Learn how to create a dorm room layout. PLUS: Three different dorm layout ideas and a dorm layout generator.
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As the beginning of the school year comes closer, dorm room organization and decoration has become a favorite discussion topic among my group of friends.
Our future dorm rooms vary in almost every aspect (size, shape, location, wall color, and floor material, to name just a few), but the one thing we’ve got in common is the standard issue furnishings our colleges and universities so generously provide us.
Everyone can rattle off the list: a closet or wardrobe, a dresser, a desk with a chair, and of course a bed. How to arrange these cookie-cutter fixtures, however, is a subject not often breached by us as we madly compare comforters and accent rugs, though it’s just as important as our decor.
Wondering what to bring to college? Check out our complete guide to everything — and we mean EVERYTHING — you need to bring to college.
A room layout can give off a multitude of vibes, and is integral to one’s college experience, whether you want to focus on welcoming visitors or having a private place to study.
Now that we’ve learned how to organize our rooms around a color scheme, this article will teach you how to create your own dorm room layout, based on your needs. Since the vast majority of college students live in doubles, these are the rooms we will be focusing on.
For easy explanation, we have created illustrations for these sample dorm room layouts. If you want to create your own dorm layout, there are online tools to help! This is a good one.
For decor visualizing, we recommend Dormify’s awesome bed and wall generators, to give you an idea of how things will look.
Below, I’ve created three rooms: one that emphasizes privacy, one that emphasizes a social atmosphere, and a taste of feng shui.
Table of Contents
Things YouвЂ™ll Need Before You Start
You will need to:
- know your room furnishings (call your Residence Life office to find out)
- know the dimensions of your room
- have a pencil and graph paper (or use this online tool)
- know what kind of room atmosphere you (and your roommate(s), if applicable) want
Layout 1: Emphasizing Privacy
This layout features a simple way to get your own space in a small double.
One roommate lofts their bed (check with your RA to see if this is an option; I know that some schools will do it for you), and fits their desk underneath it, while the other one keeps their bed on the ground and has their desk overlooking it.
This way, either person can study or sleep while the other does the opposite, without disturbing the other.
The desks face away from each other, and the beds are far away enough to give each member their own personal area.
You can also try:
- Putting the desks back to back in a smaller room
- Placing the desks side by side, with a divider in between (like a large bulletin board or stacked dressers)
- Using wardrobes or dressers to divide the room
Layout 2: A Social Atmosphere
This layout creates a welcoming, open space for guests to come in and chat. “Butting” the ends of the beds together provides ready-made seating (arranging pillows against the wall will encourage visitors), and the dressers next to the beds make handy tabletops for snack food or music speakers. An area rug in a cheerful color will warm the room up, and you may also want to consider investing in a small coffee table (with storage room), as well as some floor pillows, which can be easily tucked out of sight under the beds when you’re done with your social butterfly day.
You can also try:
- Using the dresser surface for a TV
- Stacking the dressers for even more room (the top can even be a nightstand for someone in a lofted bed)
- Placing your fridge under your bed for easy access during get-togethers
Layout 3: Some Feng Shui
Feng Shui, the Chinese art of spatial arrangement, works best in apartments and single rooms, so this layout features a single. The important thing to remember about Feng Shui is that the space from the door to the window is full of energy known as qi, which shouldn’t be disrupted by anything. As a Chinese girl myself, I find that following some simple Feng Shui rules can really enhance the relaxing nature of a room.
This room features some common Feng Shui elements. The bed is reasonably far away from the door, to give a sense of privacy, and the qi is not disturbed since the desk is below the window. The dresser also provides a nice spot to grow a plant and enhance the life of the room. Feng Shui may seem advanced, but it really can make a difference in your room when applied properly.
Give it a try by:
- Utilizing rounded corners and circular rugs to counteract the sharp edges of dressers and beds
- Going for symmetry whenever possible (e.g., putting two nightstands on either side of a bed)
- Placing furniture at interesting angles instead of shoving it up against the wall (hard to demonstrate with the DYD tool but totally possible)
- Never putting a mirror facing your bed
What do you think?
Were these layouts helpful? What was your dorm room or apartment layout like?
Were they similar to the ideas here, or did you have a totally original way of doing it? Is Feng Shui a feasible option for college students? What tips do you have for incoming college students trying to maximize the uses of their dorm rooms?
Let us know with a comment!
If you liked this article about how to create a dorm room layout, consider checking out some of our favorites below вЂ”
Lauren Flanagan is an interior design expert with over 15 years of experience writing, editing, and producing articles for renowned Canadian publications and shows for HGTV on home decor. She worked in high-end home decor retail before discovering her passion was to share what she knew in publications and on television.
Arranging furniture can be tricky enough in an average room, but when your room is long and narrow it can be even more difficult. How do you create conversation areas and ease of movement in a room where space is at a premium? Here are a few tips.
Before you try to arrange furniture in an awkward space make sure you understand the principles of arranging furniture. It’s important to understand the rules before you start breaking them. Once you understand how to place things in an average room, you can start tweaking things so they work in a small or narrow space.
Leave a Walkway on One Side
One of the trickiest things about long, narrow rooms is arranging furniture in a way so that people can walk through the room without tripping over things. You don’t want people to have to walk around furniture pieces and zigzag through the room. Whenever possible keep the furniture arrangement to one side of the room and leave a walkway on the other side.
If this simply isn’t possible, you can arrange the furniture in a way so that there is a path crossway through the room. This can be a little tougher because you’ll have to make more of a corner arrangement, but it’s still preferable to having people bang their legs.
Put Furniture on an Angle
If your room is particularly long and narrow and you don’t want it to have the bowling alley effect, try putting some of your furniture on an angle so that it breaks up the space.
Use Some Circular Furniture
A circular coffee table or large ottoman can do wonders for breaking up the straight lines of long rooms. Even circular side tables can help. They can really counteract the tunnel effect that can be hard to avoid in long, straight rooms. They also have a way of making small rooms look bigger. This also goes for light fixtures—a round hanging pendant can definitely help break up a long, narrow room.
Like with any small or awkward room, you want to make use of all the space you’ve got. Use wall space for shelving and lighting. Sconces are always a good idea since they don’t require floor space, and floating shelves can be installed on the walls so you can make the most of your space.
Edit Your Furniture
It can’t be stressed enough—don’t try to cram too much furniture into a small space. Know your limits. Rather than trying to fit a lot of pieces, try to find things that can double as other pieces. For instance, opt for closed storage cubes that can be used as extra seating, footstools, or as extra table surfaces when necessary.
Once you’ve got your furniture arranged, you’ll still need to think about where to place some of the most common accessories such as lamps and vases. Even in awkward spaces, most of these rules still apply. While your room should always be full of items you love, where you place them can have a huge impact on the overall look of your space.
As a college student, you’ve probably discovered that it’s hard to juggle all of the things you need to do. All too quickly your room starts to look messy and overly cluttered.
This is just one of many reasons why it’s important to properly arrange what you have, because you’re no doubt crowding a lot of things into a small space. And if you have roommates, it’s even worse and can easily get out of hand.
A few important adjustments were made in this co-ed’s dorm apartment which made all the difference.
She actually did a very nice job of arranging her sofa with lamps in this corner. I would not have changed it except that she was tired of the arrangement and she wanted to incorporate a place for her TV, stereo and VCR. The photo turned out a little dark, but she also added an old wooden bench for a coffee table and an area rug to define the seating arrangement. Other adjustments were made to her posters to help define a focal point and unify the room.
Furniture arranging and accessory display are two of the more complicated aspects of interior design. They are more complex due to the space configuration of rooms, the necessary traffic patterns, the way the room is used, the colors, the sizes and types of furniture, the architectural elements that may or may not be present. And these are just a few of the things one needs to take into account. These are the secrets, tips and tricks interior designers, decorators and consultants use over and over again to create those spectacular rooms you’ve seen in decorating books and magazines.
But now you too can learn all of these concepts, tricks and secrets. Most people don’t have the money to hire a professional designer. Most people can’t afford expensive furniture and accessories. But everyone can learn how to arrange what they have. And you’d be amazed at how great your apartment, dorm room, condo or home can look if you just know how to properly arrange what you have. I’ve packed my 20+ years of experience into this 25 chapter eBook, complete with full color photos, examples and illustrations.
And there’s a 30-Day Refund Guarantee if you purchase Decor Secrets Revealed now. In addition you’ll receive a special email address, just for buyers of the eBook, so you can write me and ask me specific questions pertaining to your own decorating situation. Your questions will be answered personally and totally FREE of charge! Order now or for more specific information, click on the link below.
|How to Arrange Furniture Perfectly|
DORM ROOM DECORATING TIPS
A wall of closets can be made easily and inexpensively. Put up a metal clothing pole, with a center support, to extend from one wall to the other, or use a clothes rack on casters. Attach a traverse rod to the ceiling and place wide-slat bamboo curtains – floor to ceiling length – on the rod. Stain or paint the bamboo a color, or keep it natural. Be sure there are adequate openings in the “curtain wall” to reach in conveniently for your clothing.
Gain space to display pictures and prints by utilizing the flat area on a door. If the door is flush, mount and mat the picture or print; attach to the door; frame with half-round molding. If the door is paneled, mount and mat the picture or print so that it will fit inside the top panel – which will serve as a frame.
Make a handsome folding screen (to get more privacy from a roommate) with flush doors, hinged together. before hinging, attach elegant molding, then paint or stain.
Need extra storage space in your bathroom? Use the area over your bathtub, between your shower curtain rod and the ceiling. Measure the area, and have your lumber yard cut a shelf of “Marine” plywood to fit (this wood is moisture-resistant); set the shelf on brackets and use for storage. To conceal your new storage shelf, hang a valance (of the same fabric as your shower curtain) from the ceiling on hooks.
Make a stunning wall arrangement with a collection of mirrors. Get mirrors of various sizes and shapes – and in unusual frames; hang them on a wall as you would prints and paintings. This will also make a small room look larger.
