Moving into a dorm can feel like a prison sentence. Come to think of it, the characters on “Oz” may have had more square footage in their cells.
But never fear! There is a solution to make that small space feel like home.
The first hurdle is dealing with the cinder block walls. A great way to add personality is by draping curtain fabric from the wooden rail that runs along the ceiling. An inexpensive few yards of fabric can add a pop of color without damaging the walls.
Another solution? Create the look of wallpaper with large-scale removable wall decals. A set of eight vinyl decals can be purchased for $48 on www.etsy.com.
Curtains are a great touch to an already unsightly window, adding warmth and softening the look of the hurricane shutters. You can use removable 3M hooks and curtain ring clips to hang panels. Go to www.ikea.com and pick out a set. Ann Tupplur curtain panels will run you $9.99 per panel.
In small spaces, multi-purpose furniture allows you to maximize use and minimize space. The Expedit bookcase from Ikea ($69.99) allows for extra storage and can work as a nightstand between beds. Bed risers can add storage space as well. Ceramic table lamps from Target ($19.99) with lampshades to display photos can be personalized with an individual touch (www.pbteen.com photo shade $39).
The recently launched Pottery Barn Dorm collection has a full-length mirror with cork board around the border for pinning photos and the errant number picked up in Coconut Grove. Emerson’s 2.8-cubic-foot fridge ($89) also has a built in dry-erase board. The Kikkerland Easy Fold step stool can also double as extra seating ($14.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond).
To draw the different decorating styles between you and your roommate together, an area rug can create cohesion. Finally, be sure to invest in a good pillow and mattress pad. Your back will thank you at the end of the semester.
MacKenzie Green may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.