Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Kate Smith

A childhood love of color turned into a college-age fascination with the interaction of colors, then into a career of color trend forecasting and product development. Today, Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH, is president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, a company that provides color knowledge and know-how to corporations primarily in the home industry. Kate is an inspirational keynote speaker and seminar leader, blending color theory and psychology into entertaining and informative talks that bring color to life.

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  • dorm room color
    Photo: Kate Smith
  • This fall, thousands of college dorm rooms will be inhabited once again--full of life, laughter, and learning. But, when it comes to design, how's a student to express himself or herself in a boring template of bed, desk, and stark white wall? My favorite word comes to mind whenever I am asked about decor in these spaces: color.
  • dorm room decor
    Photos: The Stir
  • Big, bold, beautiful color will brighten up any dull dorm room, especially when you can't paint the walls or completely refurnish. The key to infusing color is in your accessories, bedding, storage, and (of course) carefully selected wall art. Purchasing the right pieces and pulling it together doesn't have to cost a fortune. Simply stick to a chosen color scheme and not ignore the urge to splurge on luxury items.
  • dorm room decor
  • Bedding

     
    The starting point in any dorm space is the bedding. The bed is the largest piece of furniture in the room, so it sets the tone. Choose a soothing color, such as soft blues, subtle greens, earthy tans, or butter yellows, for a relaxing space. Or if you want a space that stimulates you while you're cramming for finals, you may opt for bold fuchsia or hot lime green bedding.

    Tip! Whatever color palette you choose, make sure it's something that is durable and inexpensive--as dorm rooms get a lot of wear and tear over the years. 
  • Accessories and Storage

     
    Once you have chosen your colors, you can build on that by layering in your accessories. Pillows, table lamps, throws, and rugs really pull a small space together when there are limited options.

    Tip! Work with what you've got--even colorful textbooks placed on a shelf pop color into a small space!

    Don't overlook floor space. A bold rug can bring texture, color, and comfort to a bland dorm room. This fuchsia rug (above) really brings it all together and gives this room vibrancy.

    Tip! Notice the desk was kept white and simple. You don't want your work surface too busy.
  • Wall Space Redefined

     
    When painting and nail holes are against dorm rules, there are still great options available. Wall decals, full width posters, and even tapestries can serve as a fun focal point for your space. If money and storage are tight hanging things you already have and use, like purses (above), scarves, sporting goods, or musical instruments, on the wall can jazz up a space while increasing the functionality of the room.

    However you decide to design your dorm room, focus on color as your guide. Style, much like your college choice, doesn't have to be costly or fancy; it just needs to be the best expression of you.
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