Need to divide the room between yourself and your roommate? Use old gates as room dividers; two small iron gates make a stunning “see-through” divider.
Dress up your telephone directories or text books. Cover them with adhesive-backed vinyl paper. If you use more than one directory or book, choose a different patterned paper (that coordinates) to cover each book for instant identification. Only do your textbooks if you plan to keep them permanently.
Need bookends? Make a pair of bookends for your room out of two common bricks. Paint the bricks with a semi-gloss paint (to keep fingerprints from showing) or leave natural. Take fabric remnants from your curtains or bedspread and make slip covers for the bricks. Place them on the shelf on each side of your books.
When you envision going off to college, filled with curiosity and a thirst for a new chapter, you probably don’t think about the micro room that’ll be your new home for the next two semesters. (And that you will probably be sharing with another person.) As you start unpacking, that 10-by-10 can feel more like a cluttered closet than a studio. Before you freak out, remember this: dorm space savers can go a long way towards maximizing dorm space.
With a little savvy and creativity, you can fit everything you need (and want!) in even the tiniest dorm room. We’ve compiled the best space-saving dorm ideas from decorators and organizers to help you turn that boring box into a cozy nest (that looks pretty great, too).
1 Lift-Top Coffee Table
Want to have coffee while you fire off a term paper, but also need a place to keep your extra set of towels or blankets? The key to small space decorating is finding pieces that do double duty, says James Wheeler of Atlanta-based J. Wheeler Designs. He recommends a lift-top coffee table for its functionality as both a workspace and a storage unit. It can even serve as an actual dinner table.
2 Magazine File
Deborah Gussoff, certified professional organizer and owner of In Order, Inc., loves the versatile storage options of magazine files. Their vertical format is great for small spaces. If your desk hutch has a bookshelf on top, line up a few of them to hide odds and ends. Gussoff also recommends putting one by the door for an easy place to drop keys and other small items that would otherwise clutter the room.
3 Closet Tools
For many new college students, dorm life comes with a big dose of clothing insecurity—which is why it’s comforting to bring as many options as possible. But how do you fit years of carefully curated outfits into that tiny dorm closet? One dorm space saver hack is to hang a closet rod to instantly double the capacity, then add ultra slim hangers to maximize the number of items that can easily fit in the space. Just like that, you don’t have to part with your parents and your beloved overalls at the same time.
4 Bed Risers
A typical dorm room bed takes up nearly 7 feet of horizontal space. Just imagine how much you can fit under there if you lift the bed only 4 or 5 inches off the ground! Abbe Fenimore, owner of Studio Ten 25, a Dallas-based interior design firm and ecommerce site, recommends these tech-friendly risers that moonlight as additional outlets and USB chargers as one of her go-to space saving dorm ideas.
5 Under Bed Cart
Speaking of under bed storage, once you’ve stowed away extra towels, out-of-season clothes, and dirty laundry, you’ll still have plenty of room for a rolling cart or drawer under the bed. This way the important things (aka emergency junk food) are always within reach. Lauren Gores Ireland, creative director at lifestyle blog You & Lu, recommends a plastic container for its easy cleaning properties because something will (inevitably) spill.
6 Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
Sure, you could fit plenty of footwear into a lightweight organizer. But where’s the fun in that? Gores suggests you get creative and use it as a hold-all for rolled T-shirts, clutches, and even umbrellas. It’s an easy way to free up valuable drawers and maximize dorm space.
7 Storage Ottoman
Taking “double duty” to the next level, ottomans add ideal storage space and double as seating. Fenimore suggests sliding them under the desk or stacking in a corner when not in use to save floor space. You can even top one with a similarly sized tray and use it as a bedside table to save even more dorm space.
8 Room Divider
Creating different zones in a room makes it feel bigger and more organized, Wheeler says. A tiered shelving unit doubles as a room divider that also provides extra storage without blocking the light from coming through. For antisocial folks or those not overly fond of their roommates, simply fill the cubes with books or fabric bins to create some much needed separation.
9 Command Hooks
To maximize dorm space, using the right combination of command hooks can open up a lot of opportunities—beyond simply mounting decor. For example, attach command hooks to the ceiling and use them to hang a curtain around the bed to create a private nook. Or, add a go-to spot to hang your backpack, clearing up your (probably messy) floor.
10 Bed Organizer
Getting the top bunk means being far away from all essentials. And who wants to climb down every time you need headphones, a tissue, or a snack? A sleek footboard caddy is a great space saving dorm idea.
11 Stackable Laundry Basket
To maximize dorm space, you probably don’t want a clunky laundry bag taking up your floor or closet. Instead, choose this laundry basket you can stack and fold up when you’re not using it. Win-win!
12 Organizing Cart
For a colorful way to organize a variety of everyday items—think pencils, makeup, hairbrush, papers—this colorful find is one of the easiest space saving dorm ideas. Sit it in the corner, move it around as you need it to get ready in front of the mirror, and then push it back to its resting spot when you’re finished.
Dorm Room Ideas For Guys – Going to college means that you’re becoming an adult. You’ll start to deal with schedule management, choosing priorities, making new friends, and even making your dorm room a comfortable space. Organizing and decorating a dorm room is different than organizing your childhood bedroom. Since most dorm rooms have more than one person inside, you need to make your roommate feel comfortable as well.
Even though there’s a lot of advice for dorm decoration, most of them are for women. Most male students are very straightforward when it comes to decorating their dorms. As a young man, you need to learn how to make your private space cozy and fun. By decorating it, you can have more fun in either studying or hanging out with their friends.
In this article, we’re going to give some Dorm Room Ideas For Guys to help male students make the most of their dorm room. This article has two parts, the first talks about the things every college guy needs and the second talks about dorm room designs. Without further ado, let’s jump into it.
Dorm Room Essential for Guys
If you’re in the freshman year, you need to prepare all the things that you will need during your life at college. You might not be able to have all the things that you have at home, so you need to pick the essential ones.
What are the essential ones? Well, that depends on the individual’s priorities. If you find it difficult to choose the items that you need, we’re here to help you. We have gathered quite plenty of items in our dorm essentials list below.
Welcome to your new digs, college students. Hope you enjoy sharing a tiny space with one (or more) roommates. Before you move yourself in, here are a few tricks you can use to make your little area go a long way, especially in a shared living environment.
Use Bed Risers to Give Yourself Extra Storage Space (and Power Outlets)
This trick is useful in any small living space , but it becomes especially handy in dorm rooms. These bed risers from Bed Bath and Beyond not only give you an extra seven inches of space underneath your bed, but one of them has two USB outlets and two regular power outlets embedded in them.
The riser plugs are a handy way to let roommates share an outlet that would otherwise be hidden behind a bed. Instead of one person hogging two outlets, you can have your phone (or a power strip) plugged into one outlet and share the other with your roommates. In dorms where there’s an inexplicable lack of sufficient power outlets, this can be a godsend. Oh, and look at all that extra space under your bed you have now! If the beds in your dorm allow it, you can also consider bunking your beds to get even more floor space.
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Folding TV trays are awesome in small living spaces. They give you a sturdy place to eat or work, then fold up to disappear into your closet or under the bed. However, DIY site Like A Saturday suggests you give your TV tray a second job. Add a layer of batting and fabric on top, and your tray can also serve as an ironing board.
Adding the batting and fabric is super simple and cheap. Batting can cost as little as $5/yard and you can find plenty of fabric patterns for even less. Wrap them both around the tray and use a staple gun to keep it in place and you’re good to go. It won’t be a lot cheaper than a small ironing board would be on its own, but it’s definitely cheaper than a TV tray and an ironing board together. Just be sure to avoid making a mess when you eat off of it (or cover the tray) so you don’t end up transferring spill stains to your nice ironed clothes.
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Put Your Dresser In Your Closet to Save Living Space
Dressers take up a lot of precious space. If you want more floor space, try shoving your dorm-issue dresser in the closet, if you’re lucky enough to have one. You can let your shirts and shorter clothing items hang over or next to it, while you still have access to the drawers underneath.
Obviously, this one is dependent on the size of the furniture and the closets you have access to. If you have a really small closet or a big dresser, you can also look into closet organizers . These can be used to store shoes, towels, books, accessories, or any other miscellaneous junk you have sitting around. You may even want to get rid of the dresser entirely for more compact storage like an over-the-door shoe holder that can be repurposed for all kinds of uses .
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Bring Combination Cooking Appliances Where Your Dorm Allows
Some dorms have pretty tight restrictions on what kinds of appliances you’re allowed to bring with you. When you can bring appliances, anything that can do multiple jobs can be a lifesaver. Electric kettles, for example, can be used to heat water for soup, make coffee, and even boil eggs . If a slow cooker or rice cooker is permitted, they’re a must have.
The fewer appliances or kitchen gear you have to bring to your dorm, the more storage space you can use for the things that matter. Depending on how your dorms are set up, you may also be able to make use of shared kitchen space to eliminate the need for your own appliances at all. Take a look through your college’s dorm restrictions to see what you can bring.
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More than anything, if you want to save space in your dorm you have to adjust your thinking to look upwards. With a little creativity, you can stack storage as high as the ceiling (or at least as high as you can reach) to give yourself extra room.
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This post is about college dorm room organization.
Dorm room organization. Dorm rooms are tiny, and everyone usually tries to fit a lot more stuff in their dorm room than they should.
With this, comes the recipe for a lot of messiness. College dorm room organization is a must, and this post shows you some great ideas on how to organize your dorm room!
This post shows you 16 ideas for college dorm room organization.
Dorm Room Organization
1. Desk Drawer Organization
Your desk at college most likely has a long drawer under the main part of the desk.
This drawer gets unorganized really easily, and drawer organization is a must. These clear drawer organizers will help that!
2. Closet Organization
The closet in your dorm room is probably small, and I bet you’re trying to fit quite a bit of stuff into it.
A closet organizer like this works perfectly!
3. Binder Clip Cord Organization
Organizing your cords for everything on the side of your desk is a great idea! Cords get super messy in dorm rooms, especially when collected around a desk.
