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Make The Most of Your Space: Dorm Room Storage Ideas

Dorm room storage ideas and space saving organizing tips

It might seem like a hard task to add storage space to a dorm room. Since you are limited by what you can do, it terms of hanging things up and changing out the furniture.

But there are quite a few creative ways you can carve out some storage space, you just need to look at your room closely and get a little inventive. This post of dorm room storage ideas tries to list out all the different ways you can go about organizing and storing things in your room.

Just make sure that you find out what you can and can’t do to your dorm room. As each college will have different rules.

Creating Storage Space

  • Add a Ladder: A ladder doesn’t take up much floor space (which is quite valuable in a dorm room). But what it does do is help add vertical storage space to a room. You can use one to hang up clothes, magazines, or blankets. And you can always add hooks to the sides of the ladder (or even on one of the steps) so you can start hanging things up, whether that be clothes, jewelry, or other items.
  • 2 Ladders? If you have space then 2 ladders (the kind that open up) can be used along with planks of wood to create make shift storage – seen in picture (1). It can even act as a desk, table, or TV cabinet.
  • The Inside of Doors: There is a bit of extra storage space that can be created inside of closet and cabinet doors. Maybe you can fit screws and railings to the inside of your closet door, or at least use stick on hooks. The same can be done on the inside of cabinet doors.
  • Door Organizers: Another way to create storage on the inside of your doors (or the outside) is to get one of these over the door organizers. Fit it so that it faces the inside of your closet for a cleaner and more clutter free dorm room look.
  • Hanging Organizers: If you have a railing somewhere in your room (maybe your headboard), or if you have extra space on your railing in your closet, you can get a hanging organizer to store clothes, bathroom items, or stationary.
  • The Magic of Pegboards: See where you can add a pegboard in your dorm room. Maybe it can lean against the wall like a mirror, it can sit on your desk, be fitted to the inside of your closet or cabinet door, or maybe you can hang one up with stick on hooks. The normal thing to do would be to hang things up on pegs, or use little hook and storage bins. But you could also use longer pegs to create a shelf. (The Pegboard House: Inventive Ideas on Using Pegboards Around the House)

  • Bedside Storage Solutions: There are fabric caddies that can be bought (get one here) that tuck away into your mattress, seen in picture (5). These can be used to store your phone or other items. You can also get a bed shelf that does the same thing. Check out picture (2) showing one of these caddies being used on top of a fridge.
  • Under the Bed: Most likely you’ll have storage space under the bed. IKEA has storage units that can be rolled under the bed. And another option is to use good looking storage containers (suck as wicker baskets) to store things in, as you’ll probably be able to see these containers when you are in the room.
  • DIY Storage Solutions: Check out the cubby holes in picture (6). PVC pipes can be cut and hot glued together to create these cubbies. You can even use different sized PVC pipes to get different sized cubbies.
  • Rolling Cart: A small rolling and multi level cart could be a good way to add storage space for your dorm room. Maybe there are some items you don’t need out all of the time (stationary, bathroom items, etc.). These can be rolled away (into the closet, under or behind the bed) when not in use.
  • Go Vertical: See if you can add a hutch / small bookcase to your desk – just like the hutch in picture (8). It does take up some of your desk space, but you get a lot of vertical space in return – which can be hard to add in a dorm room.
  • Better Dorm Room Organization: A lot of times you can get more storage space just by organizing areas better. Draws would be a good place to focus when it comes to organization. Since they are just one big box, it is easy for things in draws to get messy. The best way to organize draws is to divide them up. You can get simple draw divider inserts (get yours here), or you can make your own out of PVC pipes (4). The same goes for shelves – look for ways to create dividers (just like the document holder in picture (7)).
  • Good Looking Storage: It would be nice if everything could be stored out of sight, leaving you with a clutter free and tidy looking dorm room. But sometimes there is not enough space and items need to be stored out in the open (either on countertops, the floor, or on open shelves).

So if you do need to store things out in the open, then try and get good looking containers to store them in. That way the storage pieces also act as decor items for the room. Some ideas for good looking storage pieces include wicker baskets (get yours here), wooden crates, matching glass jars, wire baskets, or a wicker hamper or trunk.

