A guide to furnishing your dorm room

Whether your priority is sleeping, studying or partying, here are some expert tips for furnishing a comfortable and stylish dorm room on a budget.

A guide to furnishing your dorm room

Make a home

Adding a personal touch to your dorm room is an important way to make you feel at home when you're out on your own for the first time.

The basics

Most dorm rooms will have the basics, including a bed, dresser and a desk. However, "basic" can be a little boring.

  • So how do you personalize a dorm room?

Coordination is key

Most large retailers will have a line of dormitory furnishings from bedding to storage solutions.

  • When decorating a dorm room, opt for cheap and cheerful instead of expensive designer goods. That way, if you change your style next year, it will not break the bank.
  • If possible, coordinate with your roommate. If you are a newbie dorm resident, it may be better to wait until you see what your roommate has before deciding. A mismatched explosion of colour can really clash.

Deck the walls

Rather than the standard posters, get creative.

  • Make a collage of your favourite pictures, or super-size and customize a treasured party snap, or that great photo of you and your best friend.
  • There are so many smartphone apps out there to help you turn a picture into a conversation piece.
  • Get a simple, cheap poster frame to finish the look. This will also help to avoid the wrath of the dorm monitor by using removable hanging mounts.

Storage solutions

Think small space and limited storage. You may have a couple of drawers in a dresser, but that is probably it.

  • Decor and furniture stores often have colourful dorm kits with hanging storage for things like towels, small cloth bins and a shoe caddy.
  • For seldom-used items of clothing, consider an under-the-bed storage bin.
  • Add a pop of colour with cloth storage bins that can be stacked and provide a home for everything from socks to office supplies.
  • Go in with your roommate and buy a super-sized, over-the-shower caddy for items like body wash and shampoo.

Getting the work done

Let's face it, the desk provided in your dorm room has probably seen better days and comes complete with a really uncomfortable chair.

  • Since much of your work will be done on a laptop, if you like to work in bed consider investing in a laptop desk with a study pillow that keeps you supported and upright.
  • For not much more money, you can get an adjustable, free-standing rolling laptop desk that is angled to provide maximum visibility. The laptop desk you choose can double as an eating station.

Dorm living can be very basic. Customize your dorm room with coordinated furnishings, dorm-friendly storage and convenient work stations.

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