Dorm Design Tips and Questions Answered

It's that time of year.... back to school planning time. And that includes getting students ready for college. Campuses are open and kids are moving in! Recently I've been getting asked a lot of questions about dorm room design and I'd like to answer them below so everyone can benefit from these little design nuggets.


Image via Dormify on Instagram


Moving in to your dorm room is the first time many kids get to create a space that is all their own, with little input from their parents. They get to explore their own aesthetic, figure out how to make the best use of space and live on their own for the first time in their lives. Form many it is exciting. For others it is scary. And for parents it can be sad, overwhelming, worrisome and expensive.


Tip # 1 - Get the measurements for the actual room and the furniture that is included.

Many dorm rooms come furnished with a bed, dresser and desk. But you still need the measurements for the room and the furnishings if you are going to purchase things such as a rug, desk chair, bedding, etc.


Question: Should I invest in more furnishings if stuff is already provided?

YES! You want your student to be comfortable, don't you? For them, their dorm room is their living room, bedroom, study space and mini-kitchen all rolled into 1. It definitely needs a personal touch! I suggest a rug, some sort of seating and plenty of cozy bedding.


Tip #2 - Don't spend a lot of $$.

You can have a stylish dorm room without spending a ton of money. The truth is twofold: 1.) Your student is just out of high school and we all know how messy teenagers can be. This probably won't change magically once they go off to college. 2.) Your student will probably change their mind a lot as they find their personal style. For these two reasons, don't spend too much. Target, HomeGoods, Walmart, etc. all have great bedding, affordable artwork, cute furnishings and fabulous accessories for not a lot of money.


Question: What do I do with the walls?

This is a great question! Most colleges won't let you paint but there are other great ways to make the walls less drab. Removable wallpaper is my favorite! It goes up like regular wallpaper but then peels off at the end of the year. It's perfect for dorm rooms and rentals. Removable hooks are great for hanging art and creating gallery walls. And double sided tape is the best for adding pictures all over the walls.



Photo via LeighDeux on Instagram


Tip #3 - Be innovative!

Make use of every inch of space! Think about how you can use the under-bed space, the over top space all the way to the ceiling, the little nooks and crannies... your student will need all of the storage they can get. Check out the pillows in the photo above - they look like a headboard but they are pillows!!! So smart! Think about study tools and storage and comfort. Be creative with all of it!


Tip #4 - Treat it like a real design project!

Make a floor plan. Do the design boards. Space plan properly. Do it up! Your student will appreciate the ability to be creative a make their own space.


Let me know if you have any other questions! I love the idea of dorm room design. It's such fun!




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