Image: Clifton Interiors
Decorating a small bedroom creates some specific challenges — especially when you’re sleeping, studying, entertaining and relaxing there. Add a roommate, and those challenges can increase exponentially.
In the not-too-distant past, dorm room ideas for decorating were limited to not much more than posters, bean-bag chairs and a shelf for books (and ramen, of course). But today’s tech-savvy, eco-savvy and design-savvy college students naturally want their dorm room to reflect their design sensibilities.
Here are 10 dorm room ideas for styling your school space.
Image: JSM Digital
1. Create Space By Lofting Your Bed
Most dorm rooms have the capacity for loft beds. Take advantage of high ceilings by raising your bed loft-style; doing so gives you a sizable amount of space below your bed.
The possibilities for that newfound space are almost endless. Do you want to make it a comfy lounging area? A workspace with a desk and storage? If you and your roommate both loft your beds, your room will be twice as spacious.
Don’t forget to add a little storage up high so you aren’t always climbing down to answer your phone or get a glass of water.
Image: After Five Designs
2. If You Can’t Loft, Then Lift
The majority of dorm rooms are on the smaller side. If you are unable to loft your bed to gain some extra space, try using bed risers to lift it. Those few extra inches of storage space can make a huge difference when you are living in one room.
Consider repurposing old dresser drawers by adding wheels to the bottom and sliding them under the bed for organized, hidden storage. Find some inexpensive fabric or an extra-long bedskirt to keep your items out of sight and your bed looking tidy.
Image: Mint Six
3. Personalize Your Dorm Room
When your room was cleaned over the summer, the furniture probably went back into a standard layout. Don’t be afraid to rearrange it; try putting two desks together, moving the dressers into a new configuration or putting your bed by the window.
Consider covering an accent wall in some removable wallpaper, or using it to cover your dresser drawers. Alternatively, mirrors are a great way to give your room a sense of space and light, so you could cover one wall with framed mirrors. If you can’t put holes in the walls, opt for decorative peel-and-stick mirrors.
If you have someplace off-campus to safely store that utilitarian dorm furniture (and your college doesn’t mind), replace a few unnecessary or undesirable items with things that you love. Just make sure to bring the school’s property back at the end of the year.
Image: Gates Interior Design
4. Use Multi-Functional Furniture
Small spaces have some big challenges. First and foremost: How do you make room for everything? One of the best ways to solve that challenge is to ask more of your furniture.
A small table for your entertaining space is great — but a pouf that can be used as a table, a seat or an ottoman is three times better. Ottomans with hidden storage are another great option.
Your furniture must be able to serve more than one function in your space. Even making the top of your dresser into a vanity can save space and make your dorm room more user-friendly.
Image: Rethink Design Studio
5. Coordinate with Your Roommate
Note that we said coordinate, not match. While some roommates may have the desire to make their dorm room look like a Freshome post, don’t feel like you have to go that far (although more power to you if you want to do that).
To prevent things from clashing, make a plan with your roommate before you move in. Choose a color palette that works well together in a small space but allows each of you to show your own personality. Solid-colored bedding gives lots of options for coordinating.
If it’s important to both of you that your styles mesh, forego buying your comforter, pillows, curtains and similar furnishings until you get to school so you can pick them out together.
Image: JVW Home
6. Temporary Wall Art Works Wonders
Dorm rooms have their limitations; you usually can’t paint or nail things to the walls. But that doesn’t mean you are forced to spend a year looking at those boring white walls. There are plenty of options for adding wall art to your dorm room that can be removed quickly and easily at the end of the school year.
Temporary wall decals come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and images. If you don’t find anything that inspires you, make custom art using washi tape; clip Instagram pics on a clothesline held up by removable hooks or wooden clothespins; or suspend a large piece of decorative fabric on a tension rod to create a feature wall.
Image: 30s Magazine
7. Keep the Clutter Contained
Nothing shrinks a space more than clutter. Keeping your items put away will not only make your mom proud, but also make your room feel bigger. Give your belongings a home by using baskets, trays, bins or boxes; storage can be cute and functional while not detracting from the design of your room.
To keep your accessories contained and organized, take advantage of unused spaces …read more