One // Light Bases
When decorating a dorm or apartment it can make a huge difference if you utilize light colors for walls, large furniture, and even bedding. These large pieces not only allow versatility in design possibilities but give the appearance of a large space. By giving the eye a cohesive, non-competing base to look at, you are allowing light to travel and your room to look bigger!
Two // Declutter
This may seem obvious but the more you have taking up space in your room, the smaller your space will look and the more claustrophobic you will feel. When I came to college and moved into my first dorm I had to rent a small UHaul to drag all my “things” up to college. I get it. Your high school trophies and that knick knack that you’ve had forever is very important, but when it comes to small spaces you may have to cut some of those things out.
Three // Cohesive Design
The best way to decorate any space, but especially one with limited space is to know what you like and to be very selective about the pieces you bring in. Keep in mind what colors you’re going to be focusing on and do your best to only bring in complementary colors and pieces. I know it sounds simple, but after the number of dorms and apartments I’ve seen, it’s apparently very easy to forget!
Four // Underbed storage
It’s likely that if you’re cramped for space in your room, you’re also cramped for space in your closet. *Deep sigh* Don’t you miss the days of having a dresser, a nightstand, storage bins, hall closets, an attic, a closet, and your mom’s closet to shove things in? Me too. I highly suggest utilizing your under bed space with bins, drawers, and space saver bags. You can keep items that you won’t be using daily nice and organized while keeping them out of your precious closet space!
Five // Utilize Wall Space
Since we’re short on floor space, the next place to look for adding design is your walls. Personally I prefer a clean wall but adding collages and pictures can add a ton of personality without taking up any space. You can even get creative and string up twinkly lights, banners, and personal keep sakes. I’ve kept my walls clean but made sure to hang everything slightly above my natural eye line to draw my eye upward and create space! Walls can be your best bet when decorating small.
6 // Design & Function
A great way to save on space is to buy pieces that have a dual function! My bar cart can do it all; everything from a night stand, to a party essential, to a bookshelf. It was love at first sight and has served me well ever since. Buying pieces that you can move, repurpose, and change up makes small spaces versatile with big design!
7 // Only Display your Most Important Mementos
I have a box in my closet that holds all of my favorite cards, pictures, and keep sakes from the years. My freshman dorm had my everything plastered on the walls and I never had it in me to take any of it down… even when it started to look as if my walls were sponsored by Hallmark. It’s a personal decision but when you live in a small space, I think it’s important to be realistic and selective about the memories you display everyday.
Eight // Clear the Walkway
This one is simple: Make sure that you have a clear path from door to door. Don’t set up your room so that you have to squeeze past your desk to get to your bed or move your trashcan to close the bathroom door.
Nine // Let there by light
Avoid purchasing dark drapery, dark lamp shades, or skimping on the light around your room. Light can completely transform a space and I highly suggest having other sources of light besides the overhead fan light. You are not a vampire, it will not hurt you. (Unless you are a vampire, then my all means.)
Ten // Mirrors and Glass
Mirrors and glass are wonderful ways to brighten a space and make it look bigger! Did y’all see my ghost chair? Obsessed doesn’t cover it. Both of the night stands (one which was $20 in a yard sale) in my room have glass elements. Both glass and mirrors can be an incredible way to bounce light and create visual space.
My room is constantly in flux with my moods. Just today I bought peonies to keep in my ginger jar and am in the process of ordering a 6ft floor mirror! I will be sure to keep you updated. Do you agree with my tips or maybe have some of your own? Let me know down in the comments! I’m obsessed with all things interior design (My Pinterest says so) and would love to check our your style!
The Girl Behind the Blog,