As new residents move into apartments or dorm rooms, they trim their packing lists and often sacrifice style due to size restraints of their small spaces. Although it may seem difficult to bring big style into tight quarters, there are several small things you can do to bring your personality to life on move-in day.
"Tiny rooms can sometimes feel drab and uninspiring, but just because they're temporary doesn't mean they have to look like it," says Tyler Wisler, interior design expert from Tyler Wisler Home and HGTV's "Design Star." "With the right tools and creative design elements, you can transform your home away from home into a space worth staying."
Wisler recommends these simple tips to turn that bland box into something spectacular:
1. Color your world.
Incorporate colorful throw pillows and blankets to infuse additional hues into small white spaces. You can even change them out each season to keep things fresh.
2. Accessorize your walls.
Hang jewelry or other belongings on a clear rack, like Command Clear Rack, to keep them from tangling, while dressing up plain walls. The shape of the rack also helps add a subtle chevron pattern, and removes cleanly from surfaces with no holes or sticky residue left behind.
3. Warm it up.
Add an area rug to ground furniture, bring texture and warmth underfoot, and get rid of the "institutional" feel. Consider throwing a faux sheepskin over your desk chair for a chic and comfortable accent.
4. Spruce up the space.
Buy a plant or two to break up the hard lines of the generic room. Succulents or cacti are great low-maintenance options for busy students.
5. Say "no" to fluorescent lighting.
Incorporate alternative lighting such as a simple floor lamp in the corner of the room or string lights to add a subtle twinkle above the bed. These light sources give off a warmer glow and will save you from flipping on the fluorescent boxes that often cast unflattering light.
6. Store the small stuff.
Use labeled containers or boxes to store smaller items or trinkets. The less "stuff" you see in a small space, the more spacious it will appear.
7. Clear the floors.
Prevent rooms from looking cluttered by keeping things off the floor. Maximize space on walls or the back of the door by adding damage-free jumbo hooks to hold purses, empty backpacks and coats.
8. Dress up the furniture.
Embellish boring furniture by creating interesting designs using colored and patterned washi tapes. Try an intricate pattern such as Greek key or simple stripes to instantly improve desks, shelving and dressers.