Maximize Your Dorm Room Space With LIFE.STYLE’s Pro Tips

The most difficult part of your first semester at college this fall is not making a group of new BFFs or figuring out how to stomach dining hall eats. It’s packing your entire wardrobe, all your One Direction posters, and everything else you can’t live without into a 60 square foot space that you’re sharing with two other chicks. Most of all, it’s figuring out how to turn that dorm room into a safe haven where you can escape the chaos of the study lounge and just chill for a second. We asked our interior design friends at the LIFE.STYLE, Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl, for some dorm decorating musts to maximize the tiny, most likely ugly space you’ll be inhabiting for the next nine months. Here’s what they said.

1. Reorganize your furniture: Make sure your bed is pushed to a corner so it is touching two walls to ensure there is no wasted space on either side of the bed and allow more room for decor and other furniture like a desk or nightstand. If you have a dresser, try to fit that into your closet and add an extra tension rod if you need more room for hangers. Play around with your furniture and area until you feel like you aren’t constantly stressed or surrounded by a mess.

2. Lighting is key: Invest in a floor lamp or desk lamp, and buy bulbs that are warmer and less harsh than the flourescents that most dorms have. That sterile lighting can make it feel like you’re in a hospital room! You can also string Christmas lights around your room or from the ceiling for lighting that doubles as decor.

3. Invest in wall decor: This is where you can show your personality. When you are hanging memorabilia or photos, try doing a gallery wall with white frames that you can purchase from either Ikea or Pottery Barn. They have all different shapes and sizes: have fun with it. Frame photos with family and friends, magazine tears, letters, anything! This makes the look cohesive and sophisticated. Try framing with cute wrapping paper you can get from Paper Source or Sugar Paper, and use that as the focal point of the room. Since you’re not normally allowed to tack stuff up on the walls, you can use washi tape to put your photos up: you can buy it nearly anywhere in tons of fun patterns and colors. Also, never forget a mirror! It can really open up a space.

4. Add calming elements: We love candles! There might be fire hazard restrictions, but sometimes the scent of the wax itself is strong enough to really calm a space. Try the candles from Diptyque: they are usually pretty potent— in a good way!

5. Choose a color scheme: Use calming colors, like shades of blue, purple, green, and white.We love mixing graphic and bold prints with neutral tones and colors. We usually gravitate towards black, white, and gold. They’re classic, sophisticated and go with anything. Bright colors can cause stress and anxiety.

6. Cover up that carpet: Try Ikea if you’re on a budget or West Elm for a unique, graphic area rug that can elevate your space. We especially love the faux cowhide ones!

7. Maximize your storage space: Try not to clutter your space. We love simplicity and functionality, they are something we always try to achieve with any space we do. Stores like The Container Store, Crate & Barrel, CB2, and West Elm, are great places to get baskets and bins that aren’t just clear plastic like you’re used to. Create a system and a space for everything you own and find ways to do it creatively. You can even raise your bed to allow for underbed storage. Never block windows by stacking your books and knick knacks on window sills, so you can allow natural light in.

Photos Via Tumblr

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