Tiny Bedroom with Multiple Closets? (Here’s How to Fix it!)

Tiny Bedroom Fix

To say Jeff and I needed a tiny bedroom fix is an understatement. Because our bedroom isn’t just tiny; it’s a closet. Literally.

And there’s a reason we live in a closet. When we were making plans of how to divvy up our tiny lake house into a living (and sleeping) space for 4, it made more sense to shove us in the closet than the kids.

Plus, it gave the kids much more space, and trust me, they need it far more than we do.

There was an old woman who lived in a … closet

Just because I room in a closet doesn’t mean I want it to feel like a closet, so (to catch everyone up who may be new here) these are the line item tasks I checked off in my bullet journal the two weeks before moving in:

  1. Painted the ochre walls and shelving — inside and outside of the closets — as well as the dark brown trim, white.
  2. Took down window treatments to let in the light.
  3. Removed the bedroom and closet doors (5 total in a room that’s 63 square feet, if you can imagine that).
  4. Gave away our king-sized bed and downsized to a queen-sized bed (Get a little closer to the one you love, right?).
  5. Switched out the low hanging, dark brown ceiling fan with a white flush-mounted version.
  6. Replaced all the switch plates.

Then, we moved in, and all attention to our bedroom ceased so we could tend to some of the bigger ticket items listed on a separate page in my bullet journal:

  1. Felling a tree that leaned toward the house.
  2. Leveling the house.
  3. Surprise! Termites! And the subsequent treatment.
  4. Buying a couch (even though Jeff and Meredith wanted these).
  5. Laying sod, which worked beautifully, and getting a handle on the landscaping (big and small) outside.

Which brings us to now, slightly more than a year later, wherein I finished sewing the ticking curtain panels I posted about last week.


I love them.

Love, love, love them.

You know why?

They make my room feel like a bedroom — a space I planned — as opposed to a closet where I shoved in a bed and called it quits, which is pretty much what I did for a while.

Tiny Bedroom: Before

Note, the sheer curtains did a little something to stave off the fact that our washer/dryer is less than an arm’s length away.

But the lack of doors on the closet was an eyesore. And though we did organize the closet to the hilt (the photo above was from the week we moved in), I still didn’t want to SEE it while lying in bed.

Now, in case it isn’t obvious just how small this closet room of ours is — let me help you out with a wee little graphic:

Our Tiny Bedroom Measurements - 2

The room measures 84″ wide and 110″ long.

Our queen-sized bed is a standard 60″ wide and 80″ long.

Which means, there is only 12″ (as in, one foot) on either side of the bed, and only 30″ between the end of the bed and the closet.

Perhaps now it is abundantly clear why the first step of our tiny bedroom fix was to remove the four closet doors and the bedroom door. Y’know, so we could get into the closets and still have room for the bed.

And before you even have to ask…

Yes, we did consider placing the bed left to right in the room, but we would not have access to the bottom two built-in shelves on the right wall. That would not work since we don’t have room for a dresser; we needed all that storage space for clothes.

After searching Google Images and Pinterest Boards, I came up with several inspiration photos for replacing doors with curtains.

Replace doors with curtains.

Source: [1], [2 & 3], [4], [5], [6]

Then, I started sewing.

Measuring and pinning seams for ticking curtains.

Well, not true. First, I measured. Then, I measured again. After that, I cut a trial panel and washed/dried/ironed and pinned it. Finally, I sewed the first curtain.

And I saw that it was good. heh heh

So, with that “test” panel out of the way, I decided to make four more companions for it.

And no, that doesn’t mean that I have polygamist curtains. 😉

For the love of all things striped.

Can we all just stop and take a moment to celebrate the fabric we know as ticking?

It’s versatile, durable, and oh my goodness, I could get years of use out of this tote; although, my budget put its foot down as soon as it saw the price.

Back to the closet room.

Ticking curtains - Photo 4

Our room is simple. Understated. Peaceful.


I’m sorry. I thought I was writing an ad for Anthropologie there for a minute.

Seriously though, I love that the small space between our two windows is the perfect size for the mixed media piece Emelie created for me two years ago.

And our reading lights, of course.

One MUST read in bed.

Tiny Bedroom Fix

Choosing to hang the curtains from the ceiling allowed us to get the curtains closer to the wall, taking up less overall space.

The ceiling is a standard 8′ ceiling, but it looks so much taller with these vertical stripes. Plus, because you cannot see through the curtains (as you could with the sheers), nothing visually breaks up the vertical line from floor to ceiling.

