Cozy Quarters: Comfortable, Inspired Dorm Living

College life means living in spaces that can be a bit of a tight squeeze. But with a little creativity, a dorm room can become your student’s home sweet home in no time!dorm life pillow

Here are a seven ways to personalize the space and help make cozy quarters that are inspiring and inviting:

Be organized
pencil cupOrganization doesn’t have to be boring. Think outside the box and repurpose old crates, pails and stackable baskets or hang over-the-door caddies to maximize every square foot. Don’t forget to take advantage of under bed storage. Use a favorite mug to wrangle stray pens or make a vintage-looking tiered jewelry tray out of thrift store items.

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A handy storage ottoman from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Furnish smart
Multifunctional furniture is the key to a versatile space. Shop for affordable dual-purpose futons and clever storage ottomans. Use crates for a coffee table and have instant book storage underneath. A sturdy book shelf holds more than books—it also serves as a creative, functional kitchenette. Just add coffee maker, microwave and an eclectic set of coordinating dishes.

Create art
follow your own path wall artPersonalize the space with handmade wall art. Use inexpensive canvas to design custom pieces that reflect his or her personality! Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things from abstract art to pet paintings. Creating is therapeutic and these one-of-a-kind pieces make great conversation starters.

Add warmth

Rugs, pillows and textured blankets provide warmth to an otherwise institutional space. Use an array of pillows to add color and comfort on the bed and seating areas. A large area rug anchors the room, giving feet a soft place to land, while layering smaller rugs brings texture to the space. Throw blankets keep a drafty room feeling cozy and provide a cuddly “hug” when homesickness strikes.

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Add decorative ambiance to the room with battery-powered candles, holiday lights (if they’re allowed) and lamps. Just a couple of lamps bring a stylish, homey touch to a dorm room at a minimal expense. Try a fun salt crystal lamp or vintage-looking lava lamp for an extra dose of fun!

Leave a message
A mirror can serve more than one purpose. It makes a great message center when you add a colorful selection of whiteboard makers. Use it to jot down the weekly grocery list or a day-brightening message to a roommate.

Surround yourself with those you love  

washi tape wall art

Print off favorite photos for a personalized display wall. Use twine and clothespins to artfully display pictures of family and friends, or add some pizzaz with wall-friendly washi tape frames.



Kelly Radi is an author, speaker and mom of two college students. She shares secrets to a successful college launch in her book Out To Sea: A Parents’ Guide to the Freshman Voyage, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million, Cost Plus World Market and several independent retailers.

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