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Making the most of your dorm

As August approaches, retailers are launching their annual lines fordorm rooms. But a quick review of small-space design basics can add ameasure of focus amid the seemingly endless throw-pillow options.

As August approaches, retailers are launching their annual lines for dorm rooms. But a quick review of small-space design basics can add a measure of focus amid the seemingly endless throw-pillow options.



Three expert tips for a savvy student space.



Think up



Wall art can either add or subtract from that oppressive, cramped feeling of a tiny living space. Hang the art a little higher than you might normally, and go for a few big and splashy pieces to grab focus. “Go big! Large frames are going to create more impact and break up the wall space,” says Jessica Geller, founder of ID810 Design Group.



Embrace color



Consider a solid, bright color to unify a few accessories. In a small space, simple and bold can go a long way. “Bright accent colors are a great way to energize a small space,” says Kelly Edwards, an interior designer featured in eBay’s new “back to school” center. “I suggest using a subtle pattern for your duvet cover and then livening it up with graphic throw pillows.”



Walls aren’t just for posters



Take notice of the stuff that usually winds up cluttering the floor and furniture. Try to get those jackets, shoes, bags and books on to hooks and shelves, and invest in a coat rack.



“Adding space at the perimeter, rather than the center, will help the room feel bigger,” says Christopher Lowell, author of “You Can Do It! Small Spaces.”



“Shelves can help you display. Think about using things you wouldn’t normally think to display: Makeup and jewelry can actually create a nice bit of impact,” adds Geller.

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