Another storage tip is to try and get rid of ugly plastic bottles. For example you might have bathroom items that come in the brand’s plastic containers, or there are food items around (like cereal). Replace the brand’s packaging with good looking storage items. Instead of having plastic water bottles, use glass jars. If you have any lotions or liquids on your dresser, pour these into glass jars (how about some vintage glass jars from Etsy). Try and get rid of the generic plastic containers, and use good looking storage pieces. This way your storage pieces also act as decor.

Here are some other dorm room posts to get more ideas from:

image credits 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

May 31, 2016 in Dorm Room, Storage

Creative Dorm Room Decorating Ideas That Will Make Styling Your Space So Much Easier

Creative Dorm Room Decorating Ideas That Will Make Styling Your Space So Much Easier

Space is quite limited in a college dorm room. This means a lot of your decorating and styling will done through the main bedroom pieces (bed sheets, area rugs, etc). I will also go over some simple dorm decorating ideas (for guys and girls), tips, and decor pieces your could include to style your space.

Note: You’ll want to check to see if there are any rules when it comes to making changes to your dorm room.

Piture 5

Styling the Main Dorm Room Features

When you walk into your dorm room what are the first things you notice? What pieces take up the most ‘visual space’?

Your bedsheets for example don’t take up much physical space, but they do take up a lot of visual space. Imagine a completely white bedroom – and in the middle you have a bed with red bed sheets. Now say those bed sheets are pink – instantly you’ve changed the whole look and feel of the space, because bed sheets take up a lot of visual space.

  • The bed area has a big impact on the style and feel of your dorm room. Now you’ll probably won’t be able to change the bed frame, but that doesn’t matter. Because we can play around with the bed sheets. Choose a color that goes with the overall color theme that you want for your dorm room. Try and avoid a flat colored fabric. Look for one with a subtle pattern, or a subtle texture. The same goes with the pillowcases
  • An area rug is another piece that can add a pop of color or a subtle pattern to the room
  • If you have any cabinets or a closet in your dorm room, you might be able to give the draws or doors a DIY makeover – by changing the paint color and adding different hardware (DIY Challenge: Give Your Closet Doors a Makeover).
  • Curtains are another dorm room feature that can really impact the style and feel of the room. If you can change them, then look for a color you like, or again a subtle pattern or texture.
  • Decorative Storage: If you have shelves or storage containers laying around, see if you can use decorative storage containers. Some ideas here include using wicker baskets, a copper bucket (this can also be used as a trash can), wire baskets, or wooden crates, trunk, or clutter trays. Have a look at my vintage storage and organization posts for more ideas and some photos.
  • Have a look at my post here for storage ideas: Make The Most of Your Space: Dorm Room Storage Ideas

Simple Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

  • Use fabric. Cover up anything ugly with some good looking fabric. Have a dresser you don’t like the look of, or a desk? Then drape some fabric that you like over it.
  • Cover the whole floor with area rugs to create a cozy place – just like the dorm room in picture (5).
  • See if you can create a gallery wall (3)
  • And add greenery to your dorm room with some plants, even if they are fake – just like in picture (4)
  • Create a more relaxing mood in your dorm room by turning off your ceiling lights. Instead go for a table or floor lamp, or see if you’re allowed to hang up string lights.
  • You’ll probably not be allowed to have candles in your dorm room, but you can still get battery powered candles. Get yours from the Amazon window above.
  • Instead of hanging up posters, why not hang up a tapestry, just like the one in picture (6), which you can get in the Amazon window above
  • And for DIY dorm room decorating ideas, have a look at my page here which shows my collection of DIY decor posts. You’ll find everything there from how to create DIY copper and concrete decor pieces, to using your printer to create home decor items.

Have a look at these posts for more dorm room decorating ideas:

image credits: 1/2/3-5

April 16, 2016 in Dorm Room

The Free Spirit: Bohemian Dorm Room Ideas

The Free Spirit: Bohemian Dorm Room Ideas

Most dorm rooms are small spaces. So you’ll want to make use of big items such as rugs, wall tapestries, and bedding – instead of focusing on small decor items to create the bohemian style. Below are the bohemian dorm room ideas that will really transform your space.

The Bohemian Color Scheme

From the pictures in the mood board above, you can get a pretty good idea of the color scheme in a bohemian styled room. You’ll see a lot of dark and earthly tones: like dark blues, purples, and red. Add some green into the mix with plants.

Because the colors are deep shades, almost dull in nature, this lets you have a lot of patterns and textures mixing and decorating the space without it being overwhelming – from patchwork quilt blankets to dream catchers and macrame.

