Small, Cool Dorm Rooms

Small, Cool Dorm Rooms

Sarah Coffey
Apr 13, 2010

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Tim used an IKEA shelf, a corner hutch, and an armchair to form a comfortable reading nook.
  3. 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.
  4. Baker House, an MIT dorm designed by Alvar Aalto, is one of the smallest coolest university buildings we've seen.
  5. Aaron's room is a student rental that he transformed using a loft bed, a cool tech setup, and some well-chosen artwork.
  6. A dorm in a Zen Buddhist building keeps it simple with white bedding, wood furniture, and lots of light.
  7. Rachel dressed up her dorm room by adding curtains, a rug, and some colorful pillows.
  8. A sconce above the bed adds style and function to Erin's student room in Harlem.
  9. At the Rhode Island School of Design, professors helped to design functional, streamlined furniture for the student dorms.
  10. 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

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