Dorms to Small Bedrooms

By Joseph Pubillones

August 17, 2019 4 min read

Recently, I had the bittersweet experience of decorating my daughter's dorm room. Luckily, she wanted something simple, no thematic decor. Her only requirements were that she wanted her bedding in white with accents in yellow. Lucky for us, most of the wood furnishings in the dorm were the signature blonde wood with minimal design features, which in the end proved to be modern design by default. Yes, it was an emotional decorating moment. My eyes were tear-filled as I bought each item. So, I thought I'd follow the theme of small bedrooms in this week's column — decorating ideas for small bedrooms, to be exact.

Small rooms can be challenging to design, but there is something about small bedrooms that can add charm, intimacy and a cozy feeling, which is so apropos for resting and sleeping. Bedrooms can be created in almost any corner of a home or space. At times, all we need to define a bedroom is a canopy bed with drapes around the perimeter for privacy. An alcove or an odd corner of a room can also function as a small bedroom. Even an attic can be outfitted to be a great bedroom.

In general, minimalist decoration works well in small bedrooms. It can help you achieve a clean and modern look. Do not overload the room. Furnish it with only the precise elements for daily use — and nothing more. Small bedrooms' decoration can be done in many styles, but restraint is the best advice with any style, and using colors and patterns is a way of adding interest to such rooms. Keep in mind that the colors most suitable for small bedrooms are light colors; they will allow your rooms to feel as if they are filled with light.

For those who like the feeling of a cocoon for resting, rich and darker colors are quite appropriate. These rooms will show their best side at night when lit by a warm incandescent source of light. These spaces are usually just perfect for sleeping, more so than any other activity.

Another option for small bedrooms is to use neutral tones, and you can incorporate them into your interior design — including your bedding and flooring or carpeting, for a monochromatic look. This is perhaps the preferred design approach for small bedrooms because it exudes peace.

High headboards and built-in furniture also work well in small bedrooms because they integrate all the furnishing components into the background, leaving only the bedding as a softer, fluid element in the room. Beds with storage underneath or in the headboard are useful where space is limited.

Works of art can be incorporated into small rooms, as long as they blend into the background and their theme is peaceful. Abstracts, botanical prints, landscapes and ocean views are great for bedroom artwork. They're safe themes that are there to soothe your thoughts, not stress you out. This artwork should relax you and eventually promote sleep.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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