In the famous stateroom scene from the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera, 15 people crammed into a closet-size ship cabin with a giant steamer trunk tumble out like rolling dice when the door opens. You'll want to avoid coming close to creating such tight conditions when tossing around furniture ideas for a 10 x 12 box bedroom, but it can be challenging. Small spaces are tough.
What to Keep in Mind
A space is what it is, so you'll need to make smart choices to create a look that's stylish and not cluttered. You'll need an arrangement in which you can live with comfort, not inconvenience and compromise. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for pulling it off, and the furniture choices you make are key.
Video of the Day
When shopping, focus on smaller furniture manufactured specifically for small spaces, and when possible, use pieces with rounded edges, such as round ottomans or half-circle chests and tables. It helps avoid a crowded look. Free up floor and table space by using wall lighting and for storage, go vertical. Even when you have nothing higher than 8-foot ceilings, there's space to take advantage of that moves things up instead of out and sideways. Take advantage of the hidden storage that's sometimes offered by ottomans or storage beds with drawers.
Start With the Bed
Your first consideration is the bed. If you sleep alone or if you're designing a small guest bedroom, you'll have some leeway sizewise, and you'll be able to create space for other furniture pieces by using a single (twin) bed.
When using a 10 x 12 room as a combination sitting room/guest bedroom, you can use a sleeper sofa that has a traditional mattress folded away inside the frame, especially since sleeper sofas are now made in sizes smaller than queen. Other options include a Murphy bed that hides away in the wall or a single sofa bed, sometimes called a chair bed, that accommodates one sleeper, doesn't have a traditional mattress, and doubles as a roomy easy chair. The convertible seating cushions fold out flat to make a twin-size bed. Some of them adjust into prop-up position so you can read, watch TV, or enjoy an elevated sleeping position.
If your 10 x 12 room will serve as a master bedroom and you're locked into using a full-size bed, avoid a space-taking frame with headboard and footboard. Use a platform bed that has only a headboard or a simple bed frame that has neither a headboard nor footboard.
Avoid Massive Dressers
Dressers are also big space eaters. If you can't find a small enough dresser for the space, consider a tall, narrow lingerie chest, which can provide equal storage within much less space. Another option is to place a small chest of drawers next to your bed to serve as both a night table and storage.
Consider Nightstand Options
Avoid using large nightstands, especially if the bed is a double. If you're determined to use a bulky, squarish piece with drawers, try using only one. For a more space-saving option, get creative. Take a tip from the tiny home trend by using a wall-mounted pull-down table that folds against the wall when not in use. Using a tiny floating table or floating shelf mounted next to the bed also clears floor space, and a clear Lucite table next to the bed can seem invisible, contributing to an uncrowded look.
Night tables don't have to be tables. A wooden occasional chair, a wooden stool, or even a short plant stand can add interest and serve the purpose. There are endless plant stand designs to consider: contemporary and vintage, elegant and casual, and four-legged and pedestal. You may not have room for full-size, matching night tables, but a pair of plant stands can create an attractive symmetry.
Put the Walls to Work
Savvy use of wall space solves lots of problems in a small 10 x 12 box room, decreasing the need for furniture pieces and making things more comfortable, more convenient, and less cluttered. Mounting your flat-screen TV on the wall, for example, frees up space and is one of the best trends to come along for those who are space-challenged.
If you choose to use lamps on nightstands, opt for small, slim-profile bases. Better yet, combine dimmable, remote-controlled recessed ceiling lighting with wall lights, such as sconces, adjustable swing-arm lamps, or wall-mounted extendable lights over the bed.
Take advantage of the often-ignored wall space over your bed by mounting or building shelving for display and storage. Whether it's a single shelf or an entire case of shelves reaching the ceiling, it will be one more smart move in reducing the clutter and the need for space-taking furniture.