This is super easy to replicate, just needing some binder clips! Perfect for a budget friendly organization hack.
4. Door Food Organization
A shoe organizer doubles as an amazing vertical snack organizer!
Making use of all your space in a dorm room is super important, and this is a great way to keep any snacks.
5. Desktop Makeup Organization
Small drawers are perfect for makeup organization. If you’re a makeup junkie, you’ll find that makeup organization is really hard in a dorm room.
Small drawers make makeup organization in college a lot easier. True makeup organizers can get really pricey, so substituting small plastic desktop drawers save a lot of money.
6. Bedside Organization Holder
Bedside organization is super useful, and is an absolute essential if you have a lofted bed.
Here’s my favorite affordable bedside holder, a must have for your college dorm room!
7. Coffee Station
A coffee bar is a great idea for your college dorm.
I love this idea of building a coffee station above your drawers that come with most dorm rooms.
8. Blackboard task list
This is such a great idea to hang above your desk!
Having a running to-do list is always a great idea, and this is such a fun way to feel extra accomplished when you finish your tasks.
9. Three-Tier Cart
A three tier cart is a great addition to any dorm room. If you’re going to invest a bit of money into only one or two things for your dorm room, I recommend this be one of them!
I used mine as a nightstand next to my dorm bed. It added the perfect amount of functionality and storage right next to my bed.
10. Washi Tape Cord Labels
Washi tape cord organizers are a great way to label your power strip cords in your college dorm room.
A power strip is an absolute essential for every dorm room, and labeling the cords make it so much easier to use!
Here’s my favorite power strip that I used all of freshman year. This power strip is amazing because it has a full row of USB ports, alongside all the regular outlets that come on a power strip.
11. Hang your hair tools
Hanging your hair tools inside of your closet or in another hidden place alongside a cabinet is a great space saving idea.
This college dorm room organization hack is also very cost efficient, since all you need to buy is command hooks!
12. Nightstand and organization
A four cube organizer is perfect to act as a nightstand in your college dorm.
You’ll quickly find that you need more storage options than the drawers that come with your dorm room, and this is a great option to add not only furniture but some more storage to your college dorm room.
13. Hang your Decorations
During my freshman year, my desk got especially cluttered with all of the decor I wanted to add. Having a large wire rack to hang decorations off of is super smart, and helps to make sure your desk isn’t cluttered.
Also, they’re super cute and trendy, alongside already being useful!
14. Textbook holder
A textbook holder is great for a college dorm room desk, especially if your desk tends to be on the smaller side.
Keeping a clean desk with a lot of space on it is perfect for organization and getting a lot of work done.
15. Makeup Brush Holders
Makeup brush holders are great for keeping everything in your dorm organized!
My makeup was the main thing that became super unorganized on my desk during my freshman year of college. DIY brush holders made out of glass cups and filler beads are the perfect cost effective way to keep them organized.
16. Desktop Paper Organization
Saving space on your college dorm room desk top is an absolute essential! This is a great way to do it, and raises up your computer a bit so you’re not slouching while you’re doing your homework.
Curing an Awkward “L”
The love seat sits too far away from the sofa for conversation and the space allotted to the piano is cramped. The sofa arm rests only a few feet from the dining room table, leaving no separation between the living and dining areas. The table is proportionately too small for the dining room. With no element more than waist tall, the design lacks height.
Group furnishings to create functional focal points. Increase the size of the dining table. Add new elements to create height and separation. For details, scroll down below the plan.
1. Scale the size of the table to the room by adding a leaf to it and resting it on a large rug. 2. Slide the buffet to the long wall and give height to the overall design with the addition of a china cabinet. 3. Use a screen as a movable wall to break up a long expanse of wall and separate the rooms. 4. Pull the love seat away from the wall to tighten the conversation area; slide a sofa table behind. 5. Eliminate one chair and rotate the other in toward the seating pieces for conversation. 6. Allow the piano its own space for easy access and separation of conversation and music time.
Dull and Boring
This plain boxy room needs livening up. The two focal points, the fireplace and the TV armoire, rest side by side, pulling too much attention to one side of the room. The game table overpowers a small corner, and the bookcases are lost in a sea of wall space. Traffic must negotiate a maze of furniture. Seating pieces are too far apart for easy conversation.
Use diagonals to relieve the monotony. Create separate focal points. Tighten up the furnishings, and straighten traffic pattern. For details, scroll down below the plan.
1. Place functional furniture, such as a bench or a storage piece, near the entry. 2. Nudge a rug up to the chair to bridge upholstered pieces and to balance the color flow. 3. Place furniture to direct traffic around the conversation area and toward the focal points. 4. Tuck a desk in the corner clear of the sliding doors for a cozy little work nook with a view. 5. Balance big elements — a fireplace and TV armoire — on different walls. 6. Soften and balance the TV armoire with a fabric-covered screen, a rug, and plants. 7. Keep walkways free of furniture; allow at least 36 inches for easy flow of traffic.
This tiny room is burdened with two entrances. The narrow traffic path slices through the conversation area.
Create two conversation stations, bridged by the rug. Open up a traffic path, and add some visual height to the design with elements that lift the eye. For details, scroll down below the plan.
1. Balance lighting around the room; consider both task lighting and mood lighting. 2. Center the love seat in front of the windows and nudge the sofa in close for conversation. 3. Slide tail table away from the center of the room, opening a walkway for traffic. 4. Lay a large rug on the floor to warm a conversation area and to bridge pieces of upholstery. 5. Angle the chairs for intimate conversation. Use a tree to soften the corner behind the chairs. 6. Balance the visual weight of doorways and windows with the height of a secretary desk.
The Big Box
This room has the appearance of a large, empty box with the furniture pushed up against the walls. With the chair backs against the railing, conversation is closed off between guests in this room and those in the kitchen. The seating is limited, leaving a lot of wasted space. Yet, the sofa and chair crowd the walkway into the room.
Create the illusion of a cozier space by bringing the upholstery pieces closer together. Offer your guests more seating options for reading, enjoying the fire, or chatting. Leave the railing area and the entrance into the room more visually open to encourage the blending of conversation between guests in both rooms. For details, scroll down below the plan.
1. Slide the game table into the corner so it is somewhat removed from the sitting area. 2. Toss a large area rug on the floor to bridge the gap between seating pieces. 3. Snuggled up to the fire for quiet reading, a chair is still within reach of the conversation area. 4. Slide a table behind the sofa and top it with a lamp to balance the room’s lighting. 5. Make the room more inviting and accessible to your guests by leaving the walkway open. 6. Surround a coffee table with furniture to include it in the group instead of floating alone. 7. Provide more seating by adding a love seat, or change to a wraparound sectional. 8. Soften a corner’s hard edges and build up some visual height behind the sofa with a tree.
All walls are created equal in the square room, which means there’s no narrow space that naturally pulls seating pieces together. The temptation is to scatter furniture helter-skelter, filling every corner with seating. The result looks fragmented and unformed; worse, the arrangement doesn’t work well when it’s time to talk.
Create a smaller square for conversation within the larger dimensions of the room. Instead of starting out by the walls, start in the center of the room and work outward with your major pieces of furniture. Ground the grouping with an area rug, and fill it out with adequate lighting. For details, scroll down below the plan.
1. Lay down an area rug first, to define your conversation space. 2. Don’t point all your seating pieces at a single focal point, such as the fireplace, to the detriment of another practical view, such as the TV. An L-shape seating arrangement accommodates warming up to the fire and catching the game on the tube. 3. Don’t leave your arrangement open-ended. Station a chair, ottoman, and end table in the corner, facing into the grouping. 4. Place an end table between the sofa and love seat, with a lamp that illuminates both; and include a sofa table behind the sofa with another lamp for lighting the far end of the sofa. 5. The well-furnished room needs attention in the corners, even though these don’t participate in the main conversation grouping. Place two chairs between a small, shared side table in the vacant corner of the room. This provides a quiet spot for private conversation, even when the TV is on. 6. A narrow bookcase, sideboard, or console table fills a corner with display space without getting in the way of traffic.
For this open living room, sectional sofas from Room & Board create flow, offer versatile seating and help divide the large, sprawling space made for family activities and entertaining. Photo courtesy of Room & Board
One of the best ways to make sure your living room looks and feels inviting is designing a layout and floor plan that works for your space, not against it. The right layout allows you to entertain guests, relax with family, and do activities like watch TV or play games in comfort.
But be aware long, open or square living rooms present different design challenges. What might work for one space doesn’t necessarily make sense for another.
Here are the most common design challenges of these living rooms and some smart solutions that make the most of each space.
Long Living Rooms
With two walls longer than the shorter walls at both ends of the space, a long or rectangular-shaped living room can feel narrow and claustrophobic. But with strategic planning, you can make this type of living room feel welcoming and user friendly.
“My living room is actually a long, narrow rectangular space,” says designer Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten 25. “Really think about how you will be using the room. Instead of just putting things in the room to fill the space, find pieces that are both fun to use and help create function.”
Photo courtesy of Marysia Rybock
Photo by: Matthew Millman
Fenimore believes adding a built-in bar, bookcases, shelving or even a workspace that are similar in style to your furniture can pull the look of a long living room together. Make sure to take note of doors, heaters, outlets and windows before you plan your layout — the location of these items can limit furniture placement and be problematic if not considered before final floor plan decisions are made.
What you want to avoid is a long living room that feels like a hallway, says designer Marysia Rybock of ScavulloDesign Interiors. Using narrow furniture will just emphasize the long lines of the room. Go for a sofa with a tailored feel and tight upholstery.
“Using smaller pieces and a variety of them, instead of one sofa and a coffee table, helps the space feel more spacious and unique,” says Rybock.
Open Living Rooms
Open living rooms allow for easy entertaining and good traffic flow. But a living room that shares space with an adjoining dining room, family room or kitchen can present challenges for those who want some type of definition for each area.
To create an efficient layout for an open living room, keep the flow around furniture and accessories open so your family and friends can be doing numerous things at once while still being together.
