One of the biggest adjustments for students going off to college or university is getting used to dorm life. Whether it’s a move to a residence or a small off-campus apartment, space is limited when you’re on a student’s budget, not to mention the difficulty of creating a look of your own.
STYLE AT HOME’s style editor Karl Lohnes has teamed up with online community marketplace kijiji.ca to create a dorm-style room fit for any student or city dweller living in a very small space. With a budget of $1000, Karl set out to create a dorm room for less, and ended up cutting his budget in half – the entire room was put together for only $500!
With expert advice from Karl, we show you how to create a budget-friendly and stylish dorm-style room, complete with tips and tricks on how you can make this work for any small space in your own home.
1 Storage, storage, storage
When dealing with a small space like this one, storage room and organization are absolute essentials. “For this room, I chose a captain’s style bed,” notes Karl. “There are drawers under the bed, which means you can save room on a dresser, and that cuts down on the budget.” By incorporating multi-functional furniture into your space, your money can be saved to put towards accessorizing your room rather than having to purchase more items of furniture. Also, by purchasing a few plastic rolling storage units and baskets, you can easily change up storage areas in any part of your room.
2 Create changeable seating options
Just because you’re in a dorm room or small space doesn’t mean you can’t entertain. Meeting new people is an exciting part of starting college, and inviting friends to your dorm can only be possible if you incorporate different seating options. “In this room, I’ve bought this vintage chair from kijiji.ca for $60, and there’s also the option of turning your desk chair around or using a storage ottoman as a seat,” Karl points out. “Since this bed isn’t very deep, it can be made into a day bed. Just throw some pillows along the back by the wall, and you’ve created another seating option.”
3 Choose your colour palette wisely
Karl’s tips on choosing colours for your dorm room decor? If you’re a student on a tight budget, use neutrals for your furniture so that you’ll only need to update your accessories when colour trends change. “The rug, which was a steal on kijiji.ca for $60, established the focus on bold colour in the room. However, if you look at the furniture in the room, which was also bought online, it’s all neutral.” So, with the walls, Karl chose to paint one wall a monochromatic grey, and left the rest a neutral shade. “If you’re able to paint, use a colour that will make the rest of the colours in the room pop. And if you can’t paint, maybe hang some vintage drapes up behind your bed,” he says.