This article has been written and researched by Andrei Vasilief (a professional architect and interior designer) for maximum factual accuracy and to provide unique insights.
Decorating a small bedroom can be a challenge.
Because the reduced amount of space means that the wrong choice of decor can leave you feeling like you’re sleeping in a cave.
And if you’re strapped for cash, then you need to be even more calculated in your purchasing decisions.
So what is the best way to decorate a small bedroom on a budget?
The best way to decorate a small bedroom on a budget is to focus on a minimalist theme to reduce costs and avoid clutter. Decorate around the dimensions of the room, the bed, and the wardrobe – use light sources creatively, hang wall art, and limit wallpaper to a feature wall.
In the rest of this article, I’ve used my expert knowledge and experience as an interior designer and architect to provide you with 8 budget-friendly decorating ideas for your small bedroom.
I’ve included custom mock up images to give you some ideas and inspiration.
Plus, there’s a short guide that walks you step-by-step through the process of decorating your small bedroom with limited cash in the second half of this article.
8 Low-Cost Small Bedroom Decorating Ideas
Below are 8 low-cost decor ideas that you can use in your small bedroom to create your ideal theme:
1: Minimalist Couple’s Bedroom
Let’s start with a bedroom for a couple.
It’s not large, but we have a nice feature present: a separate dressing room at the entrance of the room.
So we don’t have to bother too much with implementing a storage solution directly into the room.
When the budget is an issue, the best solution is to keep things minimal and simple.
I have chosen a large carpet and a double bed all in dark nuance; similar to the floor.
There is nothing atypical about the carpet pattern or the bed.
They are typical furnishings that you can find anywhere, but when chosen to fit in with the color of the floor, it elevates the design.
Keep Costs Down By Selecting Smaller Pieces of Wall Art
We take a similar approach to the wall art.
Whilst large artwork is ideal, it’s also quite expensive.
So we take the budget approach and gather as many smaller artwork pieces as possible and collage them together.
In this way, we can mimic the effect of larger artwork but on a feasible level.
Finally, we pick two bedside tables that fit the overall color pattern with the bed, carpet, and floor.
This creates a strong sense of cohesion and makes the whole bedroom feel a little bit more premium.
2: Stylish Seating and Custom Wardrobe Design
For the next example, we use most of the previous tricks and build on them a little more.
This bedroom does not have the luxury of a dedicated dressing room and so we have to place one in.
A great feature of some modern residential units is that they have started to create dedicated spaces for embedded storage spaces.
This means that there are walls placed strategically, that can be closed off and turned into a wardrobe.
The main advantage of this is that it looks good and also simplifies costs.
Creating a custom wardrobe that can fit the room properly is an expensive endeavor.
But with this option, the only thing you have to do is get some doors.
And so, I can extend the color theme to the wardrobe doors as well; making sure that everything looks nice and put together.
Integrate the Seating
Because I have a bit more space in this room, I opt to integrate a seating area within the bedroom.
This is a more premium-looking option, but it can be achieved quite easily by picking a nice chair and coffee table.
Contrast the Artwork
I also take the opportunity to highlight the difference between smaller pieces and larger pieces of artwork.
For this particular example, we opt for large artwork just so you can see how it feels.
We take this a bit further, by opting for white bedside tables that sync color with the artwork.
3: Floral Accent Wall
Let’s move to an example of a double bedroom with two beds.
The first thing we can notice is that the room is a bit long and has windows only on one side.
Wallpaper should be used strategically, as it doesn’t work in every situation.
But this is a situation where we can apply it in the form of an accent wall.
We go with a floral pattern with a dark green color.
The affinity for darker colors comes from the fact that they are far more versatile.
If you don’t have a large budget to color coordinate every piece, then choose dark color furnishings as they go together easier than lighter ones.
The reason I went with this type of wallpaper is because I believe that the room lacks a focal point – which in the case of long rooms can feel weird.
So I added a focal point, around which we place the furnishings.
Juxtapose the Wall Art With the TV
On the left wall, I applied the usual trick with multiple artwork pieces, but not placed in a very organized manner, making it a bit more freeform.
In the middle open space, we place a wall-mounted TV.
TVs in bedrooms are a topic of discussion, as there are many opinions around having them in what is traditionally an intimate space.
But in the case of a double or single bedroom, it’s much more acceptable.
Don’t want a TV on the wall opposite your bed?
4: Single Bedroom With Study
Let’s look at an example of an individual bedroom.
In this case, we choose to create something that can be used for a variety of individuals, from students to young professionals.
As such we have opted to implement two areas in the room: a sleeping area with a bed, and a work area with a desk.
We place the bed next to the wall, as this is feasible with single beds.
