With a little effort, a little money, and a lot of patience, you, too, can turn that bare 10' x 15' closet into a cozy domicile. Since dorm rooms run the gamut from jail cells to hotel suites, not all tips in this writeup will apply to every dorm. I'm basing this off the room in which I currently reside, in the dorms of UMR, but I'll try to keep it as nonspecific as possible

The keys to making a dorm room liveable are:

These can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but I'll try to outline the most common ways. First, floor space. By far, the most common way to increase floor space is to move the beds. Bunk them, loft them, whatever, but get them out of the way. Lofts really need to be in a separate node, but I'll go into them quickly here.

A loft is simply a construction, usually of wood, that lifts a bed or bedframe, or even a mattress, into the air. There are generally three types, bunk, hanging, and moveable. Bunk style are pretty self explanatory. It's like a bunk bed for beds that don't bunk. There's a frame that lifts the top bed into the air, with the bottom bed going underneath. A downfall is there are usually posts in the front of the loft, making it hard to get stuff under the loft that's larger than the bed, like couches. A hanging loft is usually some sort of rafter system with both beds up in the air on opposite sides of the room. The moveable loft is based on the hanging loft, but with the bed frames on pulleys so they can be lowered for sleeping.

Comfortable flooring is really only applicable in dorms that have tile floors. There, it's a good idea to put some sort of carpet over the tile. Carpet can be of the rug variety, or scraps of actual house carpet. Area rugs can be found in lots of places, while carpet scraps usually come from a home improvement store or a carpet store. Also, check with people moving out of a room. Sometimes, they'll have a carpet that they won't be needing and they'll be willing to simply give it to you.

Social capabilities are the most complex part of a dorm room. Remember, the most social part of a dorm room is the occupant. Ok, now to the room. Basic social features include more seating, extra sleeping space, and entertainment. More seating is usually accomplished by having extra chairs, a couch, or a futon. Having a couch or futon also translates into more sleeping space for guests and can be useful when you're just too tired to climb up into your loft. Entertainment can consist solely of a computer in some situations, or may be an entire entertainment system with a television, VCR/DVD player, console system, and stereo. I personally have a computer with a DVD drive and a TV card hooked up to a stereo. Go with what you can afford.

It's not hard to make your dorm room liveable. Follow the tips in this writeup and others, master a few carpentry skills, spend a little money, and you'll soon be happy with your current residence.