An essential part of college living is decorating your apartment in such a way that you have a trendy, attractive home that’s comfortable and functional. Because college students often have limited space, particularly if you can only afford a small apartment and/or you have multiple roommates, organization is key to college apartment decorating.
Between classes, homework, jobs and an active social life, college living can make college apartments quite cluttered. However, when you’re living in a small space, even the smallest amount of clutter can make life more difficult. Begin by always cleaning up after yourself when you make messes (having a method of organization—see below—can help you with this).
Don’t add unnecessary clutter to your apartment, either. You might want to devote space on a small shelf to items of sentimental value, but either send any excess items back home to your parents or rent a storage unit. If neither is possible, sell or donate the excess.
Items that may be unnecessary but don’t qualify as clutter if you use them to decorate your apartment include framed photographs, vases and works of art. Just don’t overuse them.
Furnishings for Organization and Function
When you eliminate clutter, that means that you’re freeing up the limited space in your apartment for functioning space. The key to apartment decorating for college living is to purchase furnishings that will be frequently used or help you organize your space—or both. For example, you might purchase a bed with drawers or at least adequate space underneath so that you can store clothes and other items out of the way in this otherwise wasted space.
You should also purchase shelving units, a dresser, stackable drawers and a comfortable chair or two. Also, think of the areas in which you can cut back on furniture. For example, if there’s ample counter space at which to eat, you can eliminate the need for a kitchen table.
Think Movable Furnishings
Another good choice for furnishing an apartment for college living is movable furniture. For example, you can use a TV tray instead of a kitchen table for eating and then fold the tray into a closet when not in use. You can also use a wheeled desk for your notebook or desktop and wheel it into a corner out of the way when not in use.
The more space you can free up in a college apartment, the less crammed it will feel. Less actual decoration is more attractive than cramming something in every available space.
Use Warm, Inviting Colors
Your college apartment will need to serve multiple functions. These include a quiet place to concentrate when studying, an inviting place to relax when alone or with friends and possibly an attractive place to hold parties.
When choosing the decor, then, look for warm, inviting colors, such as red, brown, green and orange. (Muted shades work better than bright shades.) Warm colors can make an apartment fitting for all of these functions, whereas cold or bright colors might make for an attractive place to entertain but can distract or disquiet you at other times.
When decorating your apartment, remember that successful college living means making your small living space both comfortable and organized. If you have roommates, enlist their help for coming up with a design that you’ll all find pleasing.