For outside inspiration, look to Moroccan and Turkish interior design.

The Focal Point in a Dorm Room

#1 Focus The Bed Area

The focal point in a bedroom is the bed area. The bed is the biggest item in the room, it takes up the most space, and is the area the eye is drawn to first. The bed area is where you want to focus your decorating and styling efforts. If you create the bohemian style here, you pretty much create it for the whole room. You have a lot to play with – from the bedding and pillows, to the side table and wall hangings.

To really create that bohemian and hippie style in the dorm room, you’ll want to get the perfect bedding. A patchwork quilt would be the best way to go – one that has dark colors with lots of patterns mixing together, just like in picture (1) – and you can get one in the shopping section below. While the pillow cases can have an India/Moroccan style pattern to them.

Soften the walls around the bed by hanging up a tapestry, just like the one in picture (1). There is also the tapestry in the shopping section below. Or how about hanging fabric overhead (if you are allowed to) to create a canopy. Having lots of fabric around, really softens the space, making it feel cozy.

If you are allowed to, see if you can hang up string lights on the walls around the bed – creating a soft and cozy glow at night.

If you can add in a side table, a Turkish one  – seen in picture (2), or a DIY log table (visit The Mill for a tutorial) would blend in well with bohemian theme decor.

From the ideas above you can see how there is so much that can be done just with the bed area alone. Make the bed area your focal point when hunting down bohemian decor pieces for your dorm room. For me, the bedding would be the most important part of the bed area. Get that right, and you’ll have a well styled space.

Around the Room

Here are a few more main ideas for creating the bohemian dorm room:

  • Dark hued and patterned Persian style rugs can really set the bohemian style in a room. Overlap a few together to create a informal and cozy vibe (3).
  • Plants, if you can find the time and patience to take care of them, will add some charm and warmth to a dorm room. Check out the DIY macrame plant hanger in picture (4), you can find the tutorial here. Or use vintage style bottles to house them, just like the bottle in the shopping section below.

If you can change up your windows, then get some dark hue patterned fabric (5), lace, or macrame curtains. You can also hang a dream catcher by the window and the sunlight will cast a soft shadow in the room.

Cozy Lighting

When the sun falls, you’ll want to have some cozy lighting to create that bohemian inspired vibe in your dorm room. To do this, you’ll want to avoid using the ceiling lights. Instead use table or floor lamps, string lights, or how about flameless battery powered candles (like the ones in the shopping section below).

These flameless battery powered candles can be put inside of Moroccan lanterns. When they light up, they will create shadows on the wall. There are also shadow lamps just like the one in picture (6).

Bohemian Decor and Accessory Ideas

  • If you need a mirror, try and get a frameless Middle Eastern shaped one – like the one in shopping section below.
  • For any furniture pieces you need and can put in the dorm room, like a dresser, chipped painted wooden pieces would work best.
  • Or you can store your things in a vintage trunk, or old vintage suitcases (Vintage Storage Ideas). For more storage ideas have a look at my post here: Make The Most of Your Space: Dorm Room Storage Ideas
  • An alternative to hanging up tapestries on the wall is to use a mix of vintage wooden photo frames just like in picture (7). Go out and thrift for some artwork. Mix it up to make it look worldly – hang up classical paintings, black and white photos, along with with frameless printed out photos of your own.
  • If you have bohemian or hippies chic style jewelry, see if you can hang them out in the open as they will double as decor elements in the room.

So that’s about it when it comes to bohemian decor ideas for a dorm room. If there were only three things you could get to style the room, I’d say get:

  1. Awesome bohemian bedding (patchwork quilt)
  2. A wall tapestry
  3. And a persian rug

Just with these 3 items, you are 90%-98% of the way there.

Going Shopping

When out shopping, if you can thrift for old design items these will add more authentic charm to a room. But for now, here are some boho style items you can easily get online:

The Free Spirit: Bohemian Dorm Room Ideas - 8 Decor Pieces for Under $35

Remember: For safety, different dorm halls will have different rules for what you can and can do to decorate your room. From how you can hangs things up, to what sort of items your not allowed in the room (real candles). So check out the rules for your dorm room before buying anything.

image credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

For more bohemian decor inspiration, check out these mood board posts:

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March 1, 2016 in Design Styles, Dorm Room