How to Use Your Dorm Décor in Real Life
If you’ve just finished up college or graduate school, congratulations and welcome to the “real world”! Now that you’re officially on your own and entering the workforce, it’s time to start thinking about decorating your new apartment. Furnishing an entire space can be a blow to the wallet, especially when you only have a few items from your college digs to begin with—but don’t worry! You don’t have to start over completely and ditch the décor and accent furniture you accumulated while at school. Keep scrolling for 10 ways the items from your dorm or college apartment can work in your sure-to-be-stylish new space.
Now that you aren’t spending hours studying at your desk anymore, it doesn’t mean you can’t still use it. Reimagine an open desk as a dining table. It will still make for the perfect work surface when necessary but can also accommodate your friends for impromptu weeknight dinner parties.
See your trusty task lamp in a whole new light by repositioning it as a reading light in your bedroom. Place it on a shelf over your bed or on your nightstand, and save yourself the expense of buying a new one.
If you’re able to remove the movie or fashion posters hanging in your dorm room without tearing them and they are still in good shape, pop them in some inexpensive frames and lean them against your new place’s walls for a casual but sophisticated look. The large size of posters make them ideal for leaning.
Most first apartments are small spaces, so if you splurged on a large bookshelf to house your supplies and textbooks while in school, reuse the perfectly good storage space to display items you don’t have room for in your new closet. After all, what fun are gorgeous party shoes that you only wear occasionally if you can’t display them all the time?
If your dorm room came fully equipped with all the furniture you needed but you brought in some accent pieces to make the space your own, use one of those items (like the bar cart seen here) as a nightstand or side table. The resulting look is unexpected and charming.
If you invested in a faux-fur rug to warm up your dorm’s cold floors, get it dry-cleaned and drape it over any stiff or uncomfortable chairs you might be working with to bring a cozy vibe to your new digs.
Now that you’re using your desk as a dining table, feel free to continue to use your desk chair as seating. Just pick up a few additional chairs to create a set, or mix and match with seating picked up at flea markets or secondhand shops for an on-trend eclectic look.
A full-size coffee table can be a major expense for anyone moving into that first grown-up space, so postpone the hit to your wallet and use a side table or nightstand from your old digs in its place until you can bring in a larger piece.
While large bookshelves are great for additional clothing storage, small sets can be the perfect place to set up a home bar. Store glassware and cocktail books on the shelves, and corral your favorite bottles of booze on a decorative tray on top.