Tiny Rooms, Big Tuition

Long before “tiny houses” became a thing, college students – myself included – were devising creative ways to live in small spaces.

Those skills came in handy when I moved to New York City.  Our apartment has quite a bit more space than my dorm room, but my first few apartments here most definitely did not.  Still, the space is small enough that if you buy something new, something else needs to go to make room for it.

Each summer, I also get to exercise my small space decorating muscles by doing TV segments on dorm décor for Bed Bath & Beyond.

For our first two segments this month, Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee and the University of Tampa in Florida graciously let us take over dorm rooms to film segments for “Talk of the Town” on WTVF-TV and the nationally-syndicated “Daytime” show.  (Click on photos to view segments).

With "Talk of the Town" host Meryll Rose.

With "Talk of the Town" host Meryll Rose.

Fanning Hall at Lipscomb University.

Fanning Hall at Lipscomb University.

We started with your basic “blank canvas” dorm room.

A good first layer for a dorm bed (or any bed, for that matter) is a bed bug mattress protector that completely encases the mattress.

Top it off with a comforter set or a “bed in a bag” that includes sheets, a comforter, shams, a throw blanket and more.  I especially love the bohemian Happy Indigo Comforter Set from Anthology pictured below right; you can incorporate the bright colors in this design in accents throughout the room.  

With Michelle Phillips of "Daytime" at the University of Tampa.

With Michelle Phillips of "Daytime" at the University of Tampa.

Dorm rooms don’t provide much room to spread out, but you can use bed lifts to create tons of extra storage space underneath the bed (this set even has extra USB and power outlets).  A shelf lamp with a charging station does triple duty with a lamp, shelves and – you guessed it – more power outlets.

Hanging closet organizers, underbed storage bins and closet shelf organizers also provide an easy way to use vertical space and keep everything in its place.

When I moved to college for my freshman year, there was barely room for me in the van that was loaded down with my stuff.  It’s much easier now, since Bed Bath & Beyond has a free “pack and hold” service.  You shop at the store closest to home, and they will have everything boxed up and ready for you to pick up at the store closest to college, saving you the time and expense of schlepping it yourself.

Oh – and speaking of saving money - if you haven't already registered for our Instagram giveaway of a $100 gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond - click through to our July 8 post to see how to enter for your chance to win!  The entry deadline is July 19.