Dorm-Inspired Bedroom Updates for Your Virtual College Student
This semester looks nothing like they imagined it would, so consider updating their childhood bedroom to help them meet this moment.
A lot of universities will be starting their school year online, which means many freshman college students will begin their first semester in the very same room they grew up in. That can be disappointing for teens who were looking forward to branching out and beginning their adult lives in a new place. Fortunately, there are many ways to make their childhood bedroom feel just like a dorm room—minus the new roommate, that is.
To recreate that "at school" feeling, says Anna Kroesser of Kroesser + Strat Design, LLC, start by adding a desk with a comfortable chair, adequate lighting, and a mini fridge for water and snacks—all of these items can make the space feel more comfortable and grown up. "As for design, the most versatile organizational piece they can have is a peg board, especially if they are lacking space. Almost anything can be hooked on there, making more room on the desktop and surrounding area," she notes.
And then maximize the rest of the existing space, too. Consider a storage unit or rearranging a guest bedroom into your freshman's "office," suggests Megan Hopp of Megan Hopp Design. "The reality is that the vast majority of us don't have an extra room or two to spare and simply set up as a temporary virtual classroom, which means something has got to go," she says. "One of the greatest causes of stress in a space is trying to squeeze too much into it."
Ultimately, trying to add too much into their existing room in an attempt to create a designated learning environment might actually do more harm than good—so if it isn't working, rethink your plan. "While it's not convenient, it most likely will be worth the labor to move that guest bedroom furniture out of your home for the next six months, in order to make space for a proper desk and school storage," continues Hopp. And remember: Dorm rooms aren't exactly spacious, she adds, so whatever you're doing to recreate the feeling of one shouldn't take up too much space.
Bean Bag Chair
Plenty of Storage
Help them keep track of syllabi and essential worksheets with this two-drawer filing cabinet. Professional tip: Use the bottom half for filing and the top half for storing everything from pencils to cords.
Shop Now: Poppin White Mini Stow 2-Drawer File Cabinet with Seat, $212.49, containerstore.com.
Minimalist Desk Chair
They may be living within the same four walls, but that doesn't mean those walls need to remain the same. Instead, swap out one of their existing art pieces with this chic option, featuring framed pressed florals.
Shop Now: Urban Outfitters Framed Dried Floral Wall Hanging, $39, urbanoutfitters.com.
Available in four different colors, this removable wallpaper can quickly update your student's room. It makes the ultimate background for Zoom lectures and post-school hang-outs with their future roommates.
Shop Now: Ariel Okin Chinoiserie Removable Wallpaper, price dependent on quantity, chasingpaper.com.