After posting Small Spaces and the Luxury of Less, I received an email from Pam (a loyal reader) requesting decorating ideas for her daughter’s dorm room. Instantly, memories of living at Brumby Hall flooded my mind. I remember standing in my doom room with my Mother and Grandparents trying to figure out what to send back home with them! I clearly had way too much stuff. When my roommate arrived, a wave of claustrophobia hit. Two of us would be living in this shoebox. I desperately tried to find photos of our room, but had to resort to this sketch:
We had loft beds built so we could make better use of the floor space. On this side of the room was my bed, desk, and a futon. On the opposite side was her bed, her desk, a makeshift pantry, mini refrigerator, and TV. After uploading my sketch I found this 3D rendering of our room on the UGA Housing website. I wish I had this prior to moving in!
A Couple of Quick Tips…
- Get the feel of wall-to-wall carpeting using a carpet remnant or room size rug.
- Install loft beds. You will doubled the room square footage when you raised the beds off the floor. When guests visit they can sit on the floor or a small sofa instead of on your bed.
- Go bold with color. Most dorms don’t allow you to paint the walls so seize the opportunity by using fabrics (bedding/furniture/pillows) to inject color.
- Organization is key. When the two of you are living in a mouse hole, neither of you can afford to be messy. EVERYTHING in your room needs to have an assigned place when not in use!!
While there are restrictions on what you can do to your space, these guy proved that one doesn’t have to be doomed to a semester of lackluster decor.
You have no control over the quality of your mattress, but you do control what goes on top.
- Choose an egg crate mattress pad or a memory foam mattress topper for extra support and comfort. *Be sure to air them out for a couple of hours. They tend to smell like a Sharpie marker when fresh out the package*
- Buy high thread count sheets. Crawling into a soft linens after a long night of
partyingstudying helps you to recover from a wild nightrest well and feel refreshed the next day.
- Choose bold colors/and or pattern for your comforter especially if you are not allowed to paint. This may be one of the only opportunities to inject personality into your space.
- If you don’t have to share a room, consider bringing in a bedside table from home or pick one up from a local thrift.
- Use slipcovers to hide an ugly desk chair or add a bright seat cushion for comfort as well as a pop of color.
Regarding Accessories/Wall Decor
- Add curtains. Be sure to use tension rods for inside mounting. You are not allowed to drill holes in the wall.
- Add a cute desk lamp.
- Use stylish desk accessories. Show that you have smarts and style to boot!
- Get creative with wall art. I got excited when I saw this post at Jenny’s about making Big Art from Small Items. Read all about it here and be inspired!
Do you recall your college dorm room? What additional advice would you give to someone sharing a small space?
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