Above it we create an art wall, using the same strategy that you have seen previously.
The desk should be dimensioned to the requirements of the user, so it will vary.
If you only require a laptop or a tablet, then a small desk with a mid-back height chair will suffice.
On the other hand, if you require long stays in front of the desk and a workstation then it’s well worth the upgrade to a larger desk and tall back chair.
If you need to save even more space then you can use a Murphy bed with an inbuilt desk.
Balance the Lighting
We separate the two zones with a floor lamp.
This is equally helpful in every context, both for work and more relaxing activities.
Another thing to note here is that the light should be carefully considered.
White light is great for work but not so great for rest, while the yellow light is the opposite.
So a good mix between the two should be found.
Because we will go for a minimal approach, we choose a chair that stands out and acts like a decorative piece in the room.
5: Wall Art in a Narrow Bedroom
Looking now at a more atypical example – another narrow room.
This one has the great benefit of being surrounded by windows from two sides which makes a potentially wonderful bedroom.
We start by placing the bed in the best possible position, close to the window.
When the room looks like this there is very little requirement for additional decor.
Even in much simpler rooms, a few good personal touches will go a lot further than mountains of decoration, especially for bedrooms that need to soothe more than dazzle.
Coordinate the Wall Art
We opt to go with an art wall layout and a bedside table in the same tones as the floor.
Color coordination is especially important on a budget, as it’s one of those tricks that is simple to get right but highly impactful.
At the rear end, we place a larger artwork.
But you can do just as well with an art wall layout but placed in portrait rather than landscape.
We leave it just like this, simple, minimalist, but looking great.
There is very little reason to go overboard with decor.
Also, all the artwork is monochromatic.
They might not have the exact color tones, but this ties it all neatly together.
It’s coordination like this that has the most impact in my opinion.
6: Monochromatic Couple’s Bedroom
Let’s build on the monochrome idea that we discussed in the previous example.
The idea of going monochrome can be a great tool for making a bedroom look stylish on a regular budget.
In this case, we have the monochromatic artwork along with a carpet in the same color.
This makes the whole room feel themed, and along with the black-framed windows, is an excellent idea for this situation.
The thing to remember is that not every design will work in every room, so it does go down to reading the space and finding the best course of action.
Because of this context, the dark frame, the wooden floor, this is an approach that works, but it’s also because the height of the room allows for it, with the open view to the roof.
This added space makes this approach possible when it could have been a bit suffocating in normal conditions.
It’s an issue of balance.
The same can be said about going full color, it needs to be balanced enough to work in the space.
You can take this idea further, with linens that fit the color pattern, but it can easily end up being a bit too much, and as such, we stick to a darker bed.
7: Ultra Minimalist
Let’s now look at a completely minimalist example.
I have said initially that minimalism is the best solution when on a budget, but pretty much none of the examples shown so far are purely minimalist.
Yes, they have strong minimalist characteristics but are pretty much an eclectic style.
So let’s start by defining minimalist in this case: we want to have just the absolute base number of pieces, nothing more.
The goal is to have a completely clean design and make sure that there is no clutter whatsoever.
So we will approach this solution by having the absolute essentials only: bed, bedside tables, wardrobe, and wall art.
We chose bed and bedside tables that are in the same tone as the floor.
This means a darker wood finish for both.
In contrast, we go with a completely white wardrobe.
The reason for this is that we want to blend it into the surroundings, almost disappearing.
However, we play with the frame, making it darker.
The result is that the storage unit becomes almost a decorative piece, with thin dark lines that stand out.
The final touch is the artwork that has a faint blue tone.
This is to break the existing color theme in the room and keep it from becoming boring.
You can use this trick in any room that you feel is getting a bit stale in design.
8: Minimalist Single Bedroom
Single bedrooms don’t lend themselves very well to the minimalist aesthetic.
This is because most people want to customize them and as such, a highly rigorous and controlled aesthetic does not work exceptionally well in these cases.
As such, we will keep this fairly minimalist but inject some elements to give it a different vibe.
As previously mentioned, we have the bed, the storage unit, and the wall art.
We make some changes to the wall art, making it a bit more playful and adding a bit of color.
In the same way, we introduce the additional pieces for the layout: a desk and some additional storage.
Storage units tend to be dominating elements in a bedroom, simply because they are the largest.
Going with a white unit in a room with white walls and ceiling tends to blend it in.
It doesn’t make it invisible but it makes it far more subtle than it originally is.
Shelves and a Desk can Make the Room Multipurpose
Wall shelves are not the best idea in a couple’s wardrobe as they don’t serve a function and are a bit out of place.
