissmann — October 09, 2012

Filed under: 2012   Build it yourself   vardo  

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Look inside for wonderful full color photographs of our 17 unique house designs. You'll also find important information to help you plan your build, such as specs and cost estimates. The floor plan illustrations make comparing models a breeze.


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Written by Steve Weissmann — October 01, 2012

Filed under: 2012   20121  

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