16 Clever Overbed Storage Ideas That You’ll Want to Try

Forget whatever images you have of over-the-bed storage in your mind. Sure, overbed storage is certainly practical, but it can also create a brilliant design feature in any bedroom. Gone are the days .

By Amy Booth Updated: March 9, 2024 8 mins read

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Forget whatever images you have of over-the-bed storage in your mind. Sure, overbed storage is certainly practical, but it can also create a brilliant design feature in any bedroom.

Gone are the days of predictable fitted bedroom furniture and old-fashioned ‘bed bridges’. There’s never been such a fantastic range of choice when it comes to cabinet styles, shapes and colours.

Overbed storage is a brilliant space saver, too, so even if you’re working with the smallest of bedrooms, it could be the design solution for you. Check out these 16 clever overbed storage ideas that you’ll want to try.

1. Create an Architectural Feature

There is so much more to these bedroom cabinets than first meets the eye. In this spacious, open-plan room, the large plywood unit creates a divide between bedroom and office, cleverly concealing the raised desk space behind.

This bedroom design offers plenty of storage options – but it’s effortlessly stylish, too. The use of plywood in the overbed storage also helps to create a chic, Scandi vibe in this space, resulting in an ultra-modern look.

2. Make a Feature of Your Headboard Wall

Make a real feature of your headboard wall by installing some statement cabinetry. Use the height of your bedroom by framing your headboard with tall, fitted cupboards.

These sleek, modern units contain drawers, cupboards and open shelves, making excellent use of the space usually reserved for bedside tables.

Give your bedroom a contemporary feel by avoiding having cupboards hanging directly over your headboard. Make sure the focus is on either side of your bed with tall, slim cupboards, with a piece joining the two across your bed.

3. Create Seamless Space

Contrasting fitted cabinets and walls can sometimes look a bit busy, making a room feel smaller – which isn’t ideal if your bedroom is already on the compact side.

So, enhance the sense of space in your bedroom by coordinating your overbed storage with your décor.

This modern bedroom features sleek, flat-panel cabinets, offering plenty of room for clothes, linen and accessories.

The cabinets and walls are the same shade of pale grey, creating a bright, spacious and seamless finish. Choose white or an alternative light neutral shade to maximise the light in your bedroom.

4. Keep It Simple

Need practical storage solutions, but you don’t want to overpower your space? Then choose a minimalist look to help you get the most out of your bedroom design.

This contemporary bedroom keeps things simple with an all-white colour scheme, sleek cabinetry and handleless doors. White cupboards are an excellent choice for helping to reflect light and brighten up any room.

Plus, the simplistic storage ensures the bedroom doesn’t feel at all cluttered.

5. Maximise Space in a Small Room

If you have a small bedroom, overbed storage can be an invaluable way of maximising your space. And it’s perfect if you don’t have a lot of wall space for wardrobes along the side of your room.

This simplistic, modern bedroom makes the most of the available space with minimal bedroom cabinets. Opt for white walls, cupboards and shelving to make your cosy space feel larger.

6. Build a False Wall

Think outside the box when looking for bedroom storage ideas. Rather than recessing the bed under wall-hung cupboards, build a false wall behind your bed to create an alcove for storage.

This will mean that when your cupboard doors are shut, they will look like a wall and not a bulky storage unit.

You will lose some floor space, but in a long, narrow room it can correct the proportions and really help to maximise unused wall space. Choose a contrasting colour for your cabinet doors to make a beautiful feature.

7. Balance an Awkward Space

Overbed storage isn’t just practical. It can be a great design feature and help to balance any awkward angles you may have in your bedroom.

Take this beautiful, contemporary bedroom. It has an asymmetrical alcove to contend with, but the overbed shelves help to balance the look of the space – and provide valuable space for decorative accessories.


8. Mix Materials

Choose a mix of materials to give your overbed storage a contemporary finish. This combination of simplistic white and plywood cupboard offers a chic, Scandinavian look.

And although this modern bedroom has plenty of storage space, it doesn’t overpower the room thanks to the two-tone finish. Using white units on the upper section helps to enhance the sense of space and opens the room up.