Ticking curtains - Photo 3

I extended the curtains corner to corner, wall to wall, making an L-shape. This way, they close off our shelving, the washer/dryer closet, and our bedroom closet.

Ticking curtains - Photo 2

And now, when I lie in bed, I don’t see into my closet.


Ticking curtains - Photo 1

You’ve implemented the tiny bedroom fix, what’s next?

Eventually, I want to purchase a rug to cover most of the floor in the room. We want something soft to put our feet on when we crawl out of bed. BUT! That cost money, and right now I need to focus on what I have at hand, which is leftover fabric!

I still have 78″ (length) of 57″ (width) ticking on the roll. I’ve enough fabric for a dust ruffle for the bed, which would be nice since we currently have the bed on 6″ risers to provide additional storage (and those risers aren’t pretty).

I also have an antique lamp in the living room with a shade that is disintegrating. No seriously, it is.

Lampshade needs recovering

We received the lamp as a wedding gift, and it is still lovely, but the shade has seen better days. I like the bones of the shade, so I’ve considered recovering it with some of the leftover ticking too.

Depending on how much the ticking shrinks, there is a slight chance I could do both.

What do you think?

Tiny Bedroom with Multiple Closets? (Here’s How to Fix it!)Do you wonder why it took me so long to pull out the sewing machine and get after these curtains?

Do you think a ticking dust ruffle would be too much?

Is this making you think of your own projects you’ve left waiting at home?

Well, let me encourage you to GET ON THEM!

I’m so thrilled that I finally completed one of mine! I’ve been a sluggard far too long with this one; that’s for certain!

Thanks for reading and sharing in my delight!


Heather Sanders

40 thoughts on “Tiny Bedroom with Multiple Closets? (Here’s How to Fix it!)”

  1. kristy says:

    Your closet is beginning to look like a very cozy little nest for two. Enjoy! Having a clear, clutter free place to sleep and read is key.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Thanks so much, Kristy! It feels like a cozy little nest for two, too!

  2. Debi says:

    LOVE! I say dust ruffle… then solid rug and lamp shade.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Debi – Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about the rug. Nothing too busy. I love jute rugs, but they aren’t soft on the feet. At least, not the ones I’ve stood on!

  3. Yvette says:

    I cover old ready to discard pillows with shams and place them over the pillows I use. I think that matching ticking shams would look cute with the curtains. With the room so small, I think the dust ruffle is a lot of work for something not too noticeable. Maybe you can cover the risers! Also, why place a full rug on the floor? Perhaps you can find an inexpensive remnant and have it cut and bound (3 pieces) to place in just the narrow open spaces around the bed. Cutting and binding the pieces are usually a reasonable cost because the retailer has no waste.
    Your curtains are very pretty. Ticking is versatile. Years ago, I purchased a lovely summer suit made with blue and white ticking. You have lots of options on how to use it. Have fun!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Yvette – I considered shams too. In fact, I’ve gone back and forth with that idea. I know I can’t put it over the pillows we use because Jeff makes the bed Monday-Friday, and he likes to keep things simple. And I rather do too. But yes, I have thought of add’l pillows. I can toss them on the washer at night while not in use.

      I want to place a full rug on the floor for a few reasons: 1. It helps capture all the dust bunnies that tend to float around on wood floors. 2. It stabilizes the bed (ours wants to move around on the hard woods). 3. The only remnants I’ve seen are carpet remnants, and I don’t want a carpet. I like the look and feel of a rug.

      BUT! That is an excellent idea of binding a runner. I’ll have to keep that in mind in the future. I’ve honestly never thought of that.

      Thanks for the compliments on the curtains. I’m just in love with them right now. You’re right. It is entirely versatile. If it isn’t obvious, these are back and white (although not too terribly far from the navy in hue).

  4. CIndyK says:

    Enjoy your new curtains. Well done on the sewing. It takes so little to make a space look different and new.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      CindyK – Thank you! I will. And you’re right. It does take so little, but oh my goodness, not so little time. You’d think panels like that would be a quick sew. Maybe for a master, but I think I took 3x as long to iron and pin as I did to sew them!

      1. Joyce T says:

        EVERYTHING takes longer to iron and pin than it does to sew! I love sewing; it’s the ironing, measuring, pinning, and cutting that drive me crazy. However, as with all worthwhile endeavors, it’s the unseen background work that makes the masterpiece sing. If I don’t iron, measure, etc., to the best of my abilities, then the end result is NOT a masterpiece, and all I’m singing is the blues. I find this to be true in all of life’s tasks.

