12 Small Bedroom and Living Room Combo Ideas

Small space, big style combos.
12 Small Bedroom and Living Room Combo Ideas
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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There are some great ideas for small bedroom and living room combos, but they all share the same inherent challenge, and that challenge is how do you make the combo private?

In the overview of small bedroom living room combos, we will give you some real-world advice, not an interior designer's views. How to create the look and how to achieve the look in really easy-to-understand concise words.

Learn how to utilize a small space to your advantage and morse such as:

  • Mezzanine inspired living
  • Student living
  • Elegant monochrome
  • The bottom line

Grab a coffee and put your feet as we get into it.

How can you use one space for a bedroom and living room?

With small rooms, you need to think out of the box because space is at a premium, and there are many challenges such as storage, privacy, and how the hell will you make all of your furniture fit in the space and be comfortable?

Here are some quick tips to give you an idea of how to proceed.

  • Use a room divider, room dividers can come in many guises. A perfect choice would be an extended bookshelf.
  • Decide where you spend most time living and how much space you wish to dedicate to this area.
  • Don't close the space using dark colors. Keep it bright and airy, and use artificial lighting strategically.
  • Use glass for partitions. You can always add curtains for privacy. 

Planning will be the key to creating an awesome space where you can move around easily and still relax.

Functional pain concepts are going to work best. If you are a minimalist, then you are in look, and your space will look amazing.

Open plan living is nothing new, it's been around for decades, so we can answer your FAQs and give you some inspiring ideas.

1. When space is limited, look up

There will be cases where the footprint of your room is not going to be big enough to have a living area and sleeping area, so what can you do?

Use a mezzanine floor. Mezzanines in a home are not meant for height, well, not in this set of circumstances. You can have a mezzanine constructed where there is only room for a decent size bed and nothing else.

In this living bedroom combo, everything is a neutral color or plain wood with shades to make the dimensions of this small room feel much bigger than they actually are.

How to create this look?

Creating a rustic style home needs lots of timber. Reclaimed timber would look best if you can find a decent amount to fit the lower ground floor and mezzanine.

Construct your staircase out of timber that is structurally sound and use two storage containers for the first two steps. That is a brilliant and functional idea.

Keep the colors light to open the room out and make things feel bigger and brighter.

How easy is it to achieve this look? Although a beautiful space and a pleasure to live in, a combo designed to such precision, the look could be difficult to achieve.

Why? The mezzanine is a structural component that needs to be designed and installed correctly. Although it's not impossible, it will be costly unless you are a structural engineer and can design the mezzanine yourself.

The ground floor is achievable and could be completed by a competent DIY enthusiast.

2. Keep it simple

Small bedrooms and living room combos are normally needed when space is at a premium, but this doesn't mean you can't make a comfortable and airy feeling space.

Use bookshelves to divide the areas of the room in an attempt for privacy if you share the room.

It's essential to keep the combo looking bright so use white or subtle neutral tones to create the illusion the room is bigger than its dimensions.

Sumptuous bed linen will make the combo inviting and cozy.

How to create this look?

This one is nice and easy, just follow the rules to keep the bedroom bright, paint white wherever possible and use light bedding with some accent colors.

A smart wood laminate food ties both the living area and bedroom together making the room feel larger than it is.

The bookshelf is also a smart move, you can see through bookshelves which again creates an illusion of larger dimensions.

Use a little luxury such as a sheepskin rug for a cozy feeling.

How easy is it to achieve this look? This is a very easy look and anyone can make this look with minimal effort, the main key is the bookshelf as a divider with the appropriate amount of books and ornaments on the shelves for just enough privacy.

Remember neutral colors are essential in small spaces.

3. Designer loft living personified

Bedroom combos are an interesting concept and there are some designs that stand out from the crowd.

You would agree that this bedroom living room combo is hardly limited for space, but some of the principles are just the same as living in a room with a small footprint.

Keep the room bright, in this case. There is light from incredibly large windows. The rear bedroom wall is white on a grand scale but the concept remains the same.

Comfortable furnishings and a pretty standard bed design for those on a budget have been added to give a contrast between wealth and not-so-wealthy.

How to create this look?

It's all about light and lots of light. Does it matter if we have natural light? In some respects, yes but for those of you who need to deal with what we have at this moment then you could achieve a similar look with bright white walls and artificial lighting.

The bed base is a great idea, it's cheap and functional and is a talking point when you have friends over for a chat or takeout.

Use the concept of keeping everything light and comfortable.

How easy is it to achieve this look?  It's easy, disregard the spacious combo, it's irrelevant, take the design cue and run with it, it will scale down and fit your own bedroom living room combo.

4. Not quite minimalist

Furnishing a small bedroom living room combo can be a challenge for most folks, when you are used to lush furniture say from living with your parents it can come as an outright shock when you take the step to live independently.

However, sparse living doesn't mean you live on the edge of society, keeping furnishings simple and minimal in terms of quantity may give you a better look than you expected, even if you are sharing the combo space.

Furthermore small doesn't not have to be dull and oppressive, far from it. The image of the room painted blue makes the space feel completely awesome and enviable.

