Friday, September 6, 2013

Decorating the Dorm

Sheffield Says: Decorating Tips: Organizing the Dorm Room

Posted: 06 Sep 2013 07:00 AM PDT
You may have a child going off to college for the first time (time goes so fast!) or you may already have a seasoned collegiate who needs some organization help. What should they bring to their dorm?  Well, if their dorms are anything like mine, they probably don’t have much room or storage, and they probably share it with another student.
My dorm room was narrow with two sliding closets, two desks and chairs and two beds. That was it. Stark simple and blah. When I went to school, they didn’t have storage places like the Container Store and they didn’t have the internet to shop around. Talk about hard! I had to go to a flea market to make my limited selections. But being a budding interior designer in the making, I got very creative with what I had.
I chose a small soft lounger – similar to the one above – which had a seablue fabric and then revolved my whole color scheme around that. I bought cheap white plastic storage crates and grouped them to form a coffee table.  Then I took some plywood - the same length as my plastic crates - wrapped it in the same blue fabric as the lounger - and laid it on top of the crates for an instant matching coffee table! In our example above, we have the Coral beanbag lounger from Joss & Main and matching QBO steel cubes from the Container Store grouped together to create a coffee table.
The crazy looking bookcase is not an illusion by Escher, it’s the Rocky Credenza by La Chance.  Rocky holds books, lamps, and knick-knacks and is available at the A+R store. For the student who loves to rock when they’re not studying, we have guitar hooks from Bed Bath and Beyond to hang their leather jacket!
Bedside Caddy and Shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond
My roommate and I also built (okay, my roommate's boyfriend built but we supervised!) a loft bed to create more floor space for our living room section.  But that was the limit of our construction for the room.  We could have used some of these space-saving devices above. The bedside caddy and shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond solves the lack of a night table for the upper bunk bed sleeper.
If you need some privacy in your dorm room - won't that roommate ever leave?! - you may consider a room divider.  This Hang It Up room divider from StacksandStacks provides privacy plus storage.  There are magazine racks, hooks, and shelves for those study materials!
Hang It Up Room Divider from StacksandStacks
Being a design student, my favorite storage device was made by Italian (of course!) designer, Joe Colombo. The ever versatile and portable Boby trolley cart held all my art supplies in a very organized fashion. The cart had swinging drawers, shelves, tall storage for those long rolls of design drawings, and it had wheels so you could move it all around your room.
Colombo's Boby Trolley Cart

Interested in learning more about organizing?  Take a look at New York Institute of Art and Design.  At NYIAD, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.