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Budget-friendly essentials for a university dorm room

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Aug 25th, 2016

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It’s back-to school season! As September rolls around, many young adults across Canada are heading to university. This time of year is not only the start of classes, but for many students the start of ‘dorm living’.

Many students want to spice up their ‘drabby and small’ dorm room, and turn it into something cozy and comfortable. However, a lack of design ideas and a small budget might get in the way. Luckily, designer Shai DeLuca-Tamasi assures many ways that students can jazz up their dorm room with a small budget and helpful designer tips.

Below are a staple items to turn a dorm room from ‘drab’ to ‘fab’.. all while not breaking the bank!

Storage & organization

With more students being crammed in student housing each year, students tend to have little space in their dorm rooms. Additional space is needed if a student wants to feel comfortable – remember, students will spend a majority of their university years inside their dorm. Shai recommends looking at different style boxes in different shapes and colours that can be placed around the room – whether under the bed, on a table top, or on a shelf. These boxes (depending on the size) can be used to store everything from clothing, jewelry, books, and snack items.

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Table top items

Many students will be using their limited amount of ‘table space’ or desk space to read, study, and eat their meals. Shai recommends a few key pieces for this area of the dorm room. First, a bright table lamp is essential. Find a lamp that will won’t cause strain on the eyes during those late night homework sessions. Secondly, a digital or analog clock. This can help students keep track of time better – especially when a distracting phone is not close by. Lastly, invest in some decor pieces like small plants, rocks, and paperweights that will add charm and identity to the table area.

Kitchen items

Small appliances for cooking can make a student’s dorm experience much better, especially when craving late night food. Shai recommends student invest in a small grinder – they can be used for anything from chopping chickpeas for hummus, or blending fruit for delicious smoothies. This might offset the infamous ‘Freshman 15’ weight gain as a bonus.

Keep in mind: Most students living in a dorm are sharing a common kitchen with other students. Make sure items remain small and compact, and omit very little noise.

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Decor items

Many dorms have a ‘no painting’ policy, which makes it hard to give a dorm room a pop of colour. Luckily, a student can brighten up their dorm room with many removable decor pieces. 70’s decor is coming back as the latest trend, so the use of wood, coppers and golds, and novelty pieces are all trendy choices.

Shai also recommends a diffuser that will keep the dorm room air fresh and odour free. Diffusers can be refilled with various scents such as lavender and peppermint, good for sleep and the other being good for awaking the senses. Versatility of scents makes a diffuser a great investment.

Check out Shai DeLuca-Tamasi’s ‘Dorm Finds for Less’ segment on Breakfast Television below.


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