Monday, May 12, 2014

Tips for a Tiny Apartment: The Bedroom

Living in Paris has its joys, but tiny, antiquated apartments are not one of them. At least not if you are a family of four! In this series, I'm sharing my tips on how to survive, room by room, if you live in a tiny apartment.

Tips for a Tiny Apartment: The Bedroom

Tips for a Tiny Apartment: The Bedroom

Living in a one-bedroom apartment isn't so bad if you're single. It gets a little more crowded once you're married/living with a partner. It gets really crowded once Baby #1 comes along. You feel like an animal in a cage once Baby #2 joins the circus. How on earth does our family of four handle it?

I admit, it's not easy. At the same time, it's not as hard as you'd think. We're all conveniently in the same room if someone wakes up fussy or hungry (which could be my 21-month-old, my baby, or me; usually my husband is able to sleep through the night). I'm guessing most families won't cram four people into a bedroom but you can still benefit from my tips if you're trying to make do with a small bedroom:

Only use the bedroom for sleeping

Goodbye, TV. So long, reading nook. See you in a few years when I'm living in a bigger place. In the meantime, the bedroom is purely for one function - sleeping. Remove as much other furniture as possible. In our room we have:
- Our queen size bed
- Two cribs
- The kids' shared dresser
- A nightstand (which I considered getting rid of but we need someplace for the lamp since we don't have an overhead light)

A crowded room feels much smaller. Look around your space. What do you really need?

In a tiny bedroom, eliminate unnecessary furniture and streamline the color scheme.

Nothing under the bed

This goes against a lot of tips I see where people suggest maximizing your small space by storing things out of sight, such as under a bed or crib. I just can't do this. Even if I can't see it, I can feel its presence and it makes the room seem even smaller. If you have something that's not important enough to take up a more prominent spot, question why you have it in the first place. Could it go into storage? Could you get rid of it altogether?

In the past when I've stored things under the bed, my feet would bump up against them while I made the bed. And everything would get really dusty and was super hard to clean. And if you look at the bed from a distance, you can usually see all the junk under it. So while it seems like a good idea to store stuff under the bed, you'll actually feel like the space is much bigger if under the bed is 100% free of clutter.

The only downside is now zombies have a place to hide, but I can't solve all the world's problems.

Always make the bed

Speaking of beds, I always make my bed. Every day. It's the best use of 1-2 minutes I can think of to make your room feel pretty, cozy, clean, and fresh.

Have one nice piece

In a small room, we're definitely going for function over form. But you can still have a little fun with it. Pick one item to be your room's Wow Factor and base the room around it. We chose our headboard to be our focal point. It's plush, cozy, and "French chic". It adds a little class to the room while still keeping the overall flow simple and clutter-free. It adds a little color so we're not drowning in a sea of white, without dominating the room. What's your piece de resistance?

Is your bedroom the size of Barbie's dreamhouse? How do you stay sane and avoid bouncing off the walls?

Check out the rest of the series:
Tiny Apartment Tips: The Kitchen
Tiny Apartment Tips: The Bathroom
Tiny Apartment Tips: The Bedroom
Tiny Apartment Tips: The Closet
Tiny Apartment Tips: The Living Room

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author