You have just arrived at school and have unpacked your yoga matt. Your parents just left and now you and your roommate are realizing you will be in this small dorm room for the next year together. Something must be done to make the space more livable. Start by talking about it and perhaps visiting some of the upperclassmen's rooms. They will be happy to share their vast knowledge of room arrangement.
Many things can be done with your beds. The on-the-floor options are to keep them on opposite sides of the room if your room is only a place to sleep. To give the appearance of some more space, you could place them end-to-end with some kind of divider for privacy. To maximize space, lofting is the key. Some dorm beds are made to bunk while others will need a support structure. It is also possible that other furniture in the room can be used to hold up a bed, such as a provided dresser. Creating an “L” shape with your beds can really open up the floor.
Arranging Closets and Dressers
If your closet is the fixed, built-in kind, you might consider how it could be used in addition to a place to store your clothes. It might be possible to house your refrigerator in one of the closets, as well as a microwave. If your closets are the armoire type that can be moved, you have a number of other options. They might be capable of holding up a bed or two which can create more floor space. You may also want to consider putting them back to back. For fun, you might place a rope light on top of your armoire to provide some relaxing lighting to the room. Depending on the height of your dressers, you may even be able to stack them.
Covering the Floor
Having something to cover a cold, hard, tiled floor can bring instant and lasting comfort. There are inexpensive options for this from picking up remnants from a carpet store to getting creative with scraps. A carpet can pull together your various bedding, blanket and furniture choices.
Dealing with Desks
The desks that have been provided in the room can vary from old school wood desks to newer particle-board surfaces. If you determine that the desks are strong, they can become a part of your loft structure. If you are the kind of person who doesn't study at a desk, you may be able to store the desk in the dorm storage room and open up that space.
Adding Additional Furniture
Somewhere near campus will be a used furniture store with varying degrees of quality. Finding something comfortable that a number of your friends can sit on will be key to fostering those deeper college friendships. Whatever you want to do, talk about it with your roommate. Being together on these ideas will keep a peaceful atmosphere for both of you.