Discover Your Design District

Dorm Room Must-Haves

A new semester is almost upon us, and it poses challenges beyond the academic. Downsizing (or helping your offspring downsize) to a dorm room is no easy feat. How do you make the most of such tight quarters?

All it takes is a little imagination and a little inspiration, thanks to the Dallas Design District. Here are this season's must-haves for a dorm room or small apartment.

Find Dual-Purpose Furniture


You have a winner if the seat or surface also opens to provide extra storage. Check out Schumacher to find inspiration for multi-purpose pieces. Also look for floating pieces such as a chair with exposed legs versus one with a covering that touches the floor.

Use Space-Saving Storage

Make use of the dead or empty spaces in your dorm or apartment. Place slide away end tables on either side of a sofa to save room without using up too much valuable floor space. Baker Furniture offers a surprisingly robust selection of space-saving furniture.

Keep It Light 

The best approach for small rooms is to pick two light shades for the majority and then add a darker hue for visual interest. This will open up the space and give it the visual effect of being larger. For something truly unique, visit Innovations in Wall Coverings, where you’ll find eye-catching options in leather and metallic, among others.

Add Pops of Color

Since you've gone lighter for the walls, incorporate some brighter and bolder colors using accessories. Find an interesting pattern in an area rug or unique textures for your throw pillows or blankets for the couch or bed. Fabricut has some really fun fabrics to browse.

Embrace Soft Lighting

Dorms and apartments often have harsh fluorescent lighting. You can make your space feel more welcoming with softer lighting from lamps or string lights. Check out Holly Hunt for a wide range of choices.

Bring in Curves With Accessories

Since dorms are often box-shaped, consider decor accessories that are round or oval to soften the straight lines, offering a more natural appearance. Bernadette Schaeffler offers some stunning curvilinear glassware.

Living in a small space doesn't have to be a negative situation. It's all about being strategic with your design choices. It's about knowing where to shop to find inspiration and pick up the right furniture and accessories to fit the space. Luckily, the showrooms and galleries in the Dallas Design District are the perfect resources for dorm decor.

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