Category: Decorating Your Small Space (8)

Coliving rooms are a great solution to extreme housing prices in San Francisco and have a lot of pros. The biggest downside for many people would be the size of the room and the fact that it is not expandable. Don’t panic, there is plenty of space for essentials! Although if you want to make it feel organized and a bit more spacious than it actually is, you need to start using your space in a smart way.
The Internet has gathered many hacks on how to organize your space without completely redoing everything in the room, especially when the coliving room has its limits about things you can change or add to it. Here are 7 space organizing hacks that will take your coliving experience to the next level.

1. Be Smart About Your Shopping.

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Make Marie Condo proud! If it doesn’t spark the joy and is not essential to your everyday life, maybe skip it this time. Small space has limitations in storage and can’t fit everything. When shopping, focus on purchasing things that are necessary and make your everyday life efficient.

2. Repurpose Shoe Organizer and Pegboard.

Think of command hooks as your little helpers because this tiny holder can really transform your room. You can add it to your closet, cabinets, and walls. It is usually very strong and can hold heavy coats and purses.

5. Shelf Risers

It is a game-changer for shoe storage and many other things. You don’t just have one shelf anymore, now it’s expanded and more versatile. It is a very affordable option that can be purchased in Ikea.

6. Clip-on Lights

This one is very obvious but besides saving space with clip-on lights, you can also move it around the room without purchasing a light for every spot that you like to be lit.

7. Use A Cube Organizer As A Night Stand

Cube organizers have tons of storage and can fit in many things while looking neat. You can add baskets and make it even more organized. The top surface will be larger than the regular nightstand, therefore hold more things without taking too much space in the room. 
Smaller space does not mean it has to be disorganized or cramped with things. Just use our simple hacks and make it Pinterest-worthy! Follow and tag us on the Instagram page where we would love to share your rooms and see how you optimize the space for your needs.

Halloween just a few days away, which means candy, haunted houses, and scary costumes. With that being said some of you might be wondering, what if I don’t have a costume ready? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! There are tons of spooky costumes that you can make yourself so you won’t have to spend the day sitting at your San Francisco housing, and go have some fun this Halloween! Here are some of our favorite simple and fun DIY Halloween costumes that you can make yourself.

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Photo by on


  1. Paper Doll Costume


Get creative with this affordable DIY and make a costume out of an everyday essential… Paper! Grab some large paper or even pieces of cardboard and paint on any outfit of your choice and impress your friends with an entire outfit made out of pieces of paper!


  1. “Life Gives you Lemons” Costume


Make the best out of our favorite quote and dress up with a Life Gives you Lemons costume. All you need is a yellow or white outfit and some lemons to recreate this fun and witty costume!


  1. Emojis


Emojis make a fun and quirky costume for Halloween, and the best part is there are so many to choose from! Scroll through the hundreds of different fun emojis to find the one that you would want to dress up as! You could make the costumes out of paper, old T-shirts, or you could even purchase an emoji costume online or at your favorite Halloween store.


  1. Mime


Remember that striped shirt you bought years ago that is now sitting at the back of your closet? You can easily create a mime costume simply with anything that is striped! Simply throw on some white face paint and creative mime-like designs to make your costume come to life. If you don’t have a striped shirt, you can always make your own with some dyes and an old shirt!


  1. The Classic Ghost


Ah.. The classic ghost, it truly never gets old! This costume is one of the easiest and quickest and is suitable for anyone that wants to have a fun outfit without spending too much time or money on it. You can make the canvas out of tablecloths or by sewing pieces of white cloths together and drawing the face on top with markers or sharpies.


  1. Sims Character


Sims characters are easily recognized by their green symbols floating above their heads. If you need a super quick and clever costume, cut out some cardboard pieces and glue/tape them together to make the diamond shaped symbol. Then, simply paint it green and attach it to a headband (you can even make your own out of tin foil) and you are done!


We hope these ideas are useful in helping you choose a Halloween costume this year!


If you liked this blog, don’t forget to check out some of our other ones too here, and we hope you have a spooky and fun Halloween!

Starting a new semester of college is scary. Living in a San Francisco dorm room? Even scarier. The transition from having your own space in your family home to a small cramped student housing space shared with 1-3 other roommates in San Francisco is a huge jump, and can be difficult to navigate. Lucky for you, we’ve got San Francisco dorm room design inspo by the dozen, and we want to help you make your San Francisco dorm room feel like home. So whether you are already living in San Francisco student housing  or a student about to move into one of our SF student rooms, we are here to help you make your shared housing in San Francisco feel like home, from the moment you move in through the rest of the year.

Tip 1: Take the Time.

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Before we even get started, lets talk about your intention going into this project. Take the time to really decorate and settle in. This is the place you will be living for the next year, your first year away from home! Take your time, spend some money, really make an effort to make the place feel like a home. The more you invest in your space, the most it will become YOUR space. We all get a little homesick down the line, and being able to come home to a clean, personal, warm, inviting, and organized space will make you feel settled.

