Dual purpose design
We are empty nesters and have decided to take in a student for the academic year, as we live close to the college and have the room. Any tips on planning a comfortable and welcoming space? Thanks for your ideas.
This is a great idea. Renting out student digs is a good way to stay connected to the young adult generation, and rooms are always in demand for students who move away from home to continue their education. Supply well thought-out necessities and allow the student to add a few personal touches to make it feel like home. The furnishings shown here are set up to serve more than one purpose, which is a practical space saver for any small room.
The bed gets lots of use, doing double duty for sleeping and as a lounge and often homework station, so select a good mattress. Futons are popular, but it’s more practical to have the bed raised from the floor so that baskets for clothes and supplies can slip underneath. Choose a table or desk with ample surface space for a computer, books and reference material. Set up the desk strategically beside the bed so that a good desk lamp will also work for reading in bed.
To save space, invest in a vertical storage system such as a metal storage locker as seen in this vignette from homesense. com. This stackable solution allows for separate compartments to hold sports equipment, notes, school supplies and clothing. Finally, an ottoman that holds stuff offers triple service and is easy to move around.
Our son is off to college and we are madly packing up the essentials for surviving away from home. Our lists are very different — I’m thinking cooking and studying, he’s all about the best computer, social media links and music. I know you have been through this with your boys. Any tips? ~ Barb
I was focused on making my son’s new, very tiny dorm room as homey and cheerful as possible. We were not allowed to paint, which is my favourite modus operandi. However, there was a bed to make. I discovered a bed in a bag and thought it was perfect. Sheets, pillow case, duvet all in one. These are often available at a discount around this time of year and are rugged enough to last for the duration. Easy care was guaranteed. I also chose a small, patterned rug and a good towel set all in dark colours. Some recycled dishes, silverware and a kettle and I was done. He added posters.
He moved out in September. In January he notified us that he had a girlfriend, and, being the good mother, I told him to make sure his room was tidy, bed clean, dishes washed. He was in a different country, so I couldn’t check myself. There was a pause on the phone, and with a voice that covered emotions including surprise, embarrassment and guilt, he admitting to not washing his bedsheets ever. Yuck. Not my problem. But very glad I went for dark colours. I should have been clearer on laundry timelines. Good luck with your shopping list. The stores know what you need and they’ve got your back.