Create Your Happy Space


Back To School || Essentials you need to make the grade

Back to school is often a time of transition, exciting new beginnings, and fresh challenges. To meet them head on, you don’t need a degree in interior design or even an elaborate road map to set up and furnish a college dorm room or apartment.

Though usually a small, temporary space, your back-to-school home needs to be your happy place, where you can function efficiently, study and relax. Stick to the essentials like a desk, chair, bookcase, sofa, rug, and quality mattress, and you’re on your way to a successful school year.

Whether you’re used to living in a smaller space or not, having enough storage is key to finding what you need when you need it. This is especially true if you have roommates who may or may not share items. Having adequate storage space makes it easier to organize and declutter. Using furniture that makes your space comfortable and stylish, and includes added storage and function is ideal.

If you’ll be living in an apartment with distinct rooms instead of a dorm, it may be easier to decide what you need by function. Chances are, you’ll at least have some closet space or built-in shelves that offer storage. If not, you can add, say, a bookcase to either a living room, bedroom, or even dining area. Having an apartment may also make it easier to personalize your décor with accessories and accent pieces.

Read on for ways you can outfit your dorm or apartment with back-to-school essentials that fulfill your needs by function…

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Study & Work || Even in today’s fast-paced on-the-go digital age, it helps to have a desk as a focal point for studying and completing class work. You’ll need a good sturdy surface that’s minimalist and works in a tight space, such as an adjustable sit/stand desk. It offers flexible comfort, with a surface for your laptop computer, and any study accessories you need to keep close by.

If you require storage, a parsons-style desk with drawers and open shelves is another great option. It still features a minimalist profile but offers a bit more flexibility. You may want a desk that also features a power strip with USB ports for charging all your devices – they’ll come in handy for those occasional all-nighters.

In addition to a computer desk, a good desk chair with back support and an adjustable height feature is a must. Even better if it swivels and is on casters for easy mobility.

Depending on space, you may also want to include a bookcase with shelves for display and storage. Though you’ll probably do a lot of classwork online, there are times when physical books may be needed for some research, so a bookcase can be useful. You can also display personal items and plants to help make your space homier.



Entertainment & Relaxation || When much-earned break time arrives, you should be able to sit and relax in a comfortable spot that isn’t necessarily your bed. If space permits, a sofa, loveseat or chair is great for chilling out and bingeing a favorite show.

If your space sometimes functions as a guest room, it helps to have a sofa or loveseat that converts to a sleeper. Some styles even convert to a futon-style sleep surface with room for storing pillows and blankets inside. A storage ottoman is another furniture option that does double duty, and some come with toss pillows.

To ground the room, an area rug offers warmth and comfort underfoot, as well as adding color and pattern. You can also use multiple smaller rugs to divide areas by function, using one rug for your sleeping area, and one for the section of the room where you work and study.

Sleep Time || A good night’s sleep is essential to overall health, especially for students who may forego sleep for other activities. A good night’s sleep keeps your brain sharp and gives your body the rest it needs after a long day.

Having a comfortable mattress is essential, and there are plenty of budget friendly options that fit smaller spaces. One easy, convenient choice is a mattress in a box. A mattress in a box ships right to your door in an easy-to-move box, and you simply unbox it, unroll it, and let it rise. Don’t forget cozy accessories like pillows, mattress protectors, and sleep masks to complete your sleep zone.

If space allows, add a nightstand with drawers for keeping bedside essentials nearby, and place a lamp or clock on the top. Some styles feature a power strip with a USB port at the back for charging your devices.

As with any other stage of your life, your school years should be happy and productive. Creating a living space that functions well and includes enough personal details that make it feel like home will ensure you get the most out of your study years.

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