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Tip 2: Pick a Color Scheme or Theme



Before you start shopping, figure out what you want your room to look like. Browse a few interior decorating magazines, check out dorm room inspo on Pinterest, make a mood board with colors and styles you like. Is yellow your happy color? Or are you more of a black and white kinda gal? Girly and frilly or modern and sleek? Pick your poison. Here are a few color matching inspiration ideas.




Tip 3: Make it Personal.

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If you feel lonely or homesick, rolling over to see your favorite pic of your dog, your family, or your BFF is an instant pick-me-up. Nothing cheers you up like cuddling with your childhood stuffed animal. And lets be real, having a stash of your favorite candy on hand will make even the worst day a little better.

Even if you are trying to start fresh and reinvent yourself in college, it isn’t ‘cool’ to leave everything that makes you you behind when you leave for school. Take a little piece of your past with you. That way, on a day when your new environment feels extra foreign, you have something familiar and comforting to rely on to get you through.


Tip 4: Lighting. Is. Everything.

Two words: Twinkle. Lights. The kind that make your heart feel extra cozy and remind you of winter time by the fireplace at home. Nothing can damper a mood like dingy or fluorescent lighting, and nothing brightens or warms a room quite like twinkle lights. If your dorm doesn’t allow the plug in kind, there are a number of battery-powered fairy lights that will make your ceiling twinkle. Other options? Glow-in-the-dark star stickers, fake candles, and color-changing ‘mood’ lamps are all dorm rule friendly and will do wonders towards your room’s lighting vibe.


Tip 5: And Plants. Plants are Also Everything.

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So are pillows, poofs, and (weirdly enough) a ton of regular household objects. There are a number of reasonably priced things you can use to spice up your room and make it look like home, including indoor plants, dried flowers, decorative pillows, printed photographs, and more. But we have already covered all of that! You can check out our other interior decorating blog posts for more info on these topics.

Decorating with plants.

Decorating with pillows and poufs.

Decorating with regular household objects.


Tip 6: Get Organized. Like, super organized.

Because trust me, you won’t have time once your semester picks up. The last thing you will want to do in between two essays, a pop quiz, three labs, and a midterm is color-coordinate your paper clips. So do it now, while you have time! Here is a little checklist for you:

  • Wall calendar with important dates (taken from club calendars, syllabi, and your class schedule) and goals (fitness, mental health, etc!) already penciled in.
  • Desk essentials, divided and organized: Pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, calculator, printer paper, notebooks, planner, binders, etc!
  • Under bed storage: Trust us, there is no way your whole wardrobe will fit in that tiny little shared closet. You will need this more than you think.
  • Containers for nail polishes, first aid kit (advil, cold medicine, bandaids, etc), skin care stuff, socks, sports bras, snacks, etc!
  • A shower caddy with important toiletries.
  • Clothing organization things: velvet hangers (thinner and hold clothes better), small dividers (for socks, underwear, bras, sports bras, etc), command hooks (to hang belts, purses, hats, etc), a shoe rack.
  • If you want a few more important student organizational tips, check out our blog on back to school tips for students.


Tip 7: Consider Making a Statement.

We are not talking about your basic Urban Outfitter tie dye tapestry. Nothing makes a space look rad like a statement wall. Wallpaper can be purchased from any home decorating store or online, and can be temporarily stuck on to the wall (without damaging your dorm paint!) with removable mounting products like tack or sticky strips.  Or, if you are going for a tapestry, look for landscape scenes or patters, the kind of thing that will open up the room and make the wall look professionally done.


Tip 8: Make Seasonal Adjustments

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A few little touches can go a long way to making your dorm room feel like home year round. Think about it – your mom most likely puts out pumpkins for Halloween or twinkle lights for the holidays, so why shouldn’t you? Those little seasonal touches will do the most to keep your dorm feeling like a home away from home, no matter what time of year it is.

Also, consider a DIY! We have a great one up on autumnal wreath making– the perfect home decor piece to make your dorm feel like fall.


Using these tips, your dorm space is sure to feel like home!

Don’t have a San Francisco student dorm room for Fall semester? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals here.

To check out more small space decorating tips and articles like this one, click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with what is happening in San Francisco!


The Power of Pillows and Poufs

Your SF furnished apartment should be a place that expresses you.  Whether its a tiny dorm room at your school or a shared housing space in San Francisco, your San Francisco housing is somewhere you should feel comfortable in. You should be proud to show it off to visitors!  This may seem difficult to do when you’re ballin’ on a budget. But here at Urbanests, we want to help you find San Francisco room rentals that are both affordable, functional, and that feel like a real home. These decorating tips are easy, affordable, and help make your temporary housing feel as cozy as possible, on a dime.

