dorm decorating Money CollegeYour white walls are poorly patched. There's a crusty stain on the carpet. You live in a sea of beige with all wood furniture straight out of the '70s. You feel like you're living in a closet. Dorm life may have you feeling a little more than homesick for your cushy room back in the 'burbs. But before you get together your transfer papers, Money College has a few dorm ideas from an interior designer that will transform your room and hopefully, your state-of-mind.

Sharon Kreighbaum runs Staged Makeovers where she does interior designing and staging, which she described as using what people already have and re-designing the space. Her staging know-how made her perfect to offer readers five dorm ideas. Kreighbaum based her dorm ideas off of a room that she staged and re-decorated at Ohio's Miami University.


Save space
Dorm rooms are ones of those cases where you don't get what you pay for -- they are notoriously small. Kreighbaum's dorm idea for saving space is stacking. She suggests bunking or lofting the beds to free up room. If bunking is too summer camp for you, use risers to create storage space underneath the beds. In the Miami dorm room, Kreighbaum put the refrigerator on top of a tall dresser while the TV was stacked on the microwave, which was placed on top of another dresser.

No holes, no problems

Miami, like many other universities, did not allow holes to be put in the wall. This didn't stop Kreighbaum. Her dorm idea for this problem is two-fold: 3M Command hooks and fishing line. Lighter items can be hung on the hooks, but Kreighbaum used fishing line to attach a magnetic message board to a picture railing.

Fabric patterns
One of the easiest dorm ideas to add some color is to buy a plain wooden frame ($4.99) and fabric from IKEA. According to Kreighbaum, stretching the fabric over the frame and stapling it in place is a cheap way to add color. She also covered a plain cork board with a patterned dish towel.

Through the window
Sure, your dorm room comes with shades, but those are no fun. Kreighbaum suggested window scarves as a dorm idea. The scarf and its holders can be found at Big Lots for about $30 giving your dorm a look Kreighbaum says is seen in model homes.

Closet style
Your clothes don't have to be the only fashionable thing in your closet -- it can have a style of its own. Kreighbaum had a DIY dorm idea to display jewelry. "We got a plain 1x 4 and painted it," she said. "Then I got some hooks from Anthropologie that looked like tree branches and I put four of them on the piece of wood and we hung that up in the closet so it kept it accessible, yet out of the way."

A dorm room doesn't have to look so bad. Kreighbaum suggest starting to look for dorm ideas at Target. "Most people start with going to garage sales to get things but most of the things I mentioned are so specific to dorm life that Target is really the best place to start," she said. "They'll have everything at the most reasonable price, but with the whole funky college looking feel."

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