Decorating Tips for Maximizing Dorm Space

When you think of a college dorm, an image of uncomfortable furniture enclosed in white cinderblock walls likely comes to mind. But students living on campus can easily make this space their own and maximize what little square footage they have by planning ahead for their dorm decor.

Add a Pop of Color
Choosing solid colors for curtains, bedding and other accessories is key to creating a calming space for unwinding between classes and activities and, of course, for studying because it’s easier to mix and match. When determining your color scheme, keep in mind that colors can affect how you feel. Shades of blue help promote a calm, tranquil environment for relaxation. Greens are also good options for students, as they are associated with feeling secure and safe. Steer clear of bright colors such as shades of red and orange, which are over-stimulating, or use them sparingly.

Make it Feel Like Home
Beanbags are perfect for keeping cozy while adding a touch of chic. These cushy seats have come a long way since your childhood, too. Many are now designed to look like lounge chairs and ottomans, so adding them on top of an area rug will create a living room space perfect for curling up to study or providing extra seating for when your friends stop by. Fill blank wall space with inexpensive decals, but be sure to pick the ones that won’t strip the paint when you’re done. Need to dim out the room? Sliding window panels and bamboo shades are both trendy and economical.

Store Items to Create Space
You won’t have as much space as you’re used to in a college dorm room, but you can make it look like you do. Create the feel of having more space by using multi-purpose storage items to decrease visible clutter. Items such as bookshelves with hooks, bed risers, stackable crates, cubby organizer shelves and trunks that can act as an ottoman or coffee table are ideal. It’s important to remember that you should utilize as much wall space as possible and always stack up vertically.

Keep Neat and Organized
Does everything in your dorm have a place to call home? Keep similar items together by using organizers all over the room. For closets, consider shoe racks for the back of the door, multi-tier hangers for clothes, portable laundry bags and hanging shelves. On your desk, keep chargers tangle-free with a charging station, store books in a magazine caddy instead of stacking them, and organize notes and paperwork inside dividers that can be tucked in a drawer. If there is a bathroom inside your room, use a sticky magnetic strip on the wall to keep bobby pins, razors and makeup brushes together.

The goal is to create a fully functional space with complementary colors that create balance and harmony. If you’re not quite there, then head back to the drawing board.


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Written by Francia Fusik

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