How to create this look?

White ceiling, white window frames, and beautiful Wedgewood blue walls are a classic combination that would make any room look glorious.

The simple stained wood floor is the perfect contrast for the color scheme as is also the dark blue bedding.

The partition wall offers little in the way of privacy but it could have sheer drapes that would also look great.

Be creative with your furnishings such as the rug that fits this decor amazingly.

How easy is it to achieve this look? If you have a paintbrush and a decent roller you can achieve this look easily, the painting of the room may take a week to achieve and then everything easel is furnished.

If you like the color of the walls it's Wedgewood blue, named after famous British pottery.

5. Dilapidated or designed?

There are some spaces that are perfect for the small bedroom and living room combo but they can first appear to be structurally dubious and possibly beyond the scope of the vision of the person viewing the space.

However, don't be put off, a lot of old industrial buildings that are converted into dwellings can offer this type of design challenge and with simple designs, you can create something remarkably unique without spending a small fortune.

How to create this look?

White emulsion in copious amounts will be needed. First address the brickwork, it will likely benefit from a brick sealing solution recommended by your local DIY outlet.

Once you have sealed the brickwork you can proceed with the white emulsion,  paradoxically you can literally slap the paint on the walls and not worry about finish, just the coverage.

Add neutral furnishings with throws to give the space a warm feeling. If the building is not overlooked or shielded by trees, don't add curtains, it will keep with the character of the room.

How easy is it to achieve this look? It's so simple to achieve this light and airy space because the windows are already doing most of the work on your behalf.

Although you are looking for coverage of white paint on the wall and not the finish it may pay to use varying quality paints.

Use a cheaper emulsion for the first two coats, the paint is going to be absorbed into the brickwork. Leave the best paint for the final coating.

For uneven walls such as the ones depicted it may be easier to apply your paint through a spray gun.

6. Fisheye view of a small space

Fisheye lenses give an interesting perspective on how a room can look, although the room has some architectural features in essence it's a very simple space and a blank canvas for someone with artistic flair and design ideas.

The use of the playing gray screed works well in this bedroom living room combo, the white curved ceilings are joyful.

An item of modular furniture is always a good option for small spaces, it makes up a visitor's bed very easily.

The blue chair and purple bench seats add some vibrancy to the room but the color scheme does not work together.

How to create this look?

Assuming the wood walls were part of the space the rest of the space is about selecting neutral furnishings.

Replace the purple or Blue with other vibrant or bright colors if you wish, pastels would also work and be easy on the eye.

The fisheye perspective of the space is somewhat off-putting when trying to decide the full potential of the space.

How easy is it to achieve this look? You would have to say there is nothing for the DIY enthusiast to be worried about, white paint and it's done.

Of course, most matching furnishing would be acceptable in this bedroom living room combo.

7. Sutekina heya

Sutekina heys translates from Japanese to nice room! A nice room would be an understatement for this Japanese-inspired bedroom and lining combo. But the Japanese are the masters of creating beautiful rooms out of small spaces that are multifunctional.

The styling is distinctive and in a typically Japanese way, it is functional and beautiful. Not all of you can have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a tropical forest but all of you can grasp the concept of simplicity.

Everything is simple and readily available, if you can't afford the bed base use wood pallets, they are trendy now and will achieve the same functional aspect of the design.

How to create this look?

Simplicity is the key, when you look at Japanese homes they are simple, functional, and comfortable, you can achieve the same. 

Ditch the privacy screen, especially if you live alone, it takes up space and in some cases closes the space down to make it feel claustrophobic.

Use white for the walls and then contrast with furnishings.

How easy is it to achieve this look? If you can apply white paint to a wall and ceiling then you have cracked the code to make this room.

If you are going for the Japanese sleeping style, include draft excluders at the bottom of your doors, they are great for keeping the room warm in winter and keeping creepy crawlies out in the summer.

Use deep color furnishings and accessories to break up the white.

8. It works in hotels so it can work in your home

If your small bedroom and living room combo is your main residence or a second residence it's worth taking some inspiration from hotel rooms. Hotels have been making the most of small spaces since the first hotel opened in the US in 1794 in New York City.

Things have come a long way since those days and hotels use some great designs and color combos that would fit in with the theme of your small bedroom and living room combo.

For most hotels, there is a common thread and that is they use light neutral colors throughout, it's tried and tested so don't try and reinvent the wheel.

How to create this look?

Hotel room design is more of a science than art as they need to achieve things you don’t, you don’t need a super plush mattress that will last you a zillion years.

You can achieve the same look on a budget and be as comfortable as if you were staying in a 5-star hotel.

Use neutral colors, or just white everywhere, and then add color through furnishings and accessories.

How easy is it to achieve this look? Get online and look for hotel rooms, don't just search your local area, look at Asian hotels, Scandinavian and Nordic hotels, to get more inspiring ideas of how you can achieve the look.

The main things you will be faced with in any space are painting the windows, ceiling, and walls. Then deciding on the floor covering, everything else is about how you select your furnishings.

9. On a tight budget

Just because your budget is tight doesn't mean you can't achieve a space that is homely and to your style.

