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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Image courtesy of HGTV. 

A dorm room can feel pretty small, but a small space can be made to feel like a comfortable home. If you’re used to living in your parents’ home, it can feel like an adjustment to live in a smaller space. Even if you don’t yet realize it, a small space can be an enjoyable space to live in. As long as you fill it with all the things that a home needs, while using the space economically, a dorm room can be a place you are happy to go home to every day. 

An apartment should contain everything a person needs to have their needs met from day to day. There should be a space for sleeping, sitting, and eating. It may seem hard to fit all those spaces into one small room, but it certainly can be done. You will just have to use your space carefully and place your furniture in strategic places. When you know how you should go about it, you will see how easy it is to turn your dorm room into a mini apartment. Here is how you can do that!

Create A Seating Area

A small makeshift living room space can make entertaining more fun. 

Four blue, white, and pink floor pillows arranged on the ground.
This looks like a very comfortable place to have a few friends. Image courtesy of HuffPost. 

If you have the average, small sized dorm room, getting a couch and chairs in there won’t be the easiest thing, but you can use smaller items to set up a sitting area. Floor pillows and poufs make great seating options in a small space. You can place them in an empty spot on the floor, preferably in the corner. There, the seating will be out of the way and in a cozy spot. And since this seating is small, you can even keep it under your bed for a while whenever you need more room in your dorm. If you can find a mini table to place by the seating, that would make the space feel even more useful. You can use it to place drinks and even meals. You can make this a seating area and eating area for whenever you have a meal in your dorm. 

A rug is good to have in your seating area for decoration and for comfort. Placing a rug directly in the middle of your living room will make the space feel cozy and put together. This is a good opportunity to mix and match colors with your seating. Having a color theme with the seats, rug, and even the table will make the seating area look different from the other spots in the room and will help everything look somewhat separate. You need a rug that compliments your seating area well and ties the space together. 

Use A Room Divider

A room divider can help make close spaces feel separate. 

Your dorm room is likely a single space, but it doesn’t have to completely feel like it. Room dividers can make you feel like you have separate sections of a room in a single space. You can use it to somewhat separate your bed from the rest of the room so that you can feel as if you have a separate bedroom space. You will feel like you are in a different part of the room whenever you cross the divider and enter a new space, which will make your dorm room feel so much more like an apartment. 

Set Up A “Kitchen”

Even if you don’t have an official kitchen, you can make space for it. 

A mini fridge with black and white designs in a corner with a microwave and rolling three level tray.
This space looks like it has everything a student may need to eat in a dorm room. Image courtesy of HGTV. 

If you’re in a traditional dorm room, you likely don’t have an actual kitchen area. But even though you don’t have a stove and an oven, there are plenty of smaller kitchen items that can be used for food preparation. Setting up a small part of your room as if it is a mini kitchen will do a lot to make your dorm room feel like a tiny apartment. You can use a part of your desk for this. If your desk is large enough to fit a mini kitchen area, it would make a great and convenient spot for it. If it isn’t, you can get a tiny desk or standing tray to use for it. 

Some of the main items you will need are items that are relatively small, but can help you set up simple meals. A microwave is something that’s really helpful to have in your dorm. Not only can you warm up foods, you can also make several small meals inside of a microwave. You can find many microwave recipes online that will show you how to accomplish this. 

It is really simple and shows you that a microwave works as a great substitution when you don’t have a stove. Something else it is good to have in your “kitchen” is a hot water heater. It will help you enjoy hot beverages along with certain pre-made meals. A small coffee maker can also be useful, along with small bowls, mugs, and utensils. This “kitchen” won’t have everything that your old kitchen did, but it can certainly work whenever you’re not using the dining hall!

Put Up Mirrors

Mirrors can have a big effect on the appearance of a space. 

Mirrors are known for making rooms look larger. If you want to make a dorm room look like an apartment, making it look more spacious is a good move. It's one of the easiest and cheapest ways that you can go about making a room appear larger. The best way to do this is to use a large mirror. Larger mirrors work best for elongating a room visually. 

It probably won’t take a mirror that’s too large to have that effect on a small dorm room, just don’t use any mirror that is too small. Using a grouping of small mirrors might sound helpful, but it won’t end up having the same effect as using a large one would. Make sure to put it against a wall and not in the middle of the room. This technique will have the best effect when the mirror is reflecting a large part of the room rather than just a small part. 

Make Your Bed Unique

Do what you need to separate your bed from the rest of the room. 

A guy sitting on a raised bed.
It must be a nice feeling to close the curtains and sleep with more privacy. Image courtesy of Campus Canopies. 

If you want your dorm room to look like an apartment, you will need to make your bed area into a different space. While you can’t close it off entirely, there are ways that you can separate it from the rest of the space. There are a few different things you can use to divide your space. You can use curtain dividers, Japanese style room dividers, or a bookshelf. A canopy is another cool way to separate your bed from the rest of the room and make it feel like it's a bedroom. If you can fit a nightstand by your bedside and still have enough room, that can also work to make your bed space seem separate. Making sure to keep it a different color scheme from the seating area will also help keep this space separate. 

Set Up Your Own Lighting

Lighting can affect where your eyes are drawn to in a room. 

One source of overhead lighting isn’t enough to make the parts of your dorm room feel like separate spaces. The way you use your lighting can affect the visual perception of your room. Having different light sources in different parts of the room can highlight different parts of it at different times. When you’re in your seating area, you can light that spot in particular, and you can do the same for different parts of the room. The parts of your room will look and feel somewhat separate because of how the lights will focus your attention. 

Add Art to Your Walls

Art will make your dorm room look more put together.

A bed in front of a wall full of pictures.
This wall has a whole lot of character. Image courtesy of Decoist. 

Art can really tie a space together. It can really set the tone of a room and change its mood depending on what is displayed, and how it is displayed. You can use different kinds of decorations to separate the spaces in your room. You can try having certain art styles and colors at one side of the room and then go with a completely different style on the other side of the room. Decorating each space differently will separate them in your eyes. You will be able to tell that you are in different “rooms” when you move around your dorm room. 

Art can really include anything. Whatever looks good to you can be included in your dorm room as art work. Tapestries can work as room separating artwork. Different tapestries can be used on different parts of the wall to make clearly separate spaces. A tapestry is a great way to decorate a wall with any type of color and design without much money or effort. And they are perfect to use in dorm rooms where you are not allowed to paint the walls. Keep in mind that brighter colors make a room look bigger and darker colors can make a room look smaller. Since you have such a small space to work with, it is best to keep your colors bright. 

Use Proper Storage

Storage helps to keep a space nicely decluttered. 

Since you live in a dorm room, having too many things in your space can swallow the room and make it look smaller than it already is. You need to keep your space as decluttered as possible so that you can keep it neat and spacious. You need all the space that you can get, especially since you want the place to look like an apartment. You need to get items that are useful for storage that can be stuffed in the right places and kept from taking up space. 

Storage that fits under your bed and in your closet will be ideal. However you can keep your things from getting in the way would be great for making your dorm room look like its an actual apartment. It is also helpful if you can find storage that doubles as other useful items. There are storage containers that double as seats and tables, and you can surely find other items that work similarly. They will work double duty to keep your dorm room clear and useful. 

Making a dorm room look like an apartment may sound like a difficult feat given how small and cramped most dorm rooms are, but it is certainly possible to do with the right tricks. You can get your dorm room to feel as close to an apartment as possible, and then enjoy it thoroughly for the rest of the year.