But for an individual bedroom that can be a bit of a multipurpose room (sleep and study space combined), this is a great and inexpensive way to add a bit of personality and functionality.
We opt for a simple wooden desk, which can be found at any furniture store, with embedded drawers.
As with the shelves, this reduces clutter and keeps everything neat and sorted.
We again pick a chair that stands out, adding to the more colorful vibe of the room.
We avoid adding other kinds of furniture or decoration so that we still maintain a balanced environment.
How to Decorate a Small Bedroom on a Budget
There is a strong bias in interior design and decoration to showcase expensive or lavish projects.
Open any well-known publication, such as Archdaily, Wallpaper Magazine, or Architectural digest and you will soon be bombarded with images from high-end and expensive projects in Beverly Hills, New York, London, or Paris.
The design world has a strong fascination with expensive design, with very few resources available for more affordable and realistic situations.
Because of this, finding a good resource that can aid you in decorating your home on a set budget can seem daunting, even though it is completely feasible.
The best piece of advice that you can apply in such a situation is to stick to a series of fundamental principles that will assist you in making any design work, and apply them to a specific look that you want to achieve.
It all boils down to how you combine various colors, textures, and shapes, rather than anything else.
Below is a short guide that explains how to decorate a small bedroom on a budget – it includes tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years as a professional architect and interior designer:
1: Measure the Room and Design Accordingly
The first thing to take into account is the size of the bedroom.
If you have a large bedroom you can choose to go with large or stylistically loud furnishings or decorations.
The size of the room can accommodate them, even if they might seem over-the-top.
But if you have a smaller bedroom, then a more minimalist and subtle style is much more appropriate.
In a nutshell, the larger the room, the more experimental you can be, the smaller the room, the more subdued your approach should be.
This is valid from both the point of view of which colors to use and which textures to combine to how many pieces of furniture you will have.
2: Decorate Around the Bed and Wardrobe
In my experience, pretty much every bedroom will have a standard set of furniture that will always be present: storage unit, bed, bedside tables, and light fixtures.
These will be present in every bedroom, with additional pieces being added in specific situations, depending on the destination of the bedroom, such as a desk (in the case of a bedroom for a student) or a seating area (in the case of a larger room).
It also happens that the bed and the storage unit are some of the most expensive units and the larges, so start by coordinating these two units first and decorating around them.
This will simplify the process a lot and streamline the work.
3: Use Fabrics to Add Color
As I’ve previously mentioned, the bed and the wardrobe are expensive, and managing to get them in a specific material or texture is not always feasible from the point of view of the budget.
This is where fabrics can come in very handy.
Carpets and drapes are much more affordable and can be used to add contrast and brightness to what can otherwise be a dull room.
You can find them from any provider and they can suit pretty much any budget, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
The best thing to keep in mind is that there needs to be a certain degree of correlation between the overall tone of the larger pieces and that of the fabrics.
4: Add Light Sources Creatively
Light design is not incorporated into interior design nowadays, as it’s mostly regarded as expensive and difficult to accomplish.
But the truth is that we have so many exceptional lighting solutions that fit any budget that it has become a great DIY solution that anyone can implement.
It’s even simpler in bedrooms, where the number and type of light sources are few. If there is one trick that can make any budget interior design look expensive, that is the creative use of light.
Beyond this, it also has health benefits, preparing our bodies for sleep.
5: Strategically Hang Wall Art
Large artwork pieces, either on the wall or floor-mounted pieces are fantastic for any space.
But they are also prohibitively expensive and difficult to acquire.
So, what we will do instead is to group much smaller pieces.
We do this for two reasons: first to avoid clutter, the arch-enemy of great interior design, and secondly, to elevate the space.
This is a great approach that is also budget conscious and makes space feel more premium.
It can also be of great benefit to this implementation if the various pieces share the same chromatic theme or close enough so that they can fit together.
6: Reserve Wallpaper for an Accent Wall
In my experience, wallpaper is a tricky subject when it comes to design.
Most affordable wallpaper options either don’t look good or are made of cheap and not durable materials which can age terribly.
You can find great-looking and timeless wallpaper, but it’s expensive and beyond this, it requires a great deal of care to install which can always backfire if you don’t have enough experience.
Because of this, I recommend avoiding it altogether.
However, if you wish to implement wallpaper in your design, I recommend using it sparingly, on just one wall as a feature/accent wall.
That way it is much more impactful and easier to integrate.
Conclusion: Minimalism Works Well
Starting out with a minimalist theme is a good base when trying to decorate a small bedroom on a budget because it keeps costs down and avoids clutter.
From here, you can then apply the tips above to create a bedroom that suits you perfectly.
Image Attribution and Licencing
All images custom made by Animo Regis and used with permission.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.