Living Room Kitchen
A dark brown gray living room with fireplace, tv, couches, large ottoman, and fluffy rug and a kitchen to match the style in the background.
Photo by: Photo Credit: HDR Homes
Photo Credit: HDR Homes
“Go for vignettes instead of two sofas flanking a fireplace,” says Rybock. “Creating different seating areas makes the space feel a bit more intimate, since open floor plans can be overwhelming.”
Thinking about the function of the room will help you make smart layout decisions. An open living room often serves as a hub in the house, so make sure any floor plan includes comfortable spots for everyday activities like watching TV, eating or socializing.
“Pulling furniture pieces off the wall and tying them all together with an area rug, balancing with ottomans and adding extra seating will visually balance out the room,” says Fenimore. “Stick with one main paint color so the open spaces do not fight each other, which can cause the room to look cluttered.”
Square Living Rooms
Adding warmth and creating an inviting atmosphere can be a challenge for square living rooms. When all of your furniture is pushed up against the wall, which leaves seating far away from each other, you can make the space feel cold. But you can also make your square living room feel crowded or awkward if all the furniture is forced into one corner. Instead, float furniture away from the walls.
“You can gain more surface space by having a console table behind a sofa and a variety of seating, like one sofa and four chairs that are not all the same that can float in a room and even be moved around,” says Rybock, “and then use a cocktail table as the anchor in the center of the space.” Once you have the furniture in place, Fenimore suggests using textural or colorful artwork to visually fill the room.
Make it your own.
Decorating a dorm is tough—they aren’t exactly cute by nature, and you’re not given a lot of free space to work with. But it can also be fun! And you can actually do a lot with it if you have a few key pieces to make it feel more like a stylish home. We’ve rounded up some dorm room decor essentials you absolutely need, and if you prefer to DIY your decor yourself, we have ideas for that, too! Ahead, twenty dorm room decorating ideas to get you ready the school year.
You need a spot to lounge other than your desk chair and bed. This one is plush, actually cute, and a rocker. Done and done.
This modern lamp will boost the cute factor in your dorm, and give you a little extra lighting during those late night study sessions.
Make sure your dorm room is lit—literally and figuratively—with these delicate, wire-strung lights.
You’re going to need a place to cozy up and feel at home, so make sure you pick bedding that does the trick.
Your bed is the only spot in your dorm that’s wholly yours, so you have permission to go all out. Fun, colorful throw pillows and blankets are a great way to add color and personality without dominating the room or costing a fortune.
This mirror serves double duty: It’s a spot to get ready and check out your outfit in the morning (crucial) and gives you added hanging space for bags, scarves, or jackets.
You can’t paint your walls, but you can cover them in temporary wallpaper!
Keep your desk organized and school supplies tucked away by keep them in chic containers.
Paper Lanterns will make your dorm room put-together without taking up any useable space.
This minimalist tray will boost the cute factor in your dorm, and let you charge your tech. Here’s to never being in the red zone on your way to class ever again.
There’s a 99.99 percent chance that your dorm room won’t have enough outlets to accomodate all of your needs. Plan ahead with an extension cord that doesn’t cramp your style.
Dorm rooms can feel stark and cold. Warm it up with a woven, modern wall tapestry or a photograph that reminds you of home.
Select is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time.
After a year of coronavirus shutdowns on college campuses and a pivot to online learning, many college students across the country have settled into college dorms — and the way they’re storing in and organizing their dorm rooms can actually impact their education. Studies show clutter is heavily associated with procrastination and can negatively impact self-regulation, which deals with our willingness to complete tasks we know should get done.
“When we can find what we need when we need it, we relieve ourselves of stress,” explained Kelly Jayne McCann, a professional organizer and clutter coach at The Organizing Maven. “We can stay in flow for longer periods of time and get more done.”
Experts told us you should plan ahead to prevent clutter. “Many people pack up their childhood rooms and bring as much as possible to school with them — but take time before you leave to edit through your belongings and consider what you’ll actually use while you’re at school,” said Jamie Hord, founder of home organizing service Horderly.
Since most students have already moved in, planning ahead isn’t necessarily an option for this semester, but there are many storage options you can still use after the fact. To get an idea of those storage solutions that’ll work for your space, we asked professional organizers for recommendations and tips about keeping dorms organized and functional.
Shopping Are planners useful in the digital age?
Dorm organization: Expert-recommended storage tips
The layout of your dorm room and the furniture already within that space can initially dictate what storage solutions are best for your space. If you can, research your dorm before moving in and “prep accordingly,” recommended Nancy Meck, a professional organizer and owner of Meck Organizing. She suggested using any images and dimensions of the room you can find online either on the school’s site or other forums to figure out exactly what size containers or storage units will fit under the bed, in the desk or inside the closet.
You should prioritize “fast, easy, effective tools” that make it “easy to put things away” like label makers and modular drawer inserts, Meck suggested — these not only help you store your supplies but also allow easy access to them later. Meck also recommended over-the-door shoe hangers and stackable containers, which she said help “maximize” your storage space without overcrowding your dorm.
One of the best ways to maximize your space is by thinking vertically, as we reported in our guide to small apartment living — Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s resident trend expert, told us that taller (and narrower) storage items like tall bookshelves can provide “additional storage, while also giving the illusion of a larger space.” Hanging shoe racks and even floating shelves can also serve as vertical storage solutions, experts told us.
Hord recommended making use of all the crevices and items available to you inside your dorm. “Many dorm beds come with risers, or you can purchase some online to lift your bed and create space to utilize under-the-bed storage,” she said. Students can also consider getting a rolling cart (or two) to create different storage stations around the room with the freedom to move it around as you please. These can store items like cleaning supplies and toiletries, and will likely allow for easier mobility when you move in and out of different rooms throughout college.
Experts also recommended involving your roommates (if you have them) in most of your organizing decisions. “In order to keep the order, the people living there must have a mutual standard for what ‘organized’ and ‘decluttered’ mean and do the actions to hold up that standard,” said Meck. It’s also best to “carve out time for cleanup and decluttering each week” to maintain that order, according to Hord.
Shopping How to keep your sneakers clean, according to experts
Best storage solutions for dorms in 2021
To help you organize and declutter your dorm, we compiled some expert-recommended storage solutions for your clothing, bedding, bath and more.
Best shoe and apparel storage
20-Pocket Eco-Fabric Over the Door Shoe Bag
A shoe rack can be a good way to save space, especially if it only takes up vertical room. According to Hord, this hanging shoe bag “is great to hang on the back of your dorm room door or your closet” — the pockets can also be used to store other accessories like scarves, gloves and hats. The 20-pocket version Hord recommended includes three overdoor hooks and can hold 10 pairs of men’s shoes or 20 pairs of women’s shoes, according to the brand.
or house, plan gardens, and more.
Room Arranger can show your project in 3D. It uses VRML standard for it. So you can put interactive 3D scene on your web.
Program runs on iPad, Mac and PCs with Linux and Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
Windows, Mac: Room Arranger is shareware. It is distributed free of charge. You are free to evaluate the application for 30 days, then you are required to register.
Room Arranger uses Qt framework under LGPLv3 license.
iPad: the app is free to install. The ability to Save projects is locked and you can purchase it when you are satisfied with the app. You can sync your projects with your PC via Dropbox.
“Fantastic! A Professional level program at shareware cost.”
We are not able to put everything into Room Arranger. But you can quickly and easily design all your special objects on your own in it. Some contributed to our On-line object library and shared their work.
The program can also be used in the variety of other areas – garden architecture, housing development (houses as objects), webdesign.
Maybe you will find more inspiration in the Gallery of works created by users.
(Objects courtesy of wc, tryoruda and gerrit)
For the entire list of release notes, see What’s New file
|Updates needed in translations:|
The software is translated into many languages, but we are still searching for new ones.
Please contact us even if you want to takeover existing translation.
Sarah Aguirre is a housekeeping expert with over 20 years of experience cleaning residentially and commercially. Over that time, she has been writing about tips and tricks for housekeeping and organizing a home for national publications.
- Total Time: 30 mins – 1 hr
- Skill Level: Beginner
Living on your own in a dorm room can be a rude awakening if you’ve never been in charge of all of your cleaning before. That tiny space will manage to get a lot dirtier than you may have expected. Occasionally, your dorm room may need a thorough cleaning to be ready for company or to be livable. Here’s how to do it in one to two hours.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Filing system
- Dishwashing supplies
- All-purpose cleaner or other cleaning solutions
- Broom and dustpan
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Bathroom cleaning supplies
- Cleaning rags or paper towels
How to Clean Your Dorm Room in 9 Simple Steps
Make the Bed
You may think that college is the perfect time to forget about your parent’s admonition to make your bed, but think again. A made bed makes a huge difference in the appearance of a dorm room. In tight spaces, a bed is the focal point of the room and may double as a couch and study space. Make sure your bedding is simple, and make your bed daily.
Sort Your Papers
Even in the digital age, there is a lot of paperwork associated with going to college. Besides schoolwork, you may have receipts, warranty information, phone numbers, class schedules, syllabi, and more. Create a filing system and maintain it weekly by filing important papers in the right file folders. Setting up a filing system will make even more sense when it’s time to study for a final or you need to return the new microwave that died.
Wash the Dishes
Chances are you don’t have dirty dishes that often, but make it a point to wash dishes in a timely fashion to prevent unwanted science projects. Keep all your cleaning supplies together and create a dishwashing caddy with your dish soap, cloths, and sponges. Dishwashing pans are helpful if you can’t wash dishes in your room.
Wipe Down Counters and Appliances
Wipe down all of your countertops and the inside and outside of your microwave and refrigerator, as well as any other appliances. Take a few moments to throw out any expired food or leftovers from the refrigerator. As you wipe down surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner, pick up any loose trash and toss it away.
Dust particularly attracts itself to electronics, so be sure to dust down computers, speakers, and televisions. You will also need to periodically dust down ceiling corners and walls to remove cobwebs. Pictures in frames and windowsills may also need to be dusted occasionally. Don’t forget to dust air vents, the tops of door frames, and switchplates.
