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Happy back to school! It’s time to start sharpening your pencils and re-covering your books. Okay, I know, you’re really charging your laptops and loading up your Kindle. Whatever it may be, some of you are heading off to college to live in ONE ROOM for the year. No worries! There are plenty of things you can do to personalize your space and make your dorm room reflect your individual style and taste.

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Lighting: This is the industrial pendant light we made. It is perfect to hang by your bed for reading, writing, or crafting at night while your roommate sleeps. Customize yours to be the size, shape, and color you want to represent your individual style in your new dorm room. As mentioned in the video, you can drape some cool fabric over your bed, and hang the pendant light inside, giving you some privacy and a fun, fort-like nook.
*Please craft with caution always, but especially when working with electricity. Be sure to use a low-heat (either low wattage or CFL) bulb, and keep all flammable things away from the lamp. The fort should be created and used when you are there to make sure there is enough distance between the curtain and lamp.

Download PDF Download the Pendant Lamp Wire Template PDF
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.


Converting the space: With one room, you’ll need to use your space for many different purposes, like studying, sleeping, and hanging out with friends. While you are studying, you’ll want your room pretty clean and clutter-free, but when friends come over, you’ll want to have ample space to hang out in. Oversized floor cushions, cozy rugs, and stackable pillows are perfect to have on hand for this. Have a few favorite lounge-worthy pillows that can fit in a bin or slide under the bed in between visits from friends. Here is a roundup of stackable pillows from Apartment Therapy. Use it as inspiration to make your own!
Storage: Organization is key. Have containers for everything, label them, and prioritize where you store them. For instance, things you don’t use as often can be tucked away in back under the bed, while items used daily should be kept within arm’s reach.
Rugs: Rugs are a great way to bring bold pattern and a bit of style into your dorm room. A fun way to get to know your roommate would be to hit up flea markets and shops to find the perfect flooring for your room together.
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Plants: No one says you can’t bring greenery into your dorm room. Small, easy houseplants are a lovely way to warm up your space. Mint to soothe your tummy and freshen breath, rosemary to help with memory while studying, or lavender to help lull to you to sleep at night. Here’s a list of dorm-room plants that anyone can keep alive. My personal favorite are succulents. Their architectural structure enhances the aesthetic of your room, and they just need to be rinsed off about once a month. Mine hangs from a porcelain container by Perch.
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Multi-functional bed: Many of you will end up using your bed to chill, read, write, study, and craft. Find a cool, modern breakfast-in-bed tray to use as a lap desk on your bed. If you hunt in the right spot you might find a rad vintage tray with Alf or the cast of 90210 on it at a thrift store. Another option is to DIY a vintage frame like they did on Design Sponge, or follow Instructables’ how-to and make your own laptop stand.
About the Author:

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Meg Allan Cole is an actress, activist, DIYer, and founder of Enderby Designs. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her musician husband Will, rescue mutts Gracie & Milo, and bunny Linus Clyde. Meg has hosted home decor videos on Etsy and Threadbanger. Keep an eye out for Meg’s upcoming series on Curbly and in Jenny Doh’s 2011 book, Signature Styles.

Meg Allan Cole

DIY guru


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