Make the most of what you've got. After moving my daughter into her dorm room over the weekend, I was reminded of how challenging arranging (extra) small spaces can be. When floor space isn't available, you have to take advantage of every other space. That includes walls, and sometimes even ceilings. Let me deconstruct the photo you see above.
This galley-style apartment is probably one of the most challenging spaces you could come across. There's no room for a comfy chair, a separate dining area, or much of anything else for that matter. The counter on the left serves as both a work and entertainment area. Notice how although close by, each area has been given separate attention. A bank of cabinets stores a coffee maker, pots, books, and other office supplies. Because this area is so small, the sliding frosted-glass doors are perfect for this space. They reflect light and keep visual clutter out of sight without making you feel boxed in. The bench along the back wall and the removable stools in front of the sofa can be pressed into additional seating, and the stools can be used as a coffee table. And in case you missed it, one less sofa arm lets the space breathe a little bit more while keeping the sight line open to the back wall. Last but certainly not least, you can use dark colors in small spaces, just choose wisely which area you'll delegate for each color. The gray wallpaper separates the task area of the apartment from the lounging area. Because it's such a small area to begin with, it doesn't overwhelm the room. Balance light and dark, like they did here, with art and lighting that uses darker tones in their design.
So if you have a room, apartment, or dorm that is challenging you, think up, think multi-purpose, and keep it simple.
And to learn how to decorate, for pleasure or as a profession, visit the Academy website.
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