For carpeted rooms, it is important to vacuum the carpet regularly. If you don’t have your vacuum, the dorm floor or Resident Desk may have one available for check out. Protect your carpet or floors by having two mats: one outside and one inside the door. Use this time to spot treat any carpet stains. For hard surface floors, sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping will be sufficient to keep the floors clean. If you have area rugs, shake them out and treat any stains.
Organize Your Desk
A desk is a college student’s most valuable tool for academic success. Even the most gifted students will need to use their desks to graduate. Now that your papers are filed, take the time to clean off and organize your desk. Remove all trash. Replace items that need to be put away. Arrange your supplies and note any replacements that need to be bought.
Clean the Bathroom
If you have your bathroom or share one with a limited group of people, you may be responsible for cleaning it yourself. Depending on the grime build-up, you can get away with a 15-minute cleanup or intense one. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the toilet and sink.
Take Care of the Trash and Final Details
Take out the trash. Spray air freshener in the room. If you’ve borrowed any cleaning supplies, return those promptly. If it’s time to do laundry, now could be a good time to make a laundry run. Be sure to take some study materials with you.
Make your dorm room the most organized one on campus.
College students use their rooms for everything: studying, relaxing, entertaining, dining — there’s a lot to squeeze in. To make the most of such a small space, dorm rooms need to be organized and inviting — no easy task in such a limited area. To the rescue: These dorm room ideas will take your space from basic to beyond.
Some of the ideas on our list focus on making the best use of every available inch in the dorm room. These are often strange spaces — some have lots of shelf space but no closets, others have cavernous closets with no shelves, and so on — so we have tips for making the most of whatever comes college-issued. (Remember, removable hooks are your friends!) Once you have the organizing bones in place, then you can spruce up the space with whatever you want, from removable wallpaper to decorative pillows — anything that makes it feel a little more like home. The best things you can buy do double duty, like an ottoman that provides seating and gives the room a burst of color, but also secretly offers additional storage. With a few hacks, a few DIYs, and a few well-thought-out purchases, you’ll be set in no time. Oh, and don’t forget to use these college dorm room essentials as a finishing touch!
August 22, 2013 / 9:00 AM / CBS Pittsburgh
Whether you’re living with an old friend or a complete stranger, you should be on the same page when deciding how to furnish your shared living space. So before moving in your personal items, evaluate what you’re working with.
Most dorms are fitted with two extra long twins and two desks. First, you must position these items in the most practical manner in order to to accentuate the provided space. A lot of dorms offer the opportunity to either stack your beds on top of each other as bunk beds, or may even provide additional add-ons to make your beds into lofts. Both of these options are ideal if you’re trying to maximize your tiny space.
Bunk beds, though reminiscent of your early childhood with siblings, are a great way to free up floor space. Although, based on sleeping preferences, it may not be a comfortable situation for everyone. On the other hand, if your own bed is a priority, then loft beds may be a preferable option. By utilizing the extra space under the bed to put your desk, mini fridge and even dresser, you will free up space that can be used for other items.
Once you have decided how to arrange the furniture in a way to create the most open space possible, you will now need to find a place to store all your personal items. This can be a great bonding experience with your new roommate as you can both decide how the common space will be used. Decide how to arrange the remaining furniture and appliances so you can then identify the dead space (not used for any purpose) and also determine how to split up the closet, wall space and other storage areas.
Back To School Season means every store in the area will no doubt be pushing color coordinated and space-saving goodies to help organize your tiny living space. Now that you’ve arranged your space in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to you, it’s time to maximize the storage space so you can fit in your essential items.
There are an awful lot of items positioned to help you free up floor and closet space, one of the most useful being “over-the-door.” Being that you may only have one door (or more if you have an in-room bathroom door or closets), this will be a tough decision. This may very well be one of the last things you should buy once you have identified your problem areas. From over-the-door shoe racks to over-the-door hampers, find the best item to use this otherwise useless space to its most practical potential.
Bed, Bath and Beyond and Home Depot have a wide selection of over-the-door products.
Much like the door, the walls can be used for other purposes than hanging your high school prom photos. Keep in mind that most dorms have rules about using nails and screws in the walls, so find out what you’re allowed to affix to the walls before you buy. With a large assortment of hooks, hangers and even shelves, with a little creativity you can use your extra wall space to your advantage. Peel and Stick Dorm Hooks are a cute and non-permanent option.
Though your closet will most likely be full of all your fashionable clothing choices, it is also wise to purchase a few hanging storage options to maximize the space. Hanging drawers, shoe racks and other space saving hanger options ensure your closet space is as outfitted as you will be for your Psych 101 class.
Even if you can’t put shelves on your dorm walls, there are other ways to use these space-saving tools. By simply placing a shelving unit on top of your desk you have now opened up much needed desk space along with allowing room for books or other items. Another way to use your desk space to its full potential is by placing storage items on it. Some desk lamps even come with built in storage.
When you’re using every inch of space, don’t forget under the bed can be an untapped resource. With a wide variety of under-the-bed storage options, use this hidden space for storing out of season clothing or linens so these items stay out of your way.
Many chairs, ottomans and even bean bags come with built in storage. When you are selecting your comfy chair or couch, try to find one equipped with storage options so that you can stash your remotes, magazines or even blankets when you aren’t using them.
Using every inch of space should be a priority in order to keep your life and essentials organized. Stackable baskets and boxes make sure that anything that goes on the floor should also double as a storage option. Target has lots of cool options to stack.
The easiest and most cost effective way to maximize your new room is to minimize. In other words, leave it at home. Rather than bringing every outfit or collectible, leave some of these items with your parents or give away unneeded items. The less you have, the more space you can use.
If you take the time to do some evaluating and planning, you can make the most of your tiny space all while expressing your individual tastes.
Nicole Cormier is a hip-hop head with business ambitions who stumbled awkwardly into journalism in 2007 as Colorado Music Buzz’s hip-hop editor. Nicole quickly became infatuated with Colorado hip-hop and devoted thousands of words to creating awareness of the inconspicuous yet insanely talented community. Nicole is the publisher and editor of the Colorado hip-hop e-magazine, www.HipHopRollCall.com and is also the Colorado Hip-Hop Examiner
First published on August 22, 2013 / 9:00 AM
© 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Room planning tools are essential to use if you’re thinking about redesigning a room in your home or apartment and want to alter the layout. Interior design room planning tools help you figure out whether your ideas will really work and if everything will fit in well, something that many people find hard to do just by looking at a room in person. Space planning in interior design is particularly important with rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens, when you’re considering totally re-arranging the existing layout.
One of the best ways of seeing whether or not your space planning ideas are actually viable, and to get an idea of how they might look, is to put together a proposed new layout of your room. If you don’t fancy drawing this all out on paper, then there are a wide variety of very useful free online room planning tools online, many of which are simple and easy to use. In fact, many interior design students and practitioners use these room designer tools in their work.
Some of the interior design room planning tools are useful for an initial play, to see how you could move key items around in a room and re-organize your space more effectively. But if you want to get a more accurate idea of how things could work in your particular room, you will need to take measurements and input these into the room planners. Don’t forget to also take into consideration where windows or doors are located and which way they open!
There are online room planning tools run by individual brands, which use examples of their own products to help you plan a room, plus generic room planner tools that guide you as to what size bath or sink you’ll require to meet your plans.
We successfully used one of the generic room planner tools to re-design our bathroom, completely altering the original layout. Using our measurements, it was very useful to see the maximum size of bath and shower unit that could fit in, whilst still giving enough space in the rest of the room.
Once you’ve produced your perfect room plan, you can usually save it, download it or print it out. If you’re employing a builder or contractor to do the work, then the room plan will be useful for them to get a better idea of what you’re looking for and find products that match the required sizes.
Online room planning design tools are ideal for those who have smaller spaces, or perhaps too much space, and need help bringing it all together. Using the dimensions of your home can help you to plan everything from the position of the chairs to the shutters for your windows . It is also a great way to work out if you can really fit that beautiful refurbed fireplace or not. Remember to save your creations, though!
10 free online room planning tools
Update: There’s more than 10 now, as we’ve found more useful room planning tools and added to our list!
RoomSketcher – The free floor planner and home design tool from RoomSketcher makes it easy to draw out and plan your room layouts, as well as get a more visual idea of how things could fit.
Floor Planner – Floor Planner offers a useful tool (the basic option is free) to create new floor plans and room layouts.
Plan Your Room – An easy-to-use online tool that will help you plan out the space you have available.
SketchUp – SketchUp is an interior design room planner that has both a free and paid version. It’s not the easiest option for beginners to start with, but they do have some free tutorials available and it’s useful for space planning in 3D.
Roomstyler 3D Home Planner – A free online room design tool that helps plan out different rooms in your home.
Sweet Home 3D – Free online interior design tool that allows you to create 2D plans and see previews in 3D. It’s available in a range of languages.
Autodesk Homestyler – Useful free drag and drop room planner tool that allows you to easily create floor plans, plus add decorating ideas too.
3Dream – A useful 3D room planner for all aspects of interior design and space planning.
BHG Arrange a Room – A useful tool that allows you to arrange a room and see how different configurations work. Great for helping you with effective space planning.
Bathstore – Free online 2D bathroom planning tool.
Ikea – Room planning tools from Ikea, including a kitchen planner.
Villeroy & Boch – A useful online 3d room planner tool, plus professional templates that you can use to inspire you.
B&Q – B&Q have several free room planning tools on their website, including a bathroom planner, kitchen planner and room designer tool.
Homebase – Homebase have a free room planner tool, plus various useful tools to help you calculate how much paint, wallpaper, tiles or flooring you’ll need to create an interior design project.
Magnet – Online kitchen planner tool that helps you create a 3D model of a kitchen.
Useful mobile room planning apps
If you’d prefer to have a go at room and space planning using an app on your phone or tablet, then here are some tools to try.
