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Topic: The Dorm Dilemma - all rules that could possibly apply, do. :(  (Read 9097 times)
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2005 12:09:59 AM »

I have a very similar problem with my dorm. We are only allowed to use blue painters tape to put things on the walls. And I have a bulleting board on two walls and a window in the third. The fourth consists of a closet and a door.

I've ordered purple Christmas lights to hang and I'm looking for more things. I still have a problem with seating, but I'm not allowed to bring chairs. I was thinking a beanbag. And I want to find a way to store my craft supplies so that I can actually do crafts while here. Any ideas?

Fabric covers bulletin boards well - hit the thrift stores to find some really funky stuff!  I had a beanbag when I was in the dorms, but another really good idea is to make those foam cubes (get some foam from a rubber shop, and cover it with fabric).  You can make as many as you think you'll need and stack them when not in use.  My dorm had a sewing machine available for borrowing, and it spent a lot of time in my room!  Ah, the nostalgia...

Visit my blog, fingers and toes
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2005 08:10:25 PM »

in college we had closets with no doors. i used tab curtains from tarjay to cover the closet, and overall make things look neater. also, use a shower curtain rod, which will be sturdier than the flimsy spring rods in the curtain aisle.

the 3m command stuff is awesome, i have it all over my house. unfortunately i was in college back in the days of that blue putty which leaves marks, despite its claim not to. also they now make hooks with the command stuff, and those can help create storage space for things.

« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2005 04:31:09 PM »

Use double-duty stuff whenever possible.  Upholstered storage cubes or a trunk with some cool beaded cushions on it work well for seating and hold a lot of stuff too (this tip comes in handy later when you get your own apt. later).  Also, try putting any furniture the school provides inside stuff i.e., my friend put a 3 drawer chest of drawers inside a wardrobe, then put the tv on top of the drawers and made a cool media cabinet.  Or maybe you could try putting the drawers in the closet area to free up more living space.  ~j
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2005 10:25:16 AM »

I sympathize w/you, as I live in the same dilemma! A cramped 12X 15 foot dorm, oh joy! Anway, one thing I've done that really helps is arrange the furniture in a slightly unusual way- the bunk beds stretch across the front of our room right at the end of one of our closets- it creates a vestibule like space, separating entrance from living space. Also, there's a curtain that's pinned to the ceiling right there (we have applied acoustical tile ceilings, so pinning stuff in is easy, just make sure the fabric is light and the pins are strong or it won't hold.)

another idea is to get light, stretchy fabric and stretch it across the ceiling, in one panel or several. And if you stretch it over a ceiling mounted light fixture, it diffuses the light so you don't get any glare, and looks really damn cool.

I'd post picture of my room for you, but alas, I have no digital camera!

The only reason I knew to do this stuff is b/c I'm an Interior Architecture major, and I'm really glad to actually be using it to potentially help! Oh, and if your school has an interior architecture/design major, you might want to make friends w/ some of them, we're usually full of really crazy ideas.

« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2005 08:20:14 PM »

Having bunk beds or lofts saves a LOT of space. If possible have a loft with a seating area under one and under the other one put the tv and shelving and desks. It's possible to get them built out of wood, but I've also seen them advertised at Walmart or K's merchandise for about $100-150, which is about what wood and someone to do it for you will cost. Get creative with rearranging the furniture, if you're not going to use your desk, there is no reason why you can't put your bed in front of it, or put the 2 beds together in a L shape. As long as the room looks like you did when you moved in anything goes (just don't let the RA or counselor in after you do this) so you can screw items to the walls or unscrew item (the desks and corkboards/wipeboards) and move them around. Just fill in holes or return the items to the orignal position before you move out otherwise you're going to have to pay. I've not done it, but I think you can attach fabric to the walls with just starch. You wet the fabric with liquid starch and apply like wallpaper when the starch dries the fabric is attached to the walls, to remove just wet the fabric down and pull, helps if you wash the walls down after this. Yaffa blocks or wire shelving works great too. The more you can get stuff OFF the floor or desk will help to make the room look bigger. Corkboard is very useful, so if they don't provide you with a bulletin board, take one. In addition, dorm food is NOT what your mother makes or whoever does the cooking, so it tastes nasty. Snacks, pop, and somewhere to put them is a must too. One more thing - pets are banned in most places, but most places let you have fish. So if for some reason you have a no-no call it "fish" and don't let the RA in (hopefully your roomie will go along with this).
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2005 08:38:32 PM »

FYI, the type of paint they use in many dorms to paint over cinderblock walls is really durable. We weren't allowed to make holes in the wall, but instead used hot glue. It would hold almost anything- fabric, framed photos, etc, but once cooled would peel right off without leaving a trace. You'd need to test the pain in an inconspicuous place first.

« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2005 08:40:44 PM »

The coolest thing in my dorm room right now is the curtain that I have in front of my bed. It is perfectly legal too, because it is strung from picture hooks on the molding.

« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2005 06:54:43 PM »

dorm chick -
I've been in dorms for three years and currently have a 12x10 cinderblock dorm room to myself, so I hear ya.  Biggest tip - before you go, stock a basic tool kit.  If you're already on this site and you don't think we're all 100% insane packrats for refinishing cast off furniture, or seeing something in a magazine and thinking, I can make that! -- you'll get good use out of it.  I love mine.  Def. get:
       staple gun
       duct tape (in colors, if you want.  They make purple, my school color. Grin)
       I suggest buying the barbara K tool set @ home depot or container store - it's a great combo, and costs less than all pieces ala carte.  Then, go to walmart and buy a tool chest of your choice, b/c that little thing it comes with is crap.  and has no other space
      packing tape - it's clear, waterproof, and if done carefully, works in place of laminating in a pinch, and is easier to work with than a big piece of contact paper.
      glue gun
     22 gauge wire
     Tape measure

You may have to get illegal on the hanging space - just make sure you test the adhesive for 24 hours and see if it pulls off paint.  I've got semi-glossed ivory paint on the cinderblocks in my room, since my hall was built in the 1950's.  Thus, duct tape is great, so's glue gun (if you're fast enough), but packing tape takes off paint.  Also takes it off the door.  But yes, 3m (aka Command strips) work all over, great for keys, posters framed with v. light, cheap plastic frames. 
Also use these with bulletin boards - if framed kind are too heavy, get the plain old squares of cork board, or even the roll-out kind.  But always buy stuff at Walmart, esp white boards or cork boards, not Office Max b/c wally world is 1/2 the price.  Wally world is your friend in college.

What else.... curtains on your closet space can come from sheets, can get twin, unfitted sheets, use the folded over part on the top as a sleeve to run the curtain rod thru (just take out the side seams)

picture-hanging wire, stretched across part of the ceiling and secured to 3m hooks, can support very light netting or colored crinoline for some room dividers.  Not great as far as light blockage, but will give you feeling of being in your bed alone.

Crates are great to stack, get at dollar store or wait for "2 for $5 sale" at walmart, and use cheap bungee cords to secure together. Can tape cheap pillowcases over front to keep everyone who walks in your room from seeing all you own.  Also, watch for yard sales, etc.  measure twice, buy once, some light sandpaper and a can 'o spray paint will get you a lot to work with. 

Enjoy your space, and don't forget - sleep when you're dead!

One happy college student
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2005 07:06:09 PM »

Okay, here's the one piece I forgot, and the biggest advice I can offer anyone going to college and living in a dorm:


Put it on your bed, somehow, so it is near your head and can be pointed away from you.  If you loft your bed and go to school south of the mason-dixon line, you'll need to circulate the air; it gets stuffy up there.  But no matter what season, it will always work as a great "sound screen" against the rest of the world. 
You will get very used to the hum if you leave it on for a while, can point it away from yourself if you get cold, can use it even in the winter (and still have lots and lots of covers) but it drowns out the small noises that will get to you late at night - your roommate typing, talking, the people next door, the drunk people in the hall, your roommate puking her guts out....  it will be your friend. 
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2005 09:28:43 AM »

My roomie "wallpapered" just half a wall, below the window, with wrapping paper and the 3M tape. Great accent.

In another small room, I taped up a wide ribbon near the ceiling--like a wallpaper border. Drew the eye up, made the room seem bigger.

Make a pact to make your bed every morning! It makes a big difference in a small room. OK, now I sound liike my mom. Time to stop.
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