Designing a Dorm on a Dime

The HBS dorms: You were probably pretty stoked when you got your lottery number confirming a place in the on-campus dorms. That feeling was replaced by panic as you open the door to find that you have an 8×10 room to call home for the next 9 months.

By now that 6th floor studio walk-up for two-thousand dollars a month in NYC is looking pretty good replica breitling – at least you could entertain without inviting guests to sit on your extra-long twin bed!

But don’t fear, Target and K-mart are near!

With just $100, a little imagination and some free stuff that is listed on the HBS message boards, you can turn your dorm room into a cozy spot to enjoy throughout the year.

I put my bargain basement skills to the test by helping out an EC student moving into McCulloch from the Morris dorms. The before pictures show the room as we found it replica watches uk. This student got lucky, and has two rooms to work with – one that will become a bedroom, and the other for entertaining guests.

Our first step was to get rid of the twin bed and replace it with a full size bed. If you don’t have another bed option, look into cheap alternatives. The twin is fine for your parents house and the Morris dorms, otherwise its time to upgrade!

A quick check on started the decorating off right – another student was giving away a free love seat in SFP. I had planned to use the twin bed as a couch, adding pillows and a throw blanket to create the atmosphere. But this offer was too good. The love-seat was a perfect fit, and a quick call to maintenance got the twin out and the couch took its place.

A trip to Target and K-mart with only $100 to decorate is a tough feat; it’s hard to prioritize what items you will get the most out of. At the top of my list was a lamp to add a personal touch and get rid of the harsh halogen glow in the room. Also important: barware for entertaining and some decorative touches like vases and pillows. And now that he had a couch, this student felt strongly about a coffee table/ottoman. It seemed that that $100 wasn’t going to stretch that far and that a little imagination would be necessary to pull off the full transformation.

Asking around, I found that many people had too much stuff. This EC student was happy to store some items in his room, as long as it went well with his decorating theme. In all, we found donations ranging from a bed with full linens, to smaller things like bulletin boards to create picture collages for the walls.

What we bought:

1.Cream leather ottoman ($39)

2.Silver desk lamp ($7)

3.Rattan lamp ($20)

4.Barware ($12)

5.Wicker basket ($5)

6.Throw pillows & blanket ($15)

What we got for free:

A.Loveseat (on

B.Bulletin boards (found around campus)

C.Bed & linens (borrowed)

D.Picture in frame (borrowed)

Designing a Dorm on a Dime Tips:

1.Check and for free stuff and cheap furniture

2.Always buy a lamp. Soft light can do wonders for a room and adds some personal style.

3.Use photographs and interesting papers/ribbons to create wall collages in lieu of expensive artwork.

4.Borrow stuff from friends – they are a great source for vases, pictures and knick-knacks!