College may not be the most glamorous time in a young life, but dorm living doesn't have to be dreary. Often functioning as a mini-shared studio, dorm rooms pose a multi-use challenge, housing a make-shift kitchen, offices, and bedrooms, as well as storage and toiletries. Retailers and designers alike have caught on to the fact that students want well-designed, space-efficient products that are functional as well as stylish. The following Cool Hunting picks can out outfit your miniscule space without sacrificing aesthetics when square-footage is at a premium.
From Target's latest line of artist-designed products, these pillow cases are by Chocolate and Girl Skateboards designer Evan Hecox. Known for his paintings of San Francisco's Mission District and Chinatown, Hecox created this line of Muni-inspired bedding and accessories just in time for back to school.
The sleek design of this OPPO Digital LCD Television with built in DVD player makes it the perfect addition to the well-equipped dorm room. Featuring a 20.1-inch Enhanced Definition LCD flat screen and a slot loading Multi-format digital video/audio/picture playback supporting DVD-Video, DivX® video format, XviD, Audio CD, HDCD, WMA, Kodak Picture CD and more, this is the OPPO is the only player you will ever need. A clutter-reducing added bonus, the remote control slides into the cradle behind the screen when not in use.
Finding quality sheets to fit a twin extra long mattress used to be close to impossible, but (also from Target) this jersey sheet set comes in stylish stripes and solids as well as a delicate floral design.
You may or may not love your roommate, but you'll always want some privacy. The Smoke Screen from CB2 is a folding black polyester mesh screen that divides space without creating an eye-sore.
All-nighters are a lot easier when hot, caffeinated beverages are as easy as plugging in an appliance. The Bodum Electric Water Kettle features a curvy, sleek design for heating water or soup. This model can produce 48-ounces of boiling water in four minutes, setting record highs for speed. The safe design of the stationary power base and heating element means there are no cords attached to the carafe that might get in the way of pouring your tea or coffee. Both the kettle itself and base are made of recyclable plastic and available in white and black or metal versions that come in either stainless steel or matte chrome (pictured).
With Viking's Convection Microwave you won't have to sacrifice the browning achieved by achieved by conventional ovens but will still be able to make popcorn with the touch of a button.
The Sharper Image Hot and Cold Mini Fridge forgoes liquid refrigerant and noisy motors for environmentally-friendly Peltier Effect electronics to keep food and beverages cold or hot. This big-enough-to-share fridge has room for four wine bottles or 15 12-ounce cans, includes a slide-out shelf, two storage racks, and carry handle.
by Letizia Rossi