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Bree's Blog

5 Dorm Room Must-Haves For New College Students

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

It’s hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close and school will soon be back in session. Regardless of how old your children are, gearing up for school is a big task, especially if said child is heading off to college.

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From books to organizational tools and that rite-of-passage shower caddy, there are many must-haves for an easy transition into dorm life. In order to make the transition a little easier, I suggest making your student’s dorm room as homey and functional as possible with these five essentials.

Area rug

A colorful area rug will instantly make a dorm room feel more like home. Most dorm rooms are tiled with unsightly linoleum, making for a sterile environment that lacks personality. An area rug will not only add a dose of color to a bland room, but it will also help maintain warmth when the temperatures drop. Don’t know which color to choose? Try something dark or bold. That way, if something spills on the rug during the school year, it won’t be a big deal!

Good lighting


Dorm rooms have notoriously bad lighting. Whether your child likes to study solo or gather with friends in their room, a soft glow will create a nice atmosphere they’ll want to spend time in. Place a functional lamp on the desk for those long evening hours spent writing papers, and a fun standing lamp at the bedside. Since dorm rooms don’t allow residents to mount anything to the wall (lighting included), it’s up to you to find lighting that fits the space without taking up too much real estate.



Good storage is a priority in all dorm rooms. Many rooms are equipped with a desk and a dresser, but an extra drawer or two can never hurt. It’s a great idea to raise your bed and then use space underneath for multi-drawer storage. Still need more space for clothes, papers and the like? You could also try a nightstand with organizational components.

Small couch


If space permits, spring for a small couch. A couch is a great way to instantly transform a dorm room into an inviting space for entertaining. As you select your couch, keep in mind color scheme and size. You’ll want to make sure your couch complements your space and doesn’t dominate it.

Added comfort

Last but not least, a dorm room isn’t a haven without a few added layers of cushion. Dorm rooms aren’t necessarily known for their comfortable mattresses, so put yourself ahead of the game with memory foam, an egg crate or a pillow-top mattress cover. From there, add throw pillows for color, and don’t forget a seat cushion for your desk chair, too!

Which dorm room essentials did you rely on in college?


Bree's Blog

How To Maximize Your Home Office Space

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

No matter the industry, working from home can be a challenge. The days are long, the distractions are plentiful, and it can be difficult to draw the line between work and life at the end of the day.

Don’t get me wrong, working from home is a luxury, but you need the right elements to make the most out of your workspace and stay productive. From nice lighting to sufficient surface space, Home Zone Furniture has all the essentials you need to create your ultimate home office.

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Surface space

Whether you work in your office for eight hours a day or just drop in occasionally, a utilitarian surface to work on is a non-negotiable. Opt for a table with a durable surface, a comfortable height and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. If you have a large room, you can afford to put in a big desk that you can spread out on. For those who have a smaller home office, pick a proportionately sized desk.

Perhaps you repurposed your desk and still need a bit more space. In that case, don’t be afraid to place a side table at the end of your desk. This can be a great way to add a touch more organization and make more room on your desk for big projects. Turn to this side table to hold a pesky stack of files or a table lamp.


The right chair is crucial to a well-appointed home office. It has to be comfortable enough to stay seated in for long hours, yet structured enough to ward off an accidental post-lunch snooze. Small spaces (and small desks) are best accompanied by a slender, structural chair such as the Elliot Metal Chair. Not only is this chair simple and contemporary with a fun pop of color, but it hardly takes up any space!

If you have more room and need something with a little more cushion and a lot of personality, try the Hilton Orange Chair. Before you go shopping for a chair, however, make sure to measure accordingly. With the right chair, you’ll be low enough to sit at your desk without your knees knocking, yet high enough to easily write or type without straining.


One of the best things about not working in an office building is avoiding those awful, headache-inducing fluorescent lights. Luckily for you, when you work from home, you can choose the lighting that best works for you. Go with soft overhead lighting, a desk lamp with an extendable head and strong lighting, or a table lamp with warm glow to make long nights in the office a little less dark. For my home office, I like the Samone Table Lamp. It has the silhouette of a traditional lamp, but its structural, outlined base doesn’t take up much room on my desk.


