9 Designer-Approved Lighting Ideas to Maximize a Small Bedroom

Make no mistake about it: The right lighting can elevate the ambiance of your bedroom and make space appear larger than it really is. “Adding pendants above nightstands, a small accent lamp on top of an armoire, or even a tall floor lamp can help illuminate dark nooks and carry the eye upward in a small bedroom,” says interior designer Jean Liu.

To prove our point, we asked a few different designers what types of lighting they use to maximize small bedrooms, and here’s what they had to say.

1. Layer up.

small bedroom lighting ideas
Image Credit: Julie Soefer

“Layering lighting is one of my favorite ways to make space functional, as well as warm and inviting,” says Marie Flanigan. “A combination of overhead fixtures, bedside wall sconces, and streamlined lamps keep your room uncluttered while still providing a gorgeous ambiance.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.

2. Three is the magic number.

small bedroom lighting ideas
Image Credit: John McClain Design

“Remember to always tackle lighting in three areas of space,”

John McClain

“Waist height lighting for ambient, head height lighting for the task, and overhead lighting for general. They all play a big part, even in a small room.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.

3. Consider pendants instead of table lamps.

small bedroom pendant lighting
Image Credit: Eric Roth

“I think wall sconces or pendants are great as bedside lamps in small bedrooms,”

Liz Caan

“They take up no nightstand surface space and also add some visual interest and ample light!”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.

4. Try an overhead statement lightly.

small bedroom overhead lighting ideas
Image Credit: Alexandra Haynes

“Good lighting is paramount for a small space,”

Maggie Griffin

“I love a pretty overhead light with low wattage bulbs or adding pleated and darker shades on lamps for an attractive, filtered light.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.
Vintage Oriental Moroccan Style Rugs.

5. Wall-mounted FTW.

wall-mounted bedside lighting
Image Credit: Grace Laird Photography

“Installing wall-mounted sconces on either side of your bed provides ambient lighting without taking up floor space or adding bulky pieces to an already small room,” says Ashley Moore of Moore House Interiors. “Have a little fun choosing your sconces and get swing-arm style lights — perfect for nighttime reading!”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.
Vintage Oriental Moroccan Style Rugs.

6.  Think in twos.

small bedroom lighting ideas
Image Credit: Katie Charlotte

“Layered lighting in a small bedroom is crucial; particularly overhead lighting and bedside lighting,”

Cortney Bishop

“You never want the lighting to feel too powerful if only a single source is turned on, so we consider both ceiling fixtures and table lamps in bedrooms for varying sources and tones of light.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.
Vintage Oriental Moroccan Style Rugs.

7. Try double sconces.

double wall sconce bedroom lighting
Image Credit: Molly Culver

“When it comes to adding lighting in a small bedroom, you want to be sure that you’re maximizing your space,”

Sara Barney

“I recommend using two-arm wall sconces or pendants for bedside lighting since this doesn’t take up any of your precious floor or tabletop space.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Retro Farmhouse Traditional Moroccan & Turkish Style Bed & Bath Products Design.
Antique Oriental Traditional Bohemia Moroccan Style Throw Blankets.
Vintage Oriental Moroccan Style Rugs.

8. Go big.

woven pendant bedroom lighting
Image Credit: Eli Schilowitz

“I find that a common design misconception is that small spaces require small scale pieces,”

Dahlia Jacob of Dahlias Day Interiors

“A large, but light and airy, overhead pendant in a small bedroom gives the room a large feel while doubling as the centerpiece of the space.”

Get the look:
Traditional Moroccan Style Throw Pillows Design.
Traditional Farmhouse & Rustic Moroccan Style Blackout Curtains.
Vintage Traditional Oriental Bohemian Moroccan Style Wall Clocks.

9. The more lighting, the merrier.

small bedroom lighting ideas
Image Credit: Tim Williams

“When lighting a small bedroom, I recommend installing bedside sconces and an over-the-bed pendant or flush mount,”

Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of Laurie Blumenfeld Design

“The sconces allow for more room on your night table and an overhead light illuminates the whole room while keeping the edges of the room dark and moody.”

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