As the sun sets on summer fun and the school supplies hit the shelves, dorm room shopping is right around the corner. Do you remember when you first moved into your college dorm room? The mix of sadness because you’re leaving your parents but also excitement as you realize for the first time, you can finally have ice cream for dinner.
Moving into a dorm can feel overwhelming, but it’s also so much fun! There is something so special about picking out dorm room decor, finding the perfect accessories, and finally having it all come together on the first day of your new college life. The college years are full of changes and having dorm room furniture that you can rely on throughout many years of moving in and out is very important.
Deciding on your style and what pieces you want to bring with you to college doesn’t have to feel like a hassle. Make moving in and college life itself easy in your new adulting phase.
Your Home for A Whole Semester
You’re on your own journey now, which means being in charge of your dorm furniture, wall decor, and any other accessories you might want to include. Most dorm rooms include a bed, desk, and some type of wardrobe solution. Dorms with shared living areas also get a couch, TV, coffee table, and perhaps accent chairs. Some dorms may provide you with the large dorm room furniture in your space. In those instances, items such as a couch, coffee table, or accent chairs won’t be necessary. If that’s the case, buying pieces such as throw pillows, textiles, and other accent pieces helps to decorate and incorporate your personality into new space.
Essential Furniture – What & Why?
Dorms are already equipped with your basic college dorm furniture, but you can add more storage to your space by adding a few of the pieces from the list below:
- Bookshelves– Bookshelves are a great way to increase your storage and stay organized. You can store your textbooks for the semester and add dorm decor accent pieces to make this the focal spot of your room. Adding baskets or bins to your bookshelf can help keep things that you might need at arm’s reach super organized. If your dorm room is large enough, bookshelves can also add a bit of privacy. It can separate the area between you and your roommate or between your bed and the living area.
- Cube storage shelves – This is another piece that can help with storage. It also has versatility as it can be configured vertically as well as horizontally for under-the-bed storage. Purchasing storage bins can also add a bit of color to the storage shelves, infusing personality inside your space.
- Rolling cart – This is storage that can roll with you. Storage carts can be substituted for nightstands or beside your desk. The benefits of having a rolling cart is that it doesn’t have to be in one place. You can move it around the room and slide it to where it’s out of the way when not in use.
- Desk chair – Although some dorm desks have chairs already, getting a chair that has enough back support for all your studying will be essential in your dorm every semester. The Safavieh Jonika Desk Chair is a great choice because it has an arched back and full arm support that is essential for comfort on long study days.
How To Decorate Your Dorm Walls
Dorm wall decor is the one place where you can really show your personality. With so many options to choose from the only issue you’ll have is deciding how much you’ll need. If your space runs on the smaller side, hang a wall mirror to help bounce light around the room and make your space seem bigger and brighter.
Canvas art or framed art is another way to incorporate light and color into your dorm room. With different patterns and sizing to choose from, creating a gallery wall can help you personalize your dorm room with pieces that are unique to you. When making your selections, keep in mind that college wall decor must be easy for you to take off the wall at the end of the school year. Double-sided tape for posters and Command hooks or strips for hanging dorm wall decor are great alternatives to drilling holes into your dorm room walls.
Many college students find that hanging tapestry on their walls is a fun way to incorporate both texture and color into their dorm decor. Find decor that can be easily stored in bins at the end of the year to help ease your mind when it comes to the end-of-year cleanup.
Don’t forget that environment is everything! Keeping a clean and neat environment will impact your ability to effectively concentrate and study. For that reason, increasing storage in your dorm room is essential in making sure that things are tidy each semester. Keeping your items in bins and baskets is a way to increase storage and decrease clutter in your dorm room. Having candles (if it’s approved and safe by your RA), dim lighting and your favorite pieces from home can help set a homey tone in your room.
Moving into your first dorm is your first taste of freedom. Therefore, you can choose any dorm room decor that is specific to you and your design style. Add that printed tapestry on the wall, put up that poster, and add all the items that make your dorm room feel like this new phase in your life. Finding the perfect pieces for your room makes your dorm feel less like a “dorm” and more like “home.”
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A home filled with mismatched but neatly thought-out furniture arrangements may look like an eclectic paradise. On the other hand, if pieces are just thrown together erratically, it may look more like a dorm room decorated with curbside finds. With a few decorating techniques to help tie it all together, mismatched furniture in any room can provide the look of a cozy, planned space
The living room is an area where mismatched furniture may be the most obvious since most guests at least see this room. Visually connect mismatched chairs, sofas and loveseats with throw pillows, including the original pillows that belong with these seats. For example, if you have a beige couch and a blue couch, mix their pillows so some of each color are on both sofas. For several pieces that don’t match, use patterned pillows featuring colors that will look good with all the seating, such as a blue, red and tan pillow. A throw blanket over the back of a chair or couch also adds splashes of colors around the room. Repeat colors a few times throughout your living room; for instance, place a framed photo of a green apple on an end table or wall to match an apple-green chaise across the room.
Kitchen or Dining Area
In your kitchen or dining area, don’t feel as if you have to match your chair with your table; in fact, you don’t even to match the chairs with each other. Paint all chair legs and the legs of the dining table the same color, such as red, for a cohesive and surprising look that adds a bit of playfulness to the space. Display other eclectic collectibles in the room, such as vintage food advertisements framed on the wall in mismatched frames, or a collection of vintage lunchboxes in assorted colors atop kitchen cabinets or an open shelving area. Paint wood chairs each a different color for a more quirky, eclectic look. Tie the look together, if you like, by painting a graphic image on each chair back, such as a silhouette of a bird or a fork and spoon.
A bedroom with mismatched furniture may result in dark and light wood furnishings in the same space — such as two different dressers — and a bed that matches neither piece. Paint dressers and desks alike or all separate colors for a colorful look; the fresh coat of paint on each will tie them together even if they’re different colors. Hardware is another option; replace old drawer knobs and handles on all furniture that has them, using hardware common to each, such as smooth platinum. Repainting all the hardware the same color is another frugal option. Tie together a bed and chair by matching a pillow on the chair with the bedding or a throw pillow on the bed.
Choosing Mismatched Pieces
Whether you shop for furniture or discover an interesting piece by accident at a thrift store or yard sale, check its structure before purchasing. Even an old, beat-up chair with an upholstered seat can be made into something more modern looking with fresh paint or new fabric. Just about any piece that is structurally sound and has a shape you find visually pleasing can be styled to fit in with your existing decor. Customizing the pieces yourself allows you to have furnishings not found in any shop. Mismatched furniture also goes well with mismatched accent decor, which means that African statue just may look good next to the vintage Chinese checkerboard.
- Real Simple: Eclectic Home Decor Ideas
- Apartment Therapy: 9 Things I’d Wished I’d Known About Decorating a First Home
- House Beautiful: 20 Decorating Secrets
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.
Emily Bihl has been writing about fashion, lifestyle, and home décor for more than six years. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors in English and creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in 2015 and has been creating editorial and branded content ever since. Previously, she has written for Hunker, Brit + Co, Martha Stewart Living, CoolHunting, Fashionista, and Racked, in addition to developing copy for brands like Giorgio Armani, Opening Ceremony, and Steve Madden.
Your bedroom called, and it’s looking for some love. While we tend to obsessively arrange (and re-arrange, and re-re-arrange) the rest of our house, bedrooms often get left out, maybe because they’re more private, and less likely to be viewed by judgy houseguests, or maybe because the primary activity that takes place in them is (you guessed it) sleep.
But whatever the case, it’s a well-known fact that re-arranging your bedroom can help improve your mood and even your sleep cycles—so there’s no reason to avoid optimizing this space the way you would any other in your home. Dealing with a wonkily-shaped layout or a tiny footprint? Nothing to lose shut-eye over. We asked two of our favorite designers—Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln of Pure Salt Interiors, a studio that has become synonymous with a brand of approachable yet elegant California-chic design—to weigh in on the bedroom layouts they return to again and again. both for giant bedrooms and itty-bitty guest rooms alike.
Meet the Expert
Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln are best friends who cofounded Pure Salt Interiors in 2015 and have been bringing their bright and airy beach vibes to homes ever since.
So start arranging—you’ll likely find that it makes both your waking and sleeping hours much more enjoyable to be able to end and start your days in a bedroom you love. Read on for our favorite layouts and tips to try.
The Primary Suite With Sitting Area
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The term “Primary Suite” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home with an en suite bath, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
The Layout: “Given the room’s large floor plan and vaulted ceiling, we wanted to play with scale and source pieces that would allow the layout to be fully utilized, while still feeling clutter-free,” says Leigh Lincoln of Pure Salt Interiors. “The fireplace & built-ins were a natural focal point of the room, so you’ll notice that everything is directed toward them! We love this layout because it’s a perfect example of how the scale of every piece from the furniture to the lighting are instrumental in creating a functional layout.”
The Bed: A king-sized bed with a four-post style frame draws the eye upward to show off (and make use of the space afforded by) the vaulted ceiling.
The Extras: This space (and the existing architectural details of the built-ins and fireplace) made it a natural fit for a small conversation area in front of the bed. A small round rug anchors and “defines” that space, without making it feel cumbersome or obstructing the flow of the rest of the room.
The In-And-Out Primary Bedroom
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The Layout: Designing for a room surrounded with doors on three sides can be tricky—but the end result is so worth it. “While we didn’t have a large floor plan to work with here, the views outside this primary bedroom were grand,” recalls Aly Morford. “Given the small footprint, we also decided to use pendant lighting to maximize the functional space in the room. The end result is an airy and open oasis!”
The term “Primary Bedroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
The Bed: Keeping the bedframe simple (while still evoking the natural elements outside with a hint of warm-toned wood) allows the focus to stay on the view. (No sightline-obscuring footboard here.)
The Extras: With a view like this, any chance to admire it is a plus. “The existing placement of doorways and windows didn’t allow for the bed to face out to the ocean, so we added in a small seating area & custom floating mirror opposite the bed that took advantage of the view and created the illusion of a bigger space.” Now the homeowners get a magnified ocean view no matter which way they look.