Organization can take all shapes and forms in a home office. It all depends on your system and what you need to organize. In many cases, an organized home office will maximize your productivity because you won’t have to spend as much time on the hunt for missing papers and spare paper clips.

For files, nix the traditional filing cabinet in favor of a vertical filing system you can attach to the wall. This change will create some additional floor space and keep all important files immediately on hand. Instead of a clunky bookshelf, try floating shelves for your books — you’ll be amazed at how much bigger it makes the room feel!

Lastly, try affixing a white board affixed to the wall to organize your ideas. Whether you use it to write your to-do list or some thoughts on an upcoming project, it’s an easy point of reference to come back to throughout the day.


A home office — or any workspace for that matter — isn’t successful without a dose of inspiration to keep you going throughout the day. Maybe for you it’s a few framed family photos, or perhaps a hanging or potted plant to help make the space just a little more inviting. A pop of color in the decor here and there is certainly invigorating, as well.

For me, an inspiration board is a must-have. On the board I’ll pin little momentos, magazine clippings, invitations, art from my kids and so on. Just glancing up at these things helps propel me through my day and maximizes my productivity.

What’s essential to productivity in your home office?



Bree's Blog

Create An Airy Summer Oasis In Your Bedroom

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

At the end of a long summer day, nothing beats kicking off your sandals and crashing in a cool, inviting bed. Even if you aren’t out of town on vacation, a bedroom that incorporates summer style will immediately transport you to a relaxed state of mind.

From lightweight linens to a soft color palette, how will you craft the summer oasis of your dreams?

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The first step to creating a summer bedroom is swapping out your bed linens. Pull any heavy down comforters, quilts or rich fabrics out of the mix in favor of all things lightweight and breathable. If you tend to get hot easily, go with 100 percent cotton sheets, and choose percale over sateen. Percale has a simple matte weave and a cool, crisp feel. Over the sheets, choose a lightweight down comforter or thin quilt.


Natural lighting is an essential component of summer style. Block out harsh rays but maintain the room’s brightness with light, gauzy curtains. They won’t completely block out light, but they’ll put a nice filter on your bedroom and keep your space somewhat cool.

Speaking of light, a well-lit room is a great environment for plants to thrive. Consider adding a potted plant that’s happy indoors, or place a pretty floral arrangement on your bedside table.


Summer is a time to lighten up! For your summer bedroom, choose a color palette ruled by shades of white and add pastel touches such as baby blue, mint green and peach pink. A neutral palette like this lends itself to change, so you can easily transition out of it when fall rolls around. Don’t forget that the nautical theme is always in style! Experiment with incorporating touches of navy and white stripes into your bedroom.


To create an airy room that undeniably feels like summer, it’s important to make space by eliminating any clunky or unused furniture and clearing off surfaces. Is your bedside table cluttered? Rearrange! Has the arm chair in the corner gone unused for months? Relocate!

One of my favorite summer decor to-dos is to leave hardwood floors bare. Roll up your rugs, take them to the cleaners and let your floors breathe. Now is the time to go minimal and prioritize air, light and space.


Summer textures can be found in furniture as well as textiles. Dark woods, heavy metals and furry textures carry the warm, cozy connotations of fall and winter. Wherever possible, swap these rich, opulent textures for tropical, natural fibers such as rattan, wicker and bamboo. While it may not be possible to spring for large-scale piece of furniture in one of these materials, keep in mind that even the smallest addition, like a wicker side table, can make the biggest difference.

If you’re unsure whether your current furniture creates a summer or winter vibe, ask yourself whether or not you’d see that texture incorporated into the decor of your favorite beach locale.

From seashells to nautical stripes and weather-beaten bottles filled with sand, what home accessories put you in a summery state of mind?