Bored with your home? Explore creative furniture possibilities

Crowded living rooms, plain dorm-issued dressers and half-functional tables from Facebook Marketplace — homes in Oakland don’t have to be this bad. Students’ living space, and how comfortable they are living in it, affects their mental health. 

For everything students go through during the semester, one thing will follow from start to finish — their campus home. So, if you find yourself needing to cry in your dorm or apartment this winter, a change of scenery might at least offer some comfort. 

Here is a list of refreshing interior design ideas to get started. 

Double trouble: turn a dresser into a reading dresser and reading nook

Dressers often fall victim to the pipeline of extra table space, to a dumping ground for miscellaneous items. Or students simply find themselves bored with its bulky, humdrum existence. Turning a dresser into a cozy nook can refresh the room and bring you the best of both worlds 一 storage and sitting potential. 

Push the dresser into a corner of the room, positioning it vertically. Add pillows or cushions to the wall to create a backrest. Put a pillow down on top of the dresser to sit on, but a folded up blanket works just as well. Go a step further and hang string lights over the nook or add a comforting photo of a happy place, pets or celebrity crush to the side of the nook against the wall. 

Under-the-bed cave

Students residing in dorms who keep the dresser under the bed to save space probably find the above idea useless. I offer a refreshing change of perspective. Though creating a nook with a dresser may take up floor-space, it opens up new lounge areas. 

By turning a home’s dresser into a nook, students can open up the space under their bed to create a cute crawl space. Whether you call it a hiding spot, a bachelor pad or the forbidden bottom-bunk, by adding a few blankets, pillows and lights, the space under a bed can become an entirely new seating area. 

Sheet curtains

For those not inclined to live like gremlins, here is an idea that takes place off of the floor. If you have extra bed sheets, consider repurposing them into make-shift privacy curtains. Choose a space to block off, and pick two spots on the opposing walls to place a command hook. Cut a small hole into the top corners of both sides of the sheet. Hook each respective hole with a command hook, then pull up either side of the sheet off of the command hook to open the curtain, or, for simple movement, simply push away the side you enter from due to the lightweight material. 

Sheet curtains are a great way to bypass the pain and difficulty of putting up a curtain rod, especially with apartment lease rules or university dorms. A privacy curtain can serve many purposes. Living in a small first-year dorm with a roommate can become claustrophobic sometimes. Even anyone who loves their roommate might find the option to co-exist with some privacy relieving. If you find splitting the room with the curtain sheet too in-the-way, you can put a sheet curtain up around your desk to create a closed-off workspace. 

Although a sheet curtain will not block noise like a study room in Hillman, the escape from visual stimuli may conjure up memories from elementary school, when many students used privacy shields

Hallway closet to emergency bedroom

As the semester gets busier, coming home and getting into bed can turn into quite the sisyphean task. If a living space has a coat closet near the entrance, or in the hallway, students can add a beanbag chair to the bottom and store a sleeping bag and pillow on the top shelf to create an emergency bedroom for nights they might need it. Other uses include a midday nap spot to avoid the risk of getting too comfortable or a guest bedroom. People can, of course, still hang up coats and maybe store a broom — just push them to one end, or simply sleep under them like a baby under a mobile.

Cup and String Telephone

Looking to cut down on screen time? With just a few basic materials, students can create a cup and string telephone from one end of the apartment to another for a nostalgic, fun way to communicate. Acquire a piece of yarn a little longer than the distance you plan to cover. Tie both ends of the yarn to a paper clip. Cut a slit into the bottom of two plastic cups, and string the paperclip through this hole. Duct tape the string to the wall by placing the tape a little further up from the end of each side. Leave about one or two feet, or however much you desire, to hang with the cup on each end and make sure the string is taut! Now, ask roommates to do the dishes or whisper secrets to one another at night. Students may have to text their roommate to pick up the cup phone first though, as the sound is quite limited.

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