How To Make Your Dorm Furniture Work in Your First Apartment

published May 12, 2016
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(Image credit: Delightfully Noted)

Moving into your first post-college space is exciting, right up until the first time you walk into West Elm and realize that, yeah, you’re going to need three or four paychecks just to buy a sofa. In the meantime, you’ll have to make the stuff you already own work for your new place.

Dorm furniture is not known for its style, but here are some new ways to use or make over three ubiquitous college-era staples.

The Futon

Make it over.
Jennifer of Delightfully Noted gave a “green and ghastly ol’ futon” a lemon yellow facelift (above) with a can of white spray paint and a cover ordered from Amazon.

(Image credit: Submitted by Caryn)

Use it as a daybed.
Inspired by this piece in Caryn’s House of Boys (With Plenty of Pink), leave the futon in its bed state, and nudge it into a corner to create a daybed-style sofa layered with lots of chic throw pillows.

(Image credit: Oh Oh Blog)

Plastic Storage Bins

Make them over.
On Oh Oh Blog, Amaryllis dropped pretty paper-wrapped chipboard into the front of her clear plastic drawers for instant oomph.

(Image credit: I Heart Organizing)
(Image credit: Torie Jayne)

Use them to organize inside of a closet or pantry, or in the garage.
If your plastic pieces are bringing your space down, hide them away to organize some of your home’s more utilitarian spaces, like this garage from I Heart Organizing or the linen closet from Torie Jayne.

(Image credit: Furnish)

Storage Trunks

Topped with a cushion as a bench.
The colorful storage benches above are from UK retailer Graham & Green, but you can use them as inspiration to add a cushion and turn your trunk into a bench if it’s sturdy enough.

(Image credit: The Everygirl)
(Image credit: Target)

As a coffee table.
It’s the perfect size and shape to function as a coffee table, like above on The Everygirl. Bonus if you spray paint the whole thing, inspired by the trunk directly above from Target.