Six Space-Saving Dorm-Inspired Decorating Ideas

June 05, 2014

Six Space-Saving Dorm-Inspired Decorating Ideas


The small space of a dorm room inspires creative (and inexpensive!) storage and decorating solutions. But you don’t have to be a co-ed to store your stuff like one.

Borrow these easy ideas inspired by clever dorm-room decorations to put a little order and a little fun in your grown-up home.

1. Think multifunction.

Dorel Single Seater/Sleeper
Dorel Single Seater/Sleeper

No item or space in your house should be wasted. Multipurpose furnishings are easy to move around, store, and add more function to a small space design. This works especially well in a guest room or office. Purchase chairs that can become a bed. Use that small table or console table as a desk or pop up bar. Trendy poufs can serve as extra seating, ottomans, and even coffee tables if they are firm enough. Not using that closet? Turn it into an office or craft center just close the door to hide the clutter.

2. Be colorful.

Banish boredom and add cheer to your space with pops of color and pattern on your walls even if you don’t want to commit or have the time or energy to paint. Hang a bold, large tapestry or fabric behind a couch.Use giant posters to make a statement. Or try easy-to-remove wall decals to add style and design to plain walls or halls. Removable wallpaper sheets also allow you to try the pattern trend without committing.

WallPops!® Removable Dry Erase Message Dots and Marker (Set of 3)
WallPops!® Removable Dry Erase Message Dots

3. Get mobile.

Metropolis Bookcase
Metropolis Bookcase

Have furniture on wheels so it can be rearranged easily, depending on changing needs. A bar cart can be repurposed as an end table, nightstand, or bath cart. Wheel your coffee table out of the way for cozy sleepovers or movie time. Popular wheeled, cubed bookcases can store everything from (yes!) books) to kitchen gear, bath essentials, and office supplies. They make amazing room dividers, pop-up bars, or consoles behind a couch depending on your needs. Tuck small items into colored bins for a sleek look.

4.Warm up your space.

Impressions Accent Rug in Black/Grey
Impressions Accent Rug in Black/Grey

Soft textiles make cold impersonal dorm rooms cozy and easily warm up your home too. Layer a pretty throw rug next to a bed, use curtains to soften windows but also to divide a space, hide storage, or create a canopy for a bed or reading nook. Make and mount an easy fabric covered “headboard” to anchor and warm a sleeping space. Inexpensive colorful throw pillows work magic on tired couches, side chairs, benches, and beds.

5. Stay organized.

Underbed Chest (Set of 2)
Underbed Chest (Set of 2)

Combat clutter and keep a streamlined space. Use bed risers to tuck storage bins under the bed for off-season linens, extra blankets, and clothes. A pretty bath tote doesn’t have to travel down the hall to the dorm bath. Use one on the counter to corral hair products or styling tools or even spices in the kitchen. Go vertical with wall-hanging accessory organizers.Don’t neglect the inside of closet doors as prime storage real estate!

6. Message central.

WallPops!® Removable Dry Erase Monthly Calendar/Message Board Set
WallPops!® Removable Dry Erase Monthly Calendar/Message Board Set

Even in the era of texting, a corkboard, whiteboard, or chalkboard on a door is a hallmark of college living to stay in touch and make a statement. Incorporate these casual communication accents in your home to track shopping and to-do lists, write out a menu for a party, leave inspirational or cute messages for family members, or as a fun accent in a mudroom, kitchen or office.

What’s your favorite dorm-inspired decorating tip?

Julie Hartigan




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