      2. Heather Sanders says:

        Joyce T“I find this to be true in all of life’s tasks.” – There is so much truth in that!

  5. Debbie says:

    I love the curtains Heather! They are awesome! I think (since you’re asking) I would do some great ticking throw pillows and then maybe add some cute embellishments to the front (see Pinterest) and for sure do the lamp and maybe add some of that ribbon with the decorative balls or fringe or something like that, around the edges of the shade.

    I know what you mean about rugs costing so much! We ended up buying two runners (one for each side of the bed) at Bed, BAth and Beyond for cheap (with a coupon) rather than spend a lot on a big rug.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Debbie – Thanks for your input. I really do want to cover the lampshade. I’m going to have to look that up online because I’ve never covered a lamp before. However, I’m not very girlie-girlie and so, I’ll hold off on the decorative balls and fringe for now. Those are the things I see in others’ houses and love…for them, but they don’t fit me.

      I really may have to consider 3 runners (both sides and the foot) to cut back on expenses. They may end up being mismatched finds. I should check out local antique stores. I love old rugs too.

  6. tcmullinax says:

    They look great! I love all the ideas, but pillows are just fussy and useless. I would buy a large outdoor (hose off-able) rug. Then, make a binding all around it with the ticking. I see that with a solid, very tailored ivory dust ruffle and lampshade.

    My first thought was to cover a small headboard with the ticking. I’m afraid your heads will be freezing by the window. With the room size, I wouldn’t do any more than two ticking projects, or it might lessen the impact!

    Maybe make a simple Christmas ornament or two if you have little scraps left. I bet Emelie could use ticking scraps in a mixed media piece for the family room, just to carry the pattern through the house a bit.

    I can’t wait to see what you do!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      tcmullinax – The lampshade is for the living room. I won’t be bringing any more lighting into the bedroom. We already have the two on the wall, the one in the fan (which I think we’ve turned on twice), and the one over the piece Emelie made (we use it as the room light b/c it puts out so much light).

      I am with you on reducing the use of ticking in the room. That’s why I was thinking of just doing the dust ruffle. I do like the “ruffle” though – especially with the basic bedspread atop it.

      Thanks so much for all the ideas!

  7. Alojzia says:

    It’s so lovely and calm. Striped patterns are so orderly and calming especially for a small space.

    Size of space is not an issue. It’s not the size of house. It’s how you live in it. I’ve seen people in large , fancy houses, and they are unhappy. Or, they don’t bother or put the effort into making the house into a home. Or their family life is all askew, and the big house has not made them happy.

    As to storage space, Frank Lloyd Wright did not put many closets into his architecture. He said that if people have lots of stuff they become nothing but custodians of their possessions. Don’t I know that to be true. Sometimes all I do is shift things around. Things I don’t need and use, but I can’t quite get rid of. I am tackling the attic this year.

    Love what you are doing with the house. And you guys really do know how to make a house into a home.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Alojzia – I think you’ve said exactly how I feel in the room now. By covering up the wash closet, the shelves of clothes, and our closet, everything is just calmer.

      I have heard it said that people with lots of stuff become “nothing but custodians of their possessions”, but I did not know to attribute it to Frank Lloyd Wright. I’m going to Amazon now to see if I can find a biography on the man. I’ve often admired his works in the large coffee table books full of photos, but I bet he’d be an interesting person to read about too!

  8. Christine says:

    My son just asked why I am laughing.
    “I’m reading a Bible verse.”
    “The Bible makes you laugh?”
    “Well, this verse does.”

    (My hand has been buried in the dish, but I’m afraid I have managed to bring it back to my mouth.)

    I love the curtains and am impressed with your sewing ability. I bought my son some plain white hem-it-yourself curtains at Ikea. They even include the WonderUnder strip for ironing the hem – no sewing required! Two years later they still “gracefully” puddle on his floor. :/ (Actually they are now down and Lord willing will be done by the weekend.)

    I think use the extra fabric for accents and not the dust ruffle. IMO, that is a lot of work for not a lot of impact in your cozy room and it might even be too much. Target has a tailored bed skirt for $15.20 (on sale from $15.99 – woo, $.79!) I think black, to pick up the stripes and also to anchor your bed to the floor, but it also comes in white, gray, and tan.