College is your gateway to independence. You set your own schedule, eat what you want, hang out with whomever you want and generally just live it up (well, except for those pesky classes you have to attend and prepare for). It’s also possibly your chance to do something else on your own for the first time — decorate your personal abode. Those four walls and that cement floor are now home sweet home, a blank slate for you to bring out your inner Candice Olson or Nate Berkus. Best of all, there’s no interference from mom on what is or isn’t appropriate for your space. It’s all up to you. Of course this also means you’re the one financing this design project. And, if you’re like most college students, you don’t have much of a budget for anything beyond books, parties and the occasional iTunes download. Fortunately, dorm room décor doesn’t fall into the luxury category of interior design. Here are some tips to get you started:
Don’t look down on hand-me-downs. Cheap is good, but free is better. If you’re on a budget, reconsider your dad’s old bookshelf or your aunt’s ancient armchair. You can always paint wood furniture you want to update or throw a slipcover over outdated upholstery. Before you buy anything — even small appliances and electronics like a microwave or alarm clock — see if your friends or family have anything extra you can have for free.
Be crafty. Make things yourself. Not only does this let you really personalize your space and create great conversation pieces, it allows you to save money as well. Spend a little bit on supplies and, depending on your skill level, you can create anything from lampshades to curtains to your own artwork. Some other easy do-it-yourself ideas include enlarging one of your favorite photos to hang on the wall as a poster, or using sidewalk chalk to create an indoor mural.
When shopping, think thrift. Warehouse stores, dollar stores, discount stores — there are a number of places you can find useful, stylish and even trendy products without paying boutique prices. You don’t want to invest too much into what you buy for your dorm room. Over time, your taste and style will change. For instance, you don’t want to spend $200 on a bedspread that will end up in the back of your closet within five years.
Used can be useful. One way to find reasonably priced furniture and decorative items is to shop yard sales, furniture consignment stores, charity stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army and online classifieds like Craigslist. Often you can find quality items priced a lot less than they’re worth simply because they’re used and the owner (or store owner) is looking to unload them quickly. Just be careful of scams and things that are broken or don’t work properly. Unless you’re a risk-taker, avoid dumpster-diving and curb-shopping for furniture. The items you find could have any number of hazards, from fleas to bedbugs to exposed screws or nails.
We have some gender-specific design tips on the coming pages, so keep reading.
Budget Dorm Room Decorating Ideas for Women
Allow us to indulge in a bit of a stereotype: By and large, women are much more interested in decorating than men are. Sure, it’s a generalization, and it doesn’t always hold true (for either gender), but it’s typically a pretty safe conclusion to jump to. So with that in mind, let’s look at how young ladies — or design-minded guys — can add style to a dorm room without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to decorate on a budget is to accessorize. For a relatively low cost, you can make a design statement. Think of your dorm room as a simple pair of jeans, and the items in your room as apparel accessories. There are many styles you can create; it all depends on what you choose. If you want a sophisticated look, you can wear a sweater and heels with your jeans. If you want a more casual look, just go with a T-shirt and ballet flats. The same principle applies to decorating: Invest in small, inexpensive touches to get the look you want. And, when you’re ready to change things up, you can redecorate on the cheap by once again focusing on small items. Here are a few accessories you can look for when decorating your dorm room:
- Picture frames
- Candles and candle holders
- Organizational baskets
- Decorative pillows
- Lamps and lampshades, string lights or paper lanterns
- Wall décor, such as stick-on decals or inexpensive artwork
Many of these items can be found at relatively inexpensive retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target and IKEA. If you’re looking for something more unique, browse yard sales and furniture consignment shops.
Those are our tips for women. To find out how guys should decorate on a budget, see the next page.
If you and your roommate are on friendly terms and share similar tastes, you can save money by splitting the cost on some of the items in your room. Just know that this can make the concept of ownership a little tricky — especially at the end of the year when it’s time to split up your stuff and move out.
Budget Dorm Room Decorating Ideas for Men
Let’s face it, guys, you’re not exactly known for being neat and organized. And chances are, having a clean, welcoming space is probably going to be your biggest decorating challenge. Fortunately, there are many stylish and affordable ways you can spiff up your space.
Start with laundry. Make sure you have a hamper for dirty laundry and a basket for freshly washed clothing. Your floor, chair and bed aren’t appropriate storage places for your wardrobe, so put things away. If you don’t have enough drawer and closet space, use canvas storage boxes and under-the-bed boxes for out-of-season clothes and shoes.
As for your school supplies, anything from cardboard photo boxes to canvas totes can help you keep your learning tools ready when you need them, but out of sight for your next party. Plastic storage containers with drawers are also an option that can help you make the most of your space. Memo boards give you a place to organize to-do lists and reminders, but also provide space for creative flair such as photos and quotes. Stackable shelves offer a place for media like CDs, DVDs and video games. And if you’re still running out of places to put things, look for a storage ottoman or two. Not only will these small pieces of accent furniture provide containment for more of your stuff, they’ll also add extra seating to your space.
All of these items can be purchased inexpensively anywhere from a drugstore to a warehouse store — and a lot of places in between. These days, storage items are as stylish as they are utilitarian. You can probably even find boxes and baskets that match up with the color scheme of your bedspread and other items in your room. The main goal of purchasing such decorative containment is to create an orderly, visually pleasing space that will make your dorm room more inviting to you and any visitors you may have — particularly those of the opposite sex.
Continue reading for lots more information.
The biggest mistake you can make when decorating your dorm room is to run up your credit cards. The average college student graduates with more than $4,000 in credit card debt, and that’s usually on top of massive student loan debt [source: Walbaum]. So it’s not a good idea to use credit cards for non-essentials like decorating.
In Bedroom, Blog by Morgan Dix March 19, 2019
Oh no!! You’ve got bed bugs.
Nothing inspires as much dread in the minds and hearts of college residence hall and facilities managers to say nothing of anxious students.
With good reason.
Bed bugs in college dorms is a growing problem across the country and it’s tricky to treat. Thankfully, we’ve engineered an effective solution that halts infestations.
adecologicfurniture.com-domain_domains-mobile-us And there’s a reason it’s called an infestation. Bed bugs spread quickly, and once they do, you have to deal with the situation. Worst case scenario, it means dramatic disruption to students’ daily routine.
We’re talking about removing students and furniture from your residence hall and taking the items to a special treatment facility.
That’s why we’ve dedicated real resources to engineering a reliable and proven solution. If you catch the problem early enough, you can avoid a costly remediation effort.
But before I tell you how we’ve worked out the bugs, let’s do a quick review.
What are bed bugs and why do they spell T.R.O.U.B.L.E. for your residence hall?
Why Are Bed Bugs A Big Problem?
Bed bug is a nice name for something that amounts to a little vampire. The insect feeds on human blood in the dark while we slumber. Although they don’t live hundreds of years like a vampire, they can survive up to a year between feedings.
That’s just one reason why exterminators consider bed bugs one of the most troublesome and intractable pests.
Unlike other pint-sized parasites—think ticks—bed bugs don’t pass on infectious diseases. However, they do leave a nasty little bite that’s painless at first but then turns into an itchy and painful welt later.
These parasites have been around for thousands of years, but in the early part of the twentieth century, we’d done a good job of beating back the hordes…until the ‘80s. Since the mid-1980s bed bugs have resurged.
There are a lot of reasons and speculation behind the increase.
For one, these blood-chugging bugs are expert hitchhikers, catching rides in luggage and the folds of clothes. And international travel has exploded over the last several decades.
They’re also difficult to detect.
As thin as a credit card and shaped like a small flat apple seed, they hide in dark crevices and hard to reach cracks. They’ll stow away deep in box springs, bed frames, headboards, mattresses, and of course linens (eeew!).
But it doesn’t stop there. They can live anywhere within a 25-foot radius from where they feed, secreted in clocks, closets, clock radios, laptops, paintings, phones, wherever they can fit.
Bed Bugs In College Dorms
So why are bed bugs in college dorms especially troublesome?
Well, it’s the perfect environment. You have tons of people living in tight quarters travelling from across the globe to reside in the same small space. Also, bed bugs are frequently found in that timeless staple of student habitation—second hand furniture.
And let’s be honest, college dorm rooms aren’t known as paradigms of Mary Kondo tidiness.
With clothes strewn across cubbies, cabinets, and carpets, student rooms offer generous folds to shroud these blood-loving denizens of the dark.
But contrary to popular belief, bed bugs aren’t the consequence of a dirty living spaces. Clutter is the main issue. In truth, you’re as likely to find them in haughty hotels as you are in dirty dives.
That’s why residence hall facility managers across the country are dealing with this issue, independent of pedigree or purity.
But one truth stands, if they aren’t stopped right away, bed bugs can get expensive and expansive. They can spread quickly and lay hundreds of eggs, each one as tiny as a speck of dust.
If that happens, you’ll probably have to remove all the combustible materials in the contaminated rooms and then heat up them up to kill the bugs and/or take all the furniture to a treatment chamber.
This article from WebMD offers more detailed information on bed bug identification and prevention.
After three years of studying in a dorm room that resembled a white box, Daphne Oz, a graduate of Princeton University and Dr. Oz’s daughter, said she was ready to do more with her living space. “It is literally four white walls and you have a 10 by 10 square foot room to work with, to make your own,” she said.
While Daphne said she was simply too busy to spend a lot of time decorating, Nate Berkus says it’s important for students to feel at home. “I think that when you spend that much time in a space, it really is worth it to take a little time and figure out what you can do that is inspirational to you and what is peaceful to you,” he says. “I think that is what is missing in dorm rooms.”
You don’t have to be a design major to tackle Nate’s dorm decorating tips. These easy improvements can maximize a small space. with minimal effort.
Find your style: Determine what colors you like and what inspires you. Daphne said she likes cool colors—blues and greens—and was inspired by her father’s home country, Turkey. “I definitely have the Mediterranean influences from going to Turkey, and I always bring back artifacts from that area of the world to decorate with,” she said.
