Get an A+ in Dorm Design: Tips to a Great Dorm Room


Four white walls, a closet and, if you're lucky, a desk- welcome to your new home, college students. As dreary as a dorm room can seem, a few simple steps can easily transform that drab dorm room into a space you'll want to come home to in a few easy steps.

Bed Bath & Beyond suggests a few tips to help college students and their parents get started.

"You don't need to be an interior designer or worry about breaking the bank," commented Catherine Gentile of Bed Bath & Beyond. "Focus on a few key areas to bring your personality and affordable style to decorate this blank canvas."

* Don't "Bare" with it. Bare walls and floors don't increase the cozy factor. Start with an area rug to add a focal point in the room while providing the creature comforts of home to bare feet. Next consider your walls, choose wall art that doesn't require mounting with a hammer and nails (a no-no in most dormitories). Consider a set of 3 dry erase "wall pops" that peel and stick and can be moved to change them up on a whim.

* Make your bed (really, really comfy). Layer in the comfort to take the standard issue dorm bed to the next level! Since you won't know where your mattress has been, encase it in an Entomologist lab tested and recommended Allergy Luxe(R) bed bug mattress protector to keep the bed bugs at bay. Then smooth out the lumps and bumps with a mattress topper of your choice, be it feather, fiber or foam.

* Bedding is the biggest decor bang for the buck. When searching for bedding, first find out if your new bed is twin extra long, a slightly longer twin bed size which is commonly found in dorm rooms. Since the bed is typically the biggest decor piece in the room, it's the easiest way to make a statement. This year, affordable fashion bedding options abound from flirty floral designs to bold bright colors for girls, to masculine stripes and plaids or solid reversible sets for guys. Nautica(R) takes the popular cotton jersey knit a step further in their "Glen Cove" set that includes a jersey knit comforter.

A Place for Everything ...

When trying to figure out how to fit all of your worldly possessions into a small space, remember these simple tips:

- Stack it. Add colorful totes on top of shelves to keep things neat and organized while also adding a pop of color throughout your space.

- Stow it. Look for pieces that multitask like a storage ottoman that provides storage and seating space and even has a lid that when turned upside down doubles as a table or lap desk.

- Hang it. Make your closet work for you. First, use the same type of hanger to create uniformity. Select a set of Razor(TM) thin hangers that are made from eco-friendly recycled ABS plastic, and have an ultra slim design to save space. Then use a double hang closet rod that you can adjust horizontally and vertically to find the right fit for what you need. Simply hang on your existing closet rod and -- voila, you now have twice the space. Then use the additional space to create shelving. Use gearbox organizers and choose a 6 shelf for clothing or 10 shelf for shoes and accessories.

- Hide it. Start under the bed by attaching a set of bed lifts to the bottom of your bedposts to gain up to 7 precious inches of storage space. Use underbed bags to store items you don't need to access all the time, including off-season clothing, extra bedding and shoes.


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