With over 11 Public Post-Secondary Schools here in the lower mainland and over 90 in total in BC many families are getting ready for one of the biggest moves of their lives. To a dorm room! Thousands of young people are preparing now and readying themselves to make this pivotal life transition. Of course with the parents transitioning as well, emotions can run high to be sure. Yet if looked at as the adventure it is, and an excuse to decorate – then it can be allot of fun as well! Not only do we get to help our kids move into their own space BUT we are LEFT with a new space – a new convertible space in your home that opens up ideas and gets us thinking what’s next?

Today I took a look at all the best places for you to shop for all their needs, and perhaps even meet a few of your own. You might be surprised at the results!

Dorm VS Flat

Each kid is going to relish in their own new space. Whether they are going to have to furnish a house shared with roommates, or live in a dorm room here are some must haves and great places to get them.

Bed Bath and Beyond

This store really is Beyond! It has a wide selection of home items that far surpass the bedroom and bathroom name. They have sections for the kitchen, dining room, home décor, storage and cleaning and seasonal items. They are even running a special event for the back to school crowd young and old. Currently they have University Bedroom, and a University Bath essentials guide and offer very competitive pricing.

Bed Bath and Beyond Website


Basically ‘Mecca’ for the student. As we all know IKEA is well known for their hip trendy furnishings and they hit the target on budget as well. Kit out a boring dorm room with great wall art, plants, cool and useful shelving and compact items for everyday living. It is basically a ‘must go’ to any budding scholar and his parents credit card!

IKEA Website

Second Hand Stores

These can offer your budding artist some unique finds on a tighter budget – but don’t go just because it is on budget. Super cool retro pieces can be found and an eclectic sense of style can emerge. The Lower Mainland has a TON of great ones, from the flashier Commercial Drive and Main Street spots to New West’s great Salvation Army thrift store, or Value Villages everywhere. Don’t discount these places, you can find just about anything if you are willing to look, and look good. Think of how you approach say, outlet malls!
Here is a link to YELP’s list of top shops
YELP - Best Thrift Stores

My student ‘must have's’ dorm room wish list:

A non-boring backpack
Comforter and Sheet Set
New Pillows
Food Storage Containers
Bar Fridge
Small set of plates and glasses and a coffee mug
Single serve coffee maker
House Coat
Bathroom Caddies
Shower Flip flops
Cool Desk Lamp
Wall décor that can make the space so much more personal
Alarm Clock – that is BATTERY operated for no excuses!
Closet Organizer
Under Bed Shoe Storage
Toaster Oven
Laundry hamper/bag
Over the Door Vanity (as featured in the photo from Urban Outfitters)
Noise Blocking Headphones – to block out all the hall noise! (I did say WISH list!)
Mini First Aid and Sewing Kit

Getting through a major transition is always going to be a bit of a struggle, but it is an exciting time as well full of possibilities for all involved. I mean…..hmmmm…..what to do with that new spare room of yours?? Make it a convertible office space, a movie room, craft room, a sewing room, a techy man cave, new walk-in closet……..possibilities at every corner! Best of luck to all our provinces budding scholars! You worked hard to get there, now don't forget to STUDY!!!!