I am waiting – searching would probably be a better word – for a teenager who will have me as their personal decorator, so that I can walk into the shoebox that is a dorm room and imagine. Maybe it has something to do with how poor I was as a teenager and college student (I left home when I was 17-years of age and never really asked for help after that departure) and how hard I worked to have things that looked nice. Only someone who has spent any period of time without a dollar in their pocket, understands the thrill that comes from discovering a discarded chair on the street or how chic we thought milk crates were.
So, I’m always on the hunt for furnishings and decor that have style, on a budget. When thinking about dorm room furnishings, here are a few of my must rules:
Price: Price. Well, you understand why price is important.
Functionality: In no other space is function quite as important as in a room where there is no space. Every piece of furniture should have purpose and if possible, should serve multiple purposes.
Light Weight: Furniture in a dorm room needs to be able to be able to be moved quickly and stored efficiently. Mom and Dad love their college careerists, but the furniture, not so much.
Neutral Pieces with Pops of Color: A college freshman’s tastes are going to change as he or she make their way through their college career. Pair quality pieces in neutral hues with what I call “color bombs” (splashes of color via a lamp or painting). As the college student ages, he or she can replace the colorful pieces as their style and tastes change, but still have the basic pieces from which to build upon.
Everything Becomes a Part of the Decor: Really…notebooks in bright pinks lined on a shelf are a part of the decor; as are the pencils in a cup. If one is looking to save money and to create a style, look for colorful pencils and notebooks and shelves. Or create an inspiration board with Washi tape. The idea is to use the items that a college student must have, as part of the decor.
- Abstract Neon Yellow Ikat-Inspired Painting, 24″x30″, ChrisLovesJulia on Etsy, $125
- Black Stripe and Border Orange Washi Tape, ShopSweetLulu, $4.50
- Colored iPhone Alarm Docks available at Uncommon Goods, $30
- Love Candy Letterpress in Lemon, 16″x20″. Available at Jenniferramos on Etsy, $25
- Graphic Watercolor in Dark Teal, 9″x12″. Available at GalleryWall on Etsy, $10. Editor’s Note: West Elm has some very simple, chic white and black frames.
- Create an inspiration/calendar board with Washi Tape. Photography via Irideen on Blogspot.
- Be Somebody Poster. Available at Honeycombprintshop on Etsy, $45
- Crystal Pencils Set of 12 at Russell and Hazel, $72
- City Slicker Hot Pink Side Table at CB2, $199. Use as a TV stand, extra seating or to stack books.
- Think Big Pillow at One Kings Lane, $59.00
- Carpenter Bright Orange Table Lamp at CB2, $69.95
- Acapulco Chair at YLiving, $475
- Bella 3-Ring Leather Binders at SeeJaneWork, $55. Editor’s Note: I have these in orange and each member of our family has their own – in a different color. Chic, simple and colorful!
- White Fox Yellow Mini Refrigerator at M2cmart, $133