You only have a week-end or so and you want to totally revitalize your space, what do you do? Well, it depends on the nature of the space but, since it is the time of year when so many families are sending a young adult off to college, let’s talk about a bedroom or even a dorm space.

First, you can’t change everything – you may not even be able to paint – so you have to pick your priorities and work with what you have. We’ll begin with what’s easily changeable – soft-goods like bedlinens and window-treatments. These can have a big impact and add a huge dose of color and contrast.

  • Bed linens – Bright colors can make the bed stand out. Calm colors can make a small room seem larger. Patterns can camouflage the grease stains from late-night pizza and potato chips. 
  • Window Treatments – These don’t need to be expensive but can accomplish a lot of goals. A simple reed-blind can diffuse outdoor light in a too-sunny space. Drapery panels can soften the hard angles of modern windows. And a layer of fabric (or even two) can keep the winter’s cold from pouring into your study-space.

Lighting is another place to put your attention. Assuming the electrical set-up in the space will accommodate a modern young-person’s study needs, there is probably the capacity to add some free-standing lights. Consider how lights pointed AWAY from the focal point might add interest to the room:

  • A clip-light that can aim at your work-space or up toward a darker corner of the room
  • A floor light that illuminates a lighter ceiling and spreads light over the whole room 
  • A tiny table lamp that affords just a little light when you simply want to find your path to the bathroom without tripping on the debris-littered floor while everyone else is sleeping.

Warm the floor with an area rug, whether it is a clean rectangle made of jute or other natural fibers, an overly fluffy shape of shag that helps you get your feet on the floor on a cold fall morning or a tightly woven braided rug from your bedroom at home that just reminds you of the familiar.  Any of these can warm the space with an actual insulation factor and a bit of sentiment when you’re feeling all alone