    I love that feeling of getting your space in order – I’m smiling. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Christine – I love that you laughed at that verse because sometimes God’s Word really cracks me up. It’s almost as if He interjected humor so we could swallow it easier.

      You are too funny with your son’s gracefully puddling curtains. Though I can’t laugh too hard because I was only a year behind ya!

      I’ll think some more on the style of dust ruffle. I have had concern it might be “too much” ticking for that small space.

      I have also considered cushions for my kitchen chairs.

      Seriously…there is just so much that can be done with what is left!

  9. Diane says:

    Dust ruffle first. You don’t have to make it a *ruffle*, you know – *gathered* to the piece that rests between the box and mattress. You can do a straight panel on each side. Much cleaner, simpler line – and it takes less fabric. You also don’t have to do that whole drop in the ticking. If your bedspread hangs 5″ down from the top of the box spring, no one will (theoretically) see that top part of the dust ruffle drop, so you can make that with a plain, bleached muslin, like you would for the piece between the mattress and box. Does any of that make any sense at all?

    I’m almost done remaking my own bedroom into something much simpler and calmer. I have the opposite issue, though: I’ve gone from a 10 x 10 foot bedroom in the flat I rented to a 13 x 16 room in the condo I bought. Trying hard NOT to fill it up!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Diane – Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I may use an older cotton sheet I have that we’re no longer using for my base between the comforter and boxspring. I do want a “gather”, but it’ll be a simple basting stitch kind of pull-gather. I believe I have plenty of fabric for the full 15″ drop though, so that’s good.

      Oh! Have fun with your expansion. And definitely resist filling it up. Some of my favorite spaces have planned open areas. They are glorious in their simplicity!

  10. Holly says:

    I love what you have done with your bedroom. I say “go for the dust ruffle”. Have you tried IKEA? At least look online and see if you like their style. Look forward to your posts every week.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Holly -I LOVE going to IKEA. Although, I have to go with someone who is patient and doesn’t mind the millions of ideas that come flying out of my mouth as soon as I hear them. Not all of their things are well made, but we did have a couple of dressers from them that have held up well, and I love the simple lines and focus on organization.

      Thanks for your encouragement! I’m so glad to hear you look forward to the posts!

  11. Laura says:

    I think if you spray paint your curtain hardware it will disappear into your ceiling of you really want to lose them.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Laura – That’s a strong point, except that I LOVE the curtain hardware!! 🙂 I wanted the height, but wasn’t so concerned about “losing” them.

  12. Cheryl Smith says:

    Oh, my! They are just beautiful! I love your ingenuity! It is a very peaceful space…what else does one really need?

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Cheryl – Thanks so much. I love it. Truly, I love crawling in bed and looking at my curtains. Makes me smile. One day that will be a sort of dressing room for Jeff and me. We plan to build on to the house so the kids can each have rooms. When we do, where they currently sleep will be mine and Jeff’s bed. Of course, that’s a few years in the making, so for now, this is my peaceful little space!

  13. Monica B. says:

    It looks so cozy and peaceful; like a quiet, little special haven. A sleeping nook. And on the rainy days it just might be the place to be… 😉 Beautiful!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Monica – It is so cozy and peaceful. Thank you for your kind words. It makes it even more fun when people can see what I see in our little spaces. 🙂

  14. GingerR says:

    i don’t think I’d put more ticking into that room.
    You don’t want to look like a crate of ticking fell off a truck and that’s all you have to work with.

    I’m working on the lamp graveyard that’s filling up my basement workshop. I ordered a base to replace one that was broken, then discovered that the cluster cover is rusted together and won’t budge. We finally got that taken apart and now it’s time to study the way the cord goes to the sockets and replicate it with a new cord. Opps – maybe there will be a trip to Home Depot to buy a wire stripper, or maybe I’ll make do with a kitchen knife. The lamp has been sitting down there since 2007 when MIL passed away and it came to us, if I get it done by Christmas I’ll be happy.

    Anyway, I’ve watched several make-a-lampshade U-tubes and it doesn’t look so bad. The ticking will look nice with a light shining through it.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      GingerR“You don’t want to look like a crate of ticking fell off a truck and that’s all you have to work with.” – Good point, and too funny!

      I agree that I’d like to see the ticking on the lampshade. I may go after that first and ponder the bedskirt a few more weeks. After all, TIME is my biggest commodity!

  15. J says:

    RE: Dust Ruffle – Whatever you end up doing – ruffles or tailored panel – I have another suggestion for the bed skirt.

