Turning a dorm room into a home


August 18, 2002|By Sara Engram | By Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

No doubt college-bound freshmen have already devoted a good bit of time to planning their new homes-away-from-home. Many of the necessities are obvious -- sheets, blankets, towels and supplies. But there's an art to turning a small, impersonal dorm room into a cozy, functional abode, and plenty of retailers are ready to help.

The dorm room challenge is to make the most of the small space you're allotted and organize it well. Look for items that can fill more than one function, such as storage boxes that can also serve as side tables. You might also want to consider bed risers, which can add several inches of useful storage space under the bed.

And be sure to ask whether that bed takes a standard-size twin sheet, or extra-long. Most retailers now carry a good selection of extra-long twin sheets.

Fitting out the bed

You can find an array of bed-linen choices at Garnet Hill, all in natural fibers, such as the striking Maze Quilt (twin, at left, $125) and standard sham ($35). Fitted extra-long twin sheets in cotton percale range from $25 to $42; jersey-knit extra-long fitted sheets cost from $40 to $50; and, in flannel, the extra-long fitted sheet ranges from $20 to $38.

The company also offers an extra-long twin-bed comforter set for $145. It includes a baffle-box down comforter covered in a 245 thread count cotton shell, a matching mattress pad and a super-size feather-down pillow.

For more information, log on to www.garnethill.com or call 800-622-6216.

Lightening the study load

No matter how high the assignment pile, Levenger stands ready to make study time less tedious and a lot more convenient.

The Annotation Station ($29.95) features a handsome leather book weight equipped with three useful tools -- a yellow highlighter, a pad of yellow translucent sticky notes and a set of translucent flag markers. For parents and friends in search of a useful gift, Levenger will wrap this item for $5.95.

A lap desk is always useful in a dorm, and Levenger's version is well-designed, providing enough room for both a book and a notebook or dictionary. It also provides good support for laptop computers. The lap desk is $29.95 in maple, $39.95 in cherry.

Even dorm rooms need whimsy, and Levenger's Sound-Off Magnets are both practical and fun. Named Quack, Bleep, Pong and Purr (for computer sounds), the magnets come in sets of eight, and each serves a different function, whether holding 3-by-5 cards or car keys. They're also fun to play with.

The sets sell for $14.95 and come in two color combinations, four each of green and blue or yellow and orange.

For more information, log on to www.levenger.com.

Fixtures with eye appeal

Ikea offers a range of useful fixtures at appealing prices. A Skrissel wall organizer ($6.95) can help unclutter your desk, while an Espressivo lamp ($7.95) can light it up. And if you tire of hard, straight-backed desk chairs, try the Traktor chair for $39. Available in stores or by calling 800-434-IKEA.


* The Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., will hold a native plant seminar and sale Saturday. The sale will feature native plants from nurseries around the region. The plant sale is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; fees are $45 for donors, $55 nondonors. Afternoon workshops run from 2 to 4 o'clock. The workshop fee is $25. Seating is limited, and registration deadline is Friday. For more information or to register, call 410-484-2413.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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