Multifunctional furniture: Every piece of furniture in a small space should do double duty. Look for an ottoman with built-in storage or a daybed that can work as a couch. In addition to supplying extra seating, daybeds are elegant alternatives to futons.
Declutter your dorm: Get rid of items you don’t need or don’t love so you can focus on the things you do love. Organize your space so you fit in 90 percent of everything and have 10 percent open. If you have openness, the world will bring more to you!
Bring items from home: Instead of buying new stuff for your dorm, bring items from home that will make you feel comfortable. Nate says he brought a lamp, a framed picture and chest of drawers to college. Daphne said she brought her bed from home. “I brought my own bed to college—that was crucial, it really changed everything,” she said.
Maximize storage space: Designate a place for every belonging. Also, don’t display lotions and creams on your dresser. If you need to store something, keep it in an attractive box or basket.
Stylize your shelves: Break up books on your bookshelf with interesting items: travel souvenirs, mismatched picture frames or a collection of something you love.
Little touches: Buy fresh flowers from the supermarket or use a beautiful container to store your toothbrush—little touches can make a big difference, Nate says. “It is a present that you give yourself every day, and I think it is a really good thing,” he says.
Imagine that you moved into the dorm room that fits all your parameters and looks nice. Do you agree that it’s hard to imagine because the chance of getting an ideal dorm room is too low? Fortunately, nowadays, getting an awful room isn’t the end of life. You can do a stunning dorm room makeover you see on YouTube and Pinterest easily, and it won’t hit your wallet. Many students dislike college dorms because rooms there are small and inconvenient. But only genuine connoisseurs of cozy places understand the potential of dorm rooms.
Moreover, many students are just afraid of starting the renovations because they may lack time and money to finish it. We will discuss some tips that will show you that the makeover may be cheap. If you resort to academic writing services , you’ll even have enough free time to do everything you plan. Well, here are the ideas on how to transform the boring dorm room into a cozy space.
If you have no idea how to bring life to walls or you just dislike the colors of your room interior, you may try to change something by purchasing and applying removable wallpapers. If your college dorm allows students to do some permanent changes, such as coloring walls and using ordinary wallpapers, you may not be afraid and do everything you want.
You shouldn’t think that there must be a reason to hang string lights on your room’s walls. These lights are used not only on Christmas but on any other day you want. We advise you to hang them above your bed, and they look good there. However, there are plenty of ways to use string lights for decoration , so it’s up to you to choose the best one. String lights have a big advantage — they light up your room, and you start feeling more comfortable and cozy.
Bring things from home
All students feel homesick and want to redesign the dorm room to make it as comfortable, calm, and nice as their native house. Decide what makes you feel positive and reminds you of your closest people who support you even from a huge distance. Bring some things from your room you will need during studying, ask your parents to give you something they want to stay with you constantly.
Layer the floor
Carpets and rugs don’t cost much. No one requires you to purchase expensive rugs made of premium-quality materials. There is a lot of budget and nice-looking carpets that are perfect for dorm rooms with awful floors. Place a rug near your bed and cover the remaining space with a large carpet. First of all, you’ll be able to move around without slippers and feel comfortable and warm enough.
Move the furniture
The small size of the room hardly presupposes that students will try to change the position of furniture, but all is fair here. You get used to living in a room with a certain layout and if the dorm room greatly differs from it, consider changing something in furniture’s position. If there is enough free space, consider buying an armchair or floor puff to have a cozy place to do your homework.
First of all, organizers are used not to decorate but to put all necessary and unnecessary things to avoid clutter. The companies that manufacture these tools saw that organizers are in demand and started to produce options with improved design. Therefore, organizers became more than a way to store things and not let them clutter your table, bed, and other surfaces. The less mess is in your room, the more comfortable it is.
Add some plants
Some greenery in the dorm room will never disturb you. We would advise you to create a green corner there, but we understand that you may not have much time to care about them. There are plant species that perfectly suit college students and their needs. Low-maintenance species are perfect for individuals having busy schedules: they’ll feed the eyes every day and won’t require you to monitor and water them all the time and according to a certain schedule.
Amy Bartlam; Design: Jette Creative
The classic video game of Tetris can easily come to mind whenever you’re confronting the mind-boggling task of creating a furniture layout in a narrow room. A couch may look ideal on a certain wall, but once a coffee table is placed in front of it, it can suddenly appear cramped—and a side chair is necessary for guests, but its small size feels larger between a plant and ottoman. So what can you do to win this real-life version of Tetris and create an airy space without much room?
“In narrow spaces, you’ll often find yourself having to edit your ideal floor plan,” says Alessandra Wood, Ph.D., the Vice President of Style at Modsy. “You may not be able to put that side table next to your sofa, or you might only be able to fit one accent chair rather than two.”
Meet the Expert
Alessandra Wood, Ph.D., is a design historian and the Vice President of Style at Modsy.
Planning is key to furniture layouts in narrow living rooms, bedrooms, and more. If you’re working with a smaller area, it’s important to be even more meticulous with which pieces stay or go. Wood knows how difficult it can be to style an unusual space, and that’s why she’s offering her advice on how to deal with narrow room layouts. “Don’t overload your layout,” she says, which should be your mantra as you get to work. To dive deeper, Wood provides a few ideas for strategizing style in a narrow layout.
Read on for her how-to when designing furniture in a narrow room, and consider these tips your cheat sheet for winning the game against tricky square footage.
Go With Wall Sconces
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“If you’re looking for narrow space design ideas involving lighting, wall sconces are the way to go,” Wood says. “These babies light up your home without wasting valuable floor space or table surface area. What’s even better? Many options can be plugged into the wall so you don’t have to worry about the whole wiring issue. Some even swivel, giving you extra flexibility with your lighting, too.”
Keep Furniture off the Floor
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“Kind of like how your mom used to say ‘keep your feet off the sofa,’ one of the best narrow design ideas involves keeping your furniture off the floor,” Wood continues. “Why? Because nothing makes a small space look even smaller like a bulky sofa plopped right on the floor. Instead, try using furniture that sits high up off the floor to make your small space look roomier. Pieces with long, tapered legs are a perfect choice. This is also a reason why the midcentury modern trend is so popular in urban cities where homes are a lot smaller.”
Try an Irregular Rug
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“Sometimes, it’s best to skip a rectangular rug and embrace an irregular option instead,” Wood notes. “After all, a rug that is clearly too big or too small will just draw attention to the size and shape of your room. Instead, try an irregularly shaped rug, such as cowhide, or even a round rug. This will create a sense of flow, and fill most of the floor space without drawing attention to the narrow shape of the room.”
Opt for Clear Furniture
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Amy Bartlam; Design: Jenn Feldman Designs
“When you can’t make more space, you can always employ some apartment design ideas that make it look like you have more space,” Wood adds. “The oldest trick in the interior designer’s handbook? See-through furniture! Opting for pieces made of glass or acrylic is a great way to trick the eye into thinking your space is larger than it is. So skip the bulky wooden coffee table in favor of a glass or acrylic option. It’ll make your space look more open and airy—which, in turn, will help it feel larger!”
Don’t Forget the Walkways
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“Carving out a path to navigate through the space is an important part of making your room comfortable and livable,” Woods says. “Ensure that you have enough space between your coffee table and sofa to walk through easily. This might mean using smaller-scale furniture pieces.”
Style Furniture Away From the Wall
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Amy Bartlam; Design: Jette Creative
“Just because your space is narrow doesn’t mean that you need to line your furniture up against the wall,” Wood notes. “Play with pulling pieces outward—perhaps bookshelves behind the sofa, or a console table with lighting and accessories.” Opt for smaller furniture that won’t take up too much space when pulled away from the wall, and use decorative accents behind the sofa (like tall plants or floor lamps) to draw attention to the extra room.
Keeping furniture from touching the walls is an important staple of feng shui—and even when you’re working with limited space, the extra room around each piece will make your design feel more airy and open.
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So you’ve heard about the classes and the extracurriculars at Harvard, but there’s far more to the college experience.
What about your actual home away from home––the place you spend most of your waking hours? Indeed, the dorm room is key to your day to day life, and it’s the one aspect of college you often learn the least about. In my case, I always wondered what kind of furniture I would have and how my dorm would really look, both before and after I got into Harvard. So, to cut to the chase and spare you guys the suspense, I’ll highlight a few of the essentials present in every Harvard dormitory.
Let’s start with the pieces of furniture that you are guaranteed to have for the four years that you live on campus.
No words are needed to describe this essential component of your bedroom. What I will say is that Harvard doubles mostly start out with bunk beds, but you have the option to debunk them and arrange them separately in your room. Whatever works best for you and your roommate!
Me and my bed. All day, every day.
Another college necessity. I’m happy to inform you that Harvard desks come with three drawers where you can keep your valuables, along with a well-designed, cushioned chair that is physically incapable of tipping over unless you’re going out of your way. They almost look like massive rocking chairs, and as someone who enjoys leaning on the back legs of ordinary chairs far too much, this safety mechanism has probably saved my thick skull more than once already.
Since there’s no way your books can all fit on your desk, you have a three level shelf you can shove them onto instead.
The books on my shelf are a combination of my readings from freshman and sophomore year, and it’s quite satisfying to watch the collection grow. But also- Cards Against Humanity.
And while you do have either a walk-in closet or a cabinet, you also have a five level drawer to store the rest of your clothes. Life in Massachusetts means you get to experience the brunt of all four seasons, so you will definitely have quite a variety of clothes with you at college. My drawer is and has always been full.
Five levels of this wooden glory.
And now, for two dorm room features that are pretty unique to Harvard.
One of my favorites- most of the older Harvard buildings have them, and if you don’t get one in freshman year, chances are you’ll have them at least once by the time you graduate. My roomates and I took great pride in figuring out this color combination.
Interior design for days.
The Classic Fireplace
Exactly what it sounds like. Sadly, it is boarded up to prevent foolish Harvard students from setting fire to their dorm rooms, but it’s the presence that matters.
Hope this gives you guys a better sense of the average Harvard dorm! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!