5 Alcove Bedrooms Prove That Small Space Living Can be Super Cozy

These designers have embraced small-space living with bedrooms hidden behind curtains or partitioned-off cozy corners

A monochromatic blue alcove bedroom
(Image credit: Timothy Doyon. Design: Charlap Hyman & Herrero)

Solving the problems that inevitably come with minuscule square footage is a common issue in cities. From Paris to New York, cramming in a fully functioning home into a tiny flat can seem near impossible. But that's where the designers and architects come in, playing a game of design Tetris to make sure a home is not just liveable, but cozy.

Alcove bedrooms are one such example, embracing small spaces and creating clever box rooms or snug quarters hidden away by curtains. To inspire you not to banish the box room and instead embrace those snug bedrooms, we've found five splendid examples that take small-space living to the next level.

1. This guest bedroom alcove

A burgundy alcove bedroom

(Image credit: Stacy Van Berkel. Styling: Benjamin Reynaert Creative. Design: Jessica Stambaugh, JS Interiors LLC)

This alcove bedroom is the perfect example of a cozy corner that has been turned into a spot for impromptu naps, day-dreaming and blissful daytime reading. The room sits in a hallway, between a guest room and the bathroom is painted in a deep and cocooning shade of aubergine paint - Farrow & Ball's Brinjal.

'Small bedrooms offer a chance to be creative with built-in cupboards, and maximize every inch of space,' says Jessica Stambaugh, the Nashville designer who designed this North Caroline family home.

Not only does the smaller space create coziness, but it is practical because it must be, points out Jessica. 'This bedroom is in a hallway, with a built-in single bed with storage on one side, and cupboards on the opposite. The dark sophisticated color on walls and cupboards creates a mood that is appropriate both for the young and more mature guests!'

2. These cozy bunks

Bunk beds with curtains

(Image credit: Malissa Mabey. Design: Susannah Holmberg Studios)

Your box room doesn't need to be for one bed either. I love this kids' room, featuring cozy bunks that are concealed by a luscious velvet curtain. The beds make use of the vertical space for extra sleeping space, but upon closing the curtain, you'll be transported to your private nighttime sanctuary.

3. This monochromatic alcove

A monochromatic blue bedroom with storage

(Image credit: Timothy Doyon. Design: Charlap Hyman & Herrero)

This room by Charlap Hyman & Herrero uses a monochromatic color scheme in a pale blue to make the small space feel open and airy. 'I like a small-ish bedroom,' says Adam Charlap Hyman, principal at Charlap Hyman & Herrero.

'It's very nice to feel that you know every corner of the space you sleep in. I believe the purpose of the bedroom is mainly to create a barrier to the outside world - it is easier to make a small space feel protective, enveloping, and calm than a large one, which usually will require more complexity.'

4. This alcove bedroom that zones with color

A dark green bedroom with a curtain that reveals a yellow space

(Image credit: Salvesen Graham)

This cocooning alcove bedroom perfectly zones the space with color. When the curtains are shut, the room is dark green, but open the curtains and you're in a sunny and relaxing space, almost like discovering a secret garden. 'Small rooms can often be the most fun to decorate,' says Salvesen Graham who designed this alcove bedroom.

'This tiny room was to be used for a little boy, but also to double up as a “bachelor bedroom”, explain the designers, Mary Graham and Nicole Salvesen. 'We wanted this space to feel special despite its size and ended up with a cozy, comfortable place to sleep, that now people fight over!

'The cocooning feel of the box bed makes for a peaceful night's sleep, a spot for a bedtime story, or even to use as a mini theatre stage.'

5. This partitioned space

An alcove bedroom that has been partitioned from the living room with a glass wall

(Image credit: Corpus Studio)

This project by Paris-based designers Corpus Studio involved renovating a small pied-à-terre. The original flat was typical of city living and presented constraints, but luckily had large south-west-facing windows overlooking a small, leafy square in the 11th arrondissement.

Corpus Studio's first instinct was to knock down all the walls to recover as much volume as possible and ensure that the flat was flooded with light.

The owner wanted to give priority to social space, so Corpus Studio created a generous living area by reducing the bedroom to a boxed-off alcove, and the bathroom to a cubicle, and avoiding any corridors. The layout makes the most out of the small space, and creates a cozy bedroom zone with its own curtains to control the light levels. A shelf above the bed spans one of the walls in the bedroom zone, making use of that vertical space and providing extra room for bedroom decor.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.