13 Ways to Upgrade a Dorm Room
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Dorm Decor1 of 14
By Jane Dagmi
When it comes to dorm-room living, co-eds no longer have to resign themselves to industrial-looking university-issued decor. Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Lizzie Grover, design students at George Washington University, started Zoom Interiors, a service that specializes in stylish and budget-friendly decor for small spaces. With their help, we've rounded up 13 dorm-room must-haves.
Science Major2 of 14
Taking style cues from the science lab, test-tube-like glass vials let you organize assorted office supplies.
SHOP NOW: Modcloth organized desk set, $25
White Hot3 of 14
"When in doubt, white it out," says the Zoom team. White foundation pieces, like your sheets, will brighten up the space and let you add color and personality with your accessories.
SHOP NOW: DormSmart reading pillow, $99
Alone Time4 of 14
When you want some privacy, this pop-up tent offers a shared-space solution. Outfitted with roll-up sides, mesh windows, and power cord slots, these design details add to its practical use. Easily fold it back up when feeling social again—or when your roomie's new beau leaves—finally.
SHOP NOW: Privacy Pop XL twin tent, $130
Need a Lift?5 of 14
Power-equipped bed risers help create seven extra inches of prime under-bed storage while offering convenient outlets for plugs and cables. Invest in an extra-long bed skirt or an oversize tapestry to disguise the risers.
SHOP NOW: Bed Bath & Beyond power bed risers, $25
Floor You6 of 14
Whether a graphic flatweave or colorful shag, a rug will distract from drab dorm carpeting while making any space feel cozier.
SHOP NOW: Urban Outfitters herringbone rug, $44
Stick to It7 of 14
The classic sticky note is all grown up: These Post-it Notes come in various extra-large sizes for writing down those really big ideas.
SHOP NOW: Post-it Big Pad, starting at $10
In the Spotlight8 of 14
With a 10-inch cord, this industrial-style clamp lamp directs light where you want it. Use an efficient LED bulb to pump out light without any heat—particularly helpful in older dorms without AC.
SHOP NOW: Ikea Hektar spotlight, $15
Seat Yourself9 of 14
Get a mini workout while studying with this ergonomic core-strengthening seat. Added bonus? The backless stool easily tucks under your desk when not in use.
SHOP NOW: ergoErgo seat, $100
Build Up10 of 14
With space at a premium, the Zoom girls urge, "Go vertical!" This modular L-shaped shelving can be stacked atop existing furniture for additional storage space.
SHOP NOW: CB2 Elston Engine modular shelf, $119
Deep Pockets11 of 14
Outfit the end of your bed with this eight-pocket organizer, particularly helpful if you're stuck with the top bunk.
SHOP NOW: Pottery Barn End-of-Bed organizer, $49
Bin There12 of 14
Sturdy canvas catch-alls, in splashy colors and bold patterns, are practical storage containers for just about anything. Handles make these bins easy to tote—essential for lugging laundry down the hall.
SHOP NOW: Pehr storage bins, $45
Chilling Out13 of 14
No more wrestling matches over who gets to control the thermostat—this little fan will help you keep your cool. Bonus? It comes in four bright colors to add a bit of spunk to your room.
SHOP NOW: ChillOut fan, $17
Go Stag14 of 14
The Zoom girls suggest ditching the predictable poster in favor of unique lightweight wall ornaments that add dimension to the room. This faux stag head can do double-duty—use the antlers to artfully display necklaces and bangles.
SHOP NOW: White Faux Taxidermy Mini-Stag, $53
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