Take some inspiration from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway where minimal living for some is a way of life and they have nailed the style that can be easily achieved with a minimal budget.

White walls and wood floors (laminate) will speak volumes about your personality, ordered, considerate, and even-tempered, it says a lot about your style.

Who said the FUton is dead, make good use of simple furnishings that are functional and multi-purpose.

How to create this look?

Keep it plain, keep it natural and neutral. Using a sheet of chipboard without paint for a headboard is a fantastic idea, and why not try it. It's a statement piece not a sign of desperation!

Keep everything with clean lines, and don’t use contrasting colors so much, you are trying to achieve an overall video for your small bedroom and ling room comb.

Accessorize with either complimenting items or you could be bolder and introduce some bolder colors.

How easy is it to achieve this look? This is an easy look to achieve, look at a famous Scandinavian furniture store for inspiration, if you can get to the store they will have mock rooms so you can visualize your own space.

White paint, wood laminate flooring, and simple furniture are the main components of the room.

10. Monochrome

Using dark tones in a small bedroom and ling room combo is not often recommended for good reasons. But there are reasons you should use it and that reason is that it looks fantastic.

A charcoal accent wall with texture is a masterpiece in the right setting and it could look out of this world in your space. Contrast the charcoal with a light gray, not white but a hint of gray.

Furnish the rooms sparingly to keep the theme in balance, and use accessories sparingly.

Gray bedding will make the room cohesive and complete the look you have been typing to achieve.

How to create this look?

Keep away from black walls, they don't really work, Use a pre-mixed charcoal paint Not to be confused with gray, charcoal is one of the most versatile colors. Gray is a mixture of white and black, but charcoal has a hint of blue added to the mix.

Use gray on the other walls keeping just one accent wall for the best look. Select your furnishings accordingly. It may seem odd to say but coral goes perfect with charcoal!

How easy is it to achieve this look? It's pretty easy, the texturing can be a challenge so you can roll on that paint and then use a cloth to add texture, you will need to experiment to get it looking how you like it.

The hex code for charcoal is #36454F., you can change the shade slightly by adding midnight black.

Once the painting is done its accessories and furnishings.

11. Student living

You may be studying away from home or taking an internship, so you need your own accommodation. If you know, you are renting for a short time, and your small bedroom and living room are stepping stones, then furnish it accordingly.

If you can buy budget furniture, if you can find decent used furniture at a reasonable price then it's a great way to get you through a short period.

If you come from a beautiful home then it's time to manage your expectations and delusions of grandeur.

Living away from home as a student has many perks such as unlimited freedom so your room is not your priority.

How to create this look?

Do it on a budget, only buy expensive furniture if you are going to use it in a different setting when you move on.

Student life or even life living away from home can bring many challenges and opportunities so worrying about furnishings should be at the bottom of your list.

How easy is it to achieve this look? Find a crummy landlord and you're halfway there!

Make sure you can negotiate stairways and get furnishings through doors if you are buying furniture for your small bedroom and living room combo.

12. Murphy saved the day

The perfect bed for a small bedroom and living room combo would be the Murphy bed. Many think it's Irish designed but it's not. It was the brainchild of a young American guy while wooing his girlfriend!

Folding beds are the best for freeing up space in a small area, they still don't address the subject of privacy but if you want to create extra space in a small room then Murphy is your bed.

And the coolest thing is if you make your bed before returning it to its standing hidden position you can tie the bedding making the duvet and sheets secure, so when you arrive home you sleep immediately if needed.

How to create this look?

You will buy your Murphy bed as a complete unit, you will need to fix the cabinet to the wall so the whole unit cannot topple and injure you as you come back from the bar.

For the rest of the small bedroom and living room combo use neutral colors to keep the room bright and airy.

How easy is it to achieve this look? It's an easy one. You will need to purchase the Murphy bed as a single unit, there should be no need for assembly. It's possibly a good idea to secure the outer cabinet to the wall with reasonably heavy fixings to prevent injuries, it depends on how level your floor is.

Then decide on your color scheme, it's recommended to go with light tones.

The bottom line

Small bedroom and living room combos have been used since we started living in homes. The Japanese have mastered the style, and it's still used in many homes in Japan today as the room is converted from living to eating and then sleeping.

It's a sensible way of going about life.

Many of us find ourselves living in small spaces, so making the best of the space is crucial to our well-being.

The good news is there are lots of inspiring ideas to be found online and in real life. How many times have you stayed in a hotel room for business or pleasure and enjoyed the experience?

Hotels are a prime example of where you can look to be inspired. Yes, they have a big budget but what they don't have like you is a large space to deal with, and they make it work.

If you are on a tight budget, should you live in a less than agreeable small bedroom and living room combo? The answer is no and in this authoritative article you can find out how to achieve a great look when your budget is tight.

Not everything needs to be white and light. Use charcoal accent walls to create an elegant look. The possibilities are endless if you can be inspired to use your creative flair and personality to make your own mark on your home.

When all else fails, there is always Murphy to help you out. Murphy beds can create space by folding the bed away. It's a genius idea.