Back-to-College: Design Tips for Small Living Spaces

(StatePoint) Moving on to college is an exhilarating first taste of true independence. It’s a time for self-directed growth, transformative lessons and the beginning of lifelong friendships. For many students, moving into a dorm or off-campus housing is the beginning of another quest: achieving a Pinterest-perfect setting in not-so-spacious quarters.

Decorating a small space doesn’t have to mean limiting your style or personality. Here are a few solutions for creating a setting peaceful enough for dedicated study, yet vibrant enough for entertaining.

<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Collaboration is Key</strong>

College living often means shared spaces. When it comes to décor for common areas, it’s important for roommates to agree on themes and tone. Color selection can have a dramatic effect on a room’s energy. Make it a group decision when choosing between bold colors for a lively setting, or lighter tones for a calm sanctuary that promotes fine-tuned focus.

Prioritize functionality and easy maintenance in the kitchen, where personalities come out in full force and things will have a tendency to get messy. Even though food delivery is available with just a tap of your phone, eventually someone will see a “super easy” YouTube recipe and end up turning the kitchen into a disaster area. Build storage into cabinets with tools like the <a href=”″ rel=”nofollow”>Under Cabinet Pull Out Drawer Organizer</a> from <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Improvements</a>, for easier clean-up.

<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Functional Furniture</strong>

When furnishing a dorm or small apartment, the more purposes a single piece of furniture can serve, the better. A small entryway table adds a nice aesthetic touch while serving as a home for keys, phones, wallets and other everyday items that tend to wander. To save space, select a narrow piece, such as the <a href=”″ rel=”nofollow”>Brooke Console Table</a> from Improvements. Their 5-in-1 Ottoman, which transforms from a generous ottoman into a bed, chair, chaise or recliner just by unfolding and rearranging, is a clever way to add functionality to a room without taking up extra space.

When it’s time to get down to work, a dedicated space is essential. However, a separate office is rare luxury. Transform any room into a study sanctuary with something mobile and versatile, like the <a href=”;amp;strategy=309&amp;amp;gtmPageName=May%20We%20Suggest-SLIBodyView” rel=”nofollow”>Wellesley Mobile Office Desk</a>, which includes multiple shelves and drawers for easy organization and a working surface big enough to fit any laptop with space to spare.

<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Step up Storage</strong>

Organized storage solutions are the secret weapons of any small space decorator. To avoid clutter claustrophobia, start with the closet. Invest in a <a href=”″ rel=”nofollow”>modular organizer</a> that enables you to customize your storage, helping to increase floor space and keep clothes, shoes and accessories in better shape longer.

For non-everyday essentials, a <a href=”″ rel=”nofollow”>rolling storage bag</a> is a convenient way to keep items out of sight but accessible. You can find a variety of sizes and patterns at such retailers as Improvements.

A limited space can hold unlimited possibilities with some creativity, a careful eye toward multifunctional pieces, and the right approach to balance and scale.

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