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Designer Monthly Preview

The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.





Decorating Tips: Organizing the Dorm Room

You may have a child going off to college for the first time (time goes so fast!) or you may already have a seasoned collegiate who needs some organization help. What should they bring to their dorm?  Well, if their dorms are anything like mine, they probably don’t have much room or storage, and they probably share it with another student. 

My dorm room was narrow with two sliding closets, two desks and chairs and two beds. That was it. Stark simple and blah. When I went to school, they didn’t have storage places like the Container Store and they didn’t have the internet to shop around. Talk about hard! I had to go to a flea market to make my limited selections. But being a budding interior designer in the making, I got very creative with what I had.

I chose a small soft lounger – similar to the one above – which had a seablue fabric and then revolved my whole color scheme around that. I bought cheap white plastic storage crates and grouped them to form a coffee table.  Then I took some plywood - the same length as my plastic crates - wrapped it in the same blue fabric as the lounger - and laid it on top of the crates for an instant matching coffee table! In our example above, we have the Coral beanbag lounger from Joss & Main and matching QBO steel cubes from the Container Store grouped together to create a coffee table. 

The crazy looking bookcase is not an illusion by Escher, it’s the Rocky Credenza by La Chance.  Rocky holds books, lamps, and knick-knacks and is available at the A+R store. For the student who loves to rock when they’re not studying, we have guitar hooks from Bed Bath and Beyond to hang their leather jacket!

Bedside Caddy and Shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond

My roommate and I also built (okay, my roommate's boyfriend built but we supervised!) a loft bed to create more floor space for our living room section.  But that was the limit of our construction for the room.  We could have used some of these space-saving devices above. The bedside caddy and shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond solves the lack of a night table for the upper bunk bed sleeper.

If you need some privacy in your dorm room - won't that roommate ever leave?! - you may consider a room divider.  This Hang It Up room divider from StacksandStacks provides privacy plus storage.  There are magazine racks, hooks, and shelves for those study materials!

Hang It Up Room Divider from StacksandStacks

Being a design student, my favorite storage device was made by Italian (of course!) designer, Joe Colombo. The ever versatile and portable Boby trolley cart held all my art supplies in a very organized fashion. The cart had swinging drawers, shelves, tall storage for those long rolls of design drawings, and it had wheels so you could move it all around your room.

Colombo's Boby Trolley Cart



Interested in learning more about organizing?  Take a look at New York Institute of Art and Design.  At NYIAD, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.

Reader Comments (50)

Yep, having an organized dorm room can definitely be the difference between successful studies and failing a course - important stufff!

Jon, at
September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJon
Having a comfy bedroom will encourage me in studying. Great!
September 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangetan
Wonderful creativity, i am inspired and would like to implement in my bedroom. Thanks
September 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmall Business Web Design
I've been helping my son get his dorm room up and going this fall. We used rug tiles to give his room a warm comfy feel at very little expense.
September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Murray
wow~I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent
September 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVimal Parik
wow~I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent
September 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterathena benona
wow, great tips to decorate your dorm. thanks for share
September 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlotofacil
Wow some very clever ideas. Love the fold out mini-table system :)

I also have some fold out bed ideas at
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorten
Nice ideas. When my son went to college I just loaded him up with IKEA furniture : )
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
amazing cabinet you have created, it inspire me to decorate my with those stuff
October 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermiliaker
amazing cabinet you have created, it inspire me to decorate my with those stuff
October 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermiliaker
thanks for the really good tips!
October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRank Locally
really nice post thanks you!
November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFleet Vehicle Insurance
Very well written article indeed, thank you so much for sharing such information with us.
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGad subone
Many students (and many professionals for that matter) do not realize how much environment affect work mood and in turn affect production/out come of a project.
November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdoug
December 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhary
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January 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteranaya
nice post , i love your writing skill

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January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbossventure indonesi
Really nice post thank you! -
February 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDesigner Pixels
Really nice post thanks! -
its unique decorating...
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March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoom Decorating Ideas
I wished if my dorm room was lot bigger, then it would have been perfect to accommodate these things

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July 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAvelyn Charms
nice pos, i love your writing skill
August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaket Umroh Eropa

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