Studies have shown that half of those living on a college campus choose to remain in their rooms to study. To accommodate this growing trend, many colleges and universities are choosing to bring on-campus amenities into the dorms. By incorporating shared spaces, adding innovative studying opportunities, and focusing on new amenities, current student housing trends have completely redefined dorm furniture needs for the better.
Here Are Three Student Housing Trends That Are Redefining Dorm Furniture:
1. Student Housing is Creating More Shared Spaces
For many years, the fastest growing trend in student housing was privacy. Students wanted to move away from the dorm environment with shared bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens, in favor of suite-style living. Today, many college campuses are redesigning dormitories with the opposite effect in mind. Studies have shown that students who share a bathroom are more likely to meet more other students and form better friendships. As a result, students with shared spaces reported a better sense of well-being than those without.
With a renewed focus on community building at school, many student housing facilities now prefer smaller bedrooms with more shared spaces. Rooms have become as small as 125-400 square feet and contain only a lofted bed and wardrobe. Far from being impracticable, these micro units now include lounges, study areas, game rooms, coffee shops, and other communal areas that support the social well-being of students.
2. Student Housing is Moving the Classroom into the Dorms
At American Universities students typically live in the residential part of campus and attend school in the academic part of campus. In stark contrast to this model, British universities have long preferred the residential college model—where students live in the same buildings in which they are taught. These students live and work in a community, sharing rooms, eating meals, and attending lectures alongside their classmates. In so doing, students form a society that helps them to learn and grow as a community rather than fail and fall as an individual.
Though few American universities have adopted this model in totality, many are at least incorporating academic spaces into their residential communities. Study halls no longer feature independent study carrels but contain large communal tables and multi-purpose furniture. Furniture can be moved around to incorporate study groups and partitions can be arranged to provide privacy. Professors can even host lectures or labs in larger communal spaces built within dormitories.
3. Student Housing is Adding a Touch of Luxury
Picture a dormitory building, and almost anyone will imagine minimalist wood beds, basic dressers, and simple desks lined up in military-fashion. Today’s student housing options, however, are anything but basic. Now incorporating fireplaces, swimming pools, game rooms, and gourmet restaurants into their designs, student housing facilities have become a $4 billion to $5 billion industry. With an aesthetic appeal, world class gyms, and complimentary yoga studios, it seems many students (and their parents) are willing to pay more money for a better quality of life.
Though prices may be steeper, these luxurious accommodations offer loft-style living that universities say help attract and retain student residents. With finishing touches such as crystal chandeliers, private jacuzzis, and speakers built into the shower heads, many students now enjoy a luxurious living experience away from home.
Here’s What That Means for Dorm Furniture Today:
Because of these student housing trends, dorm furniture needs have shifted significantly. Though traditional bedroom furniture is still required, untraditional spaces now need to be furnished as well. Lounge furniture might require comfortable sofas and chairs, computer labs might need long tables with benches and chairs, and on-campus restaurants might use commercial dining room furniture. All of which must be custom designed to meet the needs of your student housing community.
Whether you are building community areas, lecture halls, or even luxurious finishing touches such as swimming pools and gyms into your dormitories, it’s important to consider what kind of furniture you will need to furnish these spaces. Northland furniture provides custom student housing furniture for evolving on-campus communities. No matter your needs, we can provide American-made beds, desks, dressers, sofas, and community furniture that can fit your varying needs. Contact us for more information regarding your unique needs.