Plus, it provides extra visual interest in the room.

9. Tidy up the Clutter

Overbed units are perfect for children’s rooms because they help to free up precious floor space for playing and studying. Plus, you can never have too many cupboards for storing toys, books, and tech.

This gorgeous, contemporary children’s bedroom has ample stylish storage, with white wood cupboards and colour-pop open shelves framing the bed. I admit, just because you have storage doesn’t guarantee your children will always use it – but it’s a good start!

10. Get Creative

This small double bedroom brings some design challenges. Traditional overbed storage cabinets could make the bed appear boxed in, and partially block the window, affecting natural light.

But with these clever, asymmetric wall units, the space is opened up. If you have an awkward space, look for creative solutions to work with what you’ve got. Asymmetric cabinets can give your bedroom a funky and modern twist.

11. Use Shelves in the Middle

Overbed storage doesn’t just have to mean cupboards. In fact, open shelving can be a great way to add valuable storage space and create an eye-catching feature at the same time.

By using shelving in between two tall wardrobes, you help to open up the area above your bed and create a feeling of space. Plus, it’s a great place for books, frames and small houseplants.

12. Illuminate Your Storage

Create a lovely feature by illuminating your overbed storage with warm lighting. Whatever type of storage you opt for, there’s a lighting solution to match.

Whether you choose discreet strip lights, downlighters or stylish wall lights, it’s a brilliant way to give your bedroom some atmospheric evening light.

13. Build Storage Into Your Headboard

Give yourself handy extra storage space with a bespoke headboard design. This beautiful period home bedroom features a statement bed, with a clever recessed shelving design built into the headboard.

This idea provides easy-to-reach bedtime storage. Ideal if you don’t have room for bedside cabinets but need some space for books, night creams, alarm clocks and accessories. Make a real feature of your shelf by adding some soft strip lighting, too.

14. Choose Open Cabinets

Open storage has been rising in popularity in our homes. In bedrooms, it allows you to easily see your items and find what you’re looking for that much more quickly – and it can create a gorgeous feature, too.

Instead of traditional bedroom cupboards, choose open cabinets and shelving to give your room a modern look. To prevent your room from looking cluttered, don’t overfill your cabinets – think carefully about a few larger, statement pieces to create a visually appealing space.

15. Add Recessed Shelving

Installing recessed shelves in your bedroom is a great way to create extra space that you wouldn’t otherwise have had.

If you have a chimney that’s no longer in use, you could build recessed shelving into this to give yourself room to store books and decorative accessories.

Make an interesting feature by painting your recessed shelving a bold, contrasting colour. For instance, pair pale grey walls with sunshine yellow shelves, or white walls with black. It’s a great place to pop handy reading lights, too.


16. Choose Open Cabinets

If you’re looking for a feature that’s more decorative than functional, try adding a simple single shelf above your bed. It’s great for drawing the eye to your bed and making a real feature of it.

Dress your shelf with some framed prints, small decorative accessories and houseplants.


Is Overbed Storage Old Fashioned?

The clunky, old-school ‘bed bridges’ of the 80s and 90s might make you think overbed cupboards are old-fashioned, but there is so much you can do to update the look. Choose your furniture wisely, and you’ll have a bedroom that will stand the test of time.

How Do You Modernise Overbed Storage?

There are lots of ways you can modernise overbed storage. For instance, consider a simplistic design with clean lines, such as sleek, flat-panel, handleless cupboards, so your space doesn’t look cluttered.

You could also include open shelves or cabinets above the bed to enhance the feeling of space and give a contemporary finish.

Amy Booth

Amy Booth is a freelance writer that’s passionate about all things home decor, art, literature, and nature. She lives in an Edwardian home in the North East of England, where her renovation adventures began with her husband and newborn daughter, Violet. Amy describes her home style as “traditional with a twist”, and in her spare time, she shares home decor tips and inspiration on her Instagram page, as well as her latest home updates. When she’s not obsessing over interiors, you can find her cooking vegetarian food or enjoying a glass of prosecco.

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