Although dorm rooms are usually associated with cinder blocks and old scratched-up furniture, they have as much potential for coolness as any other small space. But what about school rules, you say? You can't paint, you can't put a bunch of holes in the wall, and you're pretty much stuck with the room you get. Maybe so, but that hasn't stopped design-minded students from making the most of their rooms.
- Tim created a cozy hang-out space by adding artwork and rugs. He also moved out some of the the standard-issue furniture and replaced it with a few affordable pieces of his own choosing.
- Tim used an IKEA shelf, a corner hutch, and an armchair to form a comfortable reading nook.
- Sara and Rogan aren't your average dorm dwellers. They live in one of NYU's models for sustainable housing, created from four rooms combined into one space.
- Baker House, an MIT dorm designed by Alvar Aalto, is one of the smallest coolest university buildings we've seen.
- Aaron's room is a student rental that he transformed using a loft bed, a cool tech setup, and some well-chosen artwork.
- A dorm in a Zen Buddhist building keeps it simple with white bedding, wood furniture, and lots of light.
- Rachel dressed up her dorm room by adding curtains, a rug, and some colorful pillows.
- A sconce above the bed adds style and function to Erin's student room in Harlem.
- At the Rhode Island School of Design, professors helped to design functional, streamlined furniture for the student dorms.
- The RISD rooms show how a simple palette and clean-lined furniture can make a dorm room feel very modern.
Photos: Tim, Liz Vidyarthi, Phillip Greenspun, Aaron Francis, Zen Buddhist Student, Rachel, Erin, RISD