    Don’t make the base and sew on the ruffle which is a total pain. Use twisty upholstery pins and pin the bed skirt (gathered or a straight panel) directly to the box springs. Measure from the top of the floor to the top of the box springs and each side of the bed you want covered. Add several inches for pinning on top of box spring…and whatever type of hem you want. I only hem the bottom and ends – and leave the top part raw. Take off the mattress so you can pin the top of the bed skirt several inches on the horizontal edge of the box spring. Overlap the corners a bit, so you don’t see the bed risers or the junk under the bed. Get help putting the mattress back on the box springs so you don’t yank on the bed skirt too much.

    I wasn’t as fancy and particular as this (http://www.dimplesandtangles.com/2014/03/how-to-make-simple-diy-bedskirt.html), but it gives you the basic idea since I think my explanation is totally confusing!

    It is sooo stinkin’ easy to do and I don’t ever have a problem making the bed and tucking in sheets or blankets.

    You can get the pins at a fabric store or on Amazon where they are actually called Twisty Upholstery Pins.

    1. J says:

      LOL…re: overlapping the corners….that would be MY junk and MY bed risers being hidden by the bed skirt. I am certainly not insinuating that your under-bed storage looks like mine!

      1. Heather Sanders says:

        J – You’re so funny. No offense taken. I actually have a “thing” about too much stuff under a bed. I have two rolling sweater bins that fit perfectly side by side. One of them houses paper towels so that we can buy them in bulk. The other has two Kraft Paper Rolls and twine (that’s what I use for all gifts), and a few different sized boxes.

    2. Heather Sanders says:

      J – I know exactly what you’re talking about b/c I’ve actually done that in the past. And you’re right, it does work. I actually did a loose basting stitch across the top, gathered the ruffle, sewed it with a tighter stitch, and then used large quilting safety pins. It was burlap though, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it for long. But I did! And it lasted years!

      I’m not sure what Twisty Upholstery Pins are though, so I have to go and look out of curiosity!

  16. Ann says:

    Great Job on the curtains ! A few years back we spent a fair amount of time living on our boat, by comparison your bedroom is very spacious! The best thing about that time was we only bought/kept what was really needed instead of what we either wanted or thought we needed! Living on land I find it much harder to stay focused on what truly matters, I applaud you and your family for doing just that. Thanks for the reminder! PS ticking strip bed skirt might be to much ticking?

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Ann – Thanks! Oh goodness, what kind of boat? My Daddy had a sailboat when I was in Junior High and High School, and I remember the evenings we spent on it (slept 6). You are absolutely right – little to no room. What an adventure that would be though – living on a boat. I think there is a lot of truth to what you say about staying focused on what truly matters. It is a daily ask for me.

      P.S. I didn’t sew the ticking bedskirt yet because I’m wondering the same thing. Plus, today I had a killer headache and put myself to a nap after my morning Bible Study, breakfast, a few chores and bill paying. I woke up 3 1/2 hours later in darkness and couldn’t believe it! So, this day (Saturday) was a day of accidental, partial rest instead of sewing.

      1. Ann says:

        So you know tight spaces, we had a sailboat, 39′ (13′ beam) and 2 teen agers! It’s funny how quickly Family members are able sense the needs of one another when living in such close quarters! Your kids dont have any know idea the gift you are giving them and my guess is you really can’t imagine the gift you and Jeff are giving them! Side note : if you can find table runners in second hand shops they can make great bed skirts – maybe a cottage lace !

  17. JennyJoT says:

    LOVE your curtains – you did a beautiful job. I have SO many projects I need to do at home, but they all seem so overwhelming to me that I sometimes feel a bit paralyzed. I need to put my big-girl-panties on and dive in on at least ONE project – even if it is as small as cleaning out a dresser drawer. I think a ticking dust ruffle or bedskirt would be very cute. Not sure about the lampshade – it would depend on how much light it would allow through, AND how tough it would be to get the stripes the way you want them. Might be a very frustrating project. Just my thoughts, but then I’m kind of chicken when it comes to anything involving sewing! Enjoy your nest. 🙂

  18. sunniebridges says:

    Now if I had to live in a closet, this would be my pick. Well actually sleeping that close to my clothes would be my first pick!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      sunniebridges – Too funny. One day that closet will be a closet again (or rather, a dressing room of sorts), but for now, I’m glad it meets with your approval! 🙂 Thanks for the kind words.

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