Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dorm Rooms: Home Away from Home ; Teal, Salmon and Gray Are Popular Colors This Year

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dorm Rooms: Home Away from Home ; Teal, Salmon and Gray Are Popular Colors This Year

Article excerpt

For college students, back-to-school season means more than buying school supplies. Often, it also entails getting stuff to make a dorm room functional and comfortable. As move-in day approaches, here are some ideas to give style and homeyness to the new space.

Kaylee Erickson, a senior elementary education major at Washburn University, is a resident assistant for the school's Residential Living office. She helps approximately 1,000 students settle into their new rooms in one of the four residential buildings on campus. She is quick to point out they aren't dorm rooms per se.

"Dorm rooms have community bathrooms," she explains. "Our rooms in the residential halls have their own bathrooms."

What things are allowed in Washburn's Residential Living rooms? Items on the must-have list are:

- Mini refrigerator.

- Microwave.

- Television.

- Command hooks for hanging stuff on the walls.Students are charged for every hole in the walls -- $10 for the first hole and $2 for each additional one.

- Rugs. The floors are tile, so a small rug can warm up the space and make it more comfortable.

- Keurig coffee brewers, for making both hot beverages and instant soups.

There are a few no-no items. Anything with an open heat source, such as candles and toaster ovens, aren't allowed. Neither are Christmas lights, which a lot of people use to decorate their bedrooms at home. Power strips are OK to use, but not multi-outlet adapters or extension cords.

Rearrange

and coordinate

One of the first things students should consider upon arrival is rearranging the furniture. Roommates can work together trying different room layouts to see if one way works better than another.

In the rooms at Washburn, the most popular way to enhance the space is to raise the mattress on the bed to its highest setting. This allows for a squat dresser and small fridge to be stored underneath.

Students can bring materials to raise the beds even higher, but the items must be approved by the Residential Living office first. Erickson noted the black plastic bed risers found at many department stores -- some even have USB and electrical plugs built in -- are OK to use.

Erickson said many roommates coordinate their bedding and other decorating touches to give the space a more finished look.

Teal, salmon and gray are the popular colors this season. Roommates don't have to choose the same colors, just ones that blend well together.

Dressing a bed to look more like a daybed, with lots of throw pillows, can provide extra seating for visitors. Some roommates also bring curtains for the large window in the room.

Professional organizer Rebecca Miller, who operates Space for Life, suggested roommates confer ahead of time to avoid double mini- fridges and microwaves. …

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