Interior Designer Shares How to Maximize Space in Bedroom

Emily Shaw designed an upgraded version of my bedroom (pictured).
Lauren Edmonds/Insider; Emily Shaw

  • I moved into a one bedroom apartment during the pandemic but I’ve been too busy to decorate.
  • I asked Emily Shaw, an interior designer with more than 5.9 million followers on TikTok, for advice.
  • Shaw suggested covering my bare white walls with removable wallpaper.

I currently live in a one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

A photo of me making pasta in my apartment in New York City.
Lauren Edmonds/Insider

In July 2021 my boyfriend and I decided to upgrade to a larger space from the studio apartment we were hiding out in during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our current one bedroom apartment is nestled in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn.

I had grandiose design plans when we moved in, but life overwhelmed me.

A photo of my bedroom and closet.
Lauren Edmonds/Insider

I thought years of watching HGTV prepared me for the decoration project, but that wasn’t the case. When we first moved in, I planned to completely transform our bedroom into the perfect space, but it never materialized between the COVID-19 pandemic and life events.

Instead, our room is filled with disjointed decor.

So I asked Emily Shaw, an interior designer making waves online, for advice on how to revitalize our bedroom.

Emily Shaw, 24, is an interior designer known for her eye-catching decor and for chronicling her projects online for millions of users. Shaw has amassed over 5.9 million followers on TikTok and gained over 626,000 subscribers on YouTube.

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In July 2021, she told Insider what interior design trends are making homes look dated.

Shaw created a digital rendering to show me what my bedroom could look like and then explained how I can maximize the space.

One last look at my apartment compared to the suggestions Emily Shaw made.
Lauren Edmonds/Insider; Emily Shaw

Shaw suggested that I sell some of my decor items—including bed frames, curtains, desk, nightstand, and metal shelving—on Facebook Marketplace to help pay for new items.

First Shaw told me to replace my bedroom curtains and bed frame.

A photo of my bedroom hinting at Emily Shaw’s suggestions.
Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Shaw suggested swapping out the dark gray curtains for a window shade “to keep them from getting in the way with the bed.”

“Then I would get a bed frame with storage underneath and put it in the middle of the window,” she said. “A bed frame with built-in storage opens up the space for more space.”

Next, she said to swap out the white bedside table for two tall shelving units.

The tall shelving units offer more space and take advantage of the apartment’s high ceilings.
Lauren Edmonds/Insider

Shaw said IKEA or similar stores likely stock a version of the shelves.

“This will create a lot more storage space and emphasize the height of the room,” she said. “Furthermore, removing a shelf from the shelf gives you space to add lamps on either side of the bed.”

Shaw suggested covering the white walls with peel-off wallpaper and adding fun designs to the otherwise plain space.

The white walls of the apartment can be enhanced with simple solutions such as removable wallpaper.
Emily Shaw

According to Shaw, she had put the peel-off wallpaper around the bedroom window.

“Although optional, adding a piece to the sides of the shelves and ceiling would make the entire wall look like a built-in one,” Shaw told Insider. “

Shaw said he should buy a rolling bed table to replace the desk and a storage bench for extra storage.

A bedside table can replace my desk, which is on the left side of the bedroom.
Emily Shaw

According to Shaw, if I don’t want to buy a bedside table, this is an opportunity to approach the project DIY-style.

The bedside table could easily be DIY-built if you had the hardware store cut the wood for you,” Shaw said. “This would allow you to use the table as a replacement for the current desk arrangement. Sit on the bench to use as a desk, or roll it back and use in bed!”

Finally, she said to add a rug, wall art, and other items to finish the job.

Emily Shaw designed an upgraded version of my bedroom (pictured).
Lauren Edmonds/Insider; Emily Shaw

Finally, she said to add a rug for a pop of color on the floor, in addition to wall art, plants, and books.

“This new center-of-room setup feels a lot less cluttered because things aren’t squashed against the wall,” Shaw said. “It also gives you some space to mount a full-length mirror right next to the closet for easier outfit selection.”

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