I am here to tell you how to create a Pinterest-worthy apartment under $60.  And it all comes down to two things: pillows and plants. Today’s blog post is going to focus on all the ways you can use those pillows and poufs to transform your small space. Keep an eye out for part two, where we cover creative ways to transform your space using plants!


One way to turn drab into fab is by spicing up your budget furniture with fun pillows.  

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It may be likely that you picked up your couch on the side of the road with a “FREE” sign on it.  Or maybe you’re rocking the mattress-on-the-ground look in your San Francisco room rental. Whatever your situation, your short stay apartment can all be salvaged with the right pillows.  

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Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.54.01 PMThese beds (even the ones without frames, sitting on the ground) are all aesthetic and utterly gorgeous, and made possible fully by their pillows.  Pillows can be as vibrant or as neutral as you like – but the key is to have them, and a lot of them!



Tired of people sitting on your bed every time they hangout at your apartment? Find a cheap chair or stool.  

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Throw a colorful bohemian pillow on any boring neutral colored chair and it’ll become the hottest seat in the house.

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Plenty of stores are stocked with fluffy white stools that have your name written all over them.

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If you don’t have much space and can’t find room for a permanent piece of furniture, find yourself a floor pouf! You can store one of these guys under your bed and take it out only when you have guests over.

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You can find all the best budget pillows at places like Home Goods, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Cost Plus World Market, Ross and Target.  Also check out your local thrift stores for some one-of-a-kind- finds!

Tune in the next few weeks for another post on how to freshen up your small space!


If you want to know everything there is to know about house plants, check out our post here.

If you want other decorating tips to save some cash and style your space using everyday objects, check out our post here.

Don’t have a San Francisco room to spruce up yet? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals here.


(All images courtesy of Pinterest.)
Post made by contributor Rachel Fay.



Hey there lovebirds! It is February 13th, and things are getting weird. When did Walgreens start selling roses? And why are there millions of paper hearts hung up all over the hallways of your San Francisco student housing?

Hate to break it to you, but tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. But don’t panic! We have got you covered with all sorts of fun things you can do all around the Bay Area to impress your significant other last minute. They won’t even know you forgot – and don’t worry, we won’t tell a soul.

A Flower- Filled Afternoon 

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One of San Francisco’s most breathtaking natural phenomenons, the annual bloom of over 100 rare magnolias with trees reaching up to 80 feet is at its peak this Valentine’s Day in the SF Botanical Garden! If you need a good last minute plan for V-day, get out of your San Francisco housing, pack a picnic basket, and take a stroll in the garden with your loved one. Don’t forget the chocolate and wine!

Cat Cafe and Puppy Cuddles

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Is your Valentine a furry friend lover? Look no further! This Valentine’s Day, the SF SPCA is hosting a pop-up cat cafe and puppy snuggle at One Embarcadero Center, where you can come for a coffee and a cuddle in one place!

A Loving Pillow Fight

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If your loved one is fun-loving, take them to the annual Valentine’s pillow fight at 1 Market Street in SF. I know, I know, why even leave your bed in your comfy SF furnished apartment? Trust us, its worth it.  Every year, nearly 1,000 San Franciscans make the pilgrimage to Justin Herman Plaza with feather-stuffed pillows to, put mildly, lovingly beat the crap out of each other.

Salsa Dance the Night Away

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Why not sweep your lover off their feet, and pick up a new skill while you’re at it? This Valentine’s Day,  Palm House in San Francisco will host “Salsa y Amor”, (Salsa and Love, for us non-Spanish speakers), from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Best part? The salsa lessons are free!  They will also be offering $7.00 Margaritas all night long. This is what you need to do to make your loved one say “te amo!”

The Crush & The Chocolate Factory

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If when you think Valentine’s Day, you think chocolate, then you’re in luck. This Valentine’s Day, Dandelion Chocolates is offering a $5 chocolate factory tour with tastings!  On the tour, you’ll taste cacao all the way through its journey into chocolate, from cocoa beans to liquid chocolate, and they’ll even guide you through a tasting of their single origin bars. Best of all, if that isn’t enough chocolate for you (and lets be real, it’s never enough) they will even send you off with a hot chocolate gift card! You have to book through their website, so make sure you sign up before you go!

None of these just right for you and your significant other?

Don’t worry, Valentine’s Day is all about showing your loved one that you care. Make them breakfast in bed, pick up some $5 flowers from a grocery store, bake them their favorite treat, go for a picnic in Dolores Park, bike ride by the Golden Gate bridge, watch the sunset at Baker’s Beach, or light some candles and cook a special homemade dinner. As long as you show them you love them (and that you totally remembered that it is Valentine’s Day), it will be good enough.


Love this post? Share the love! Share on Facebook to help out your friends that may be in need of a last minute date idea! And check out our other blog posts here. 

Need a kitchen to cook a home cooked meal in? Check out our open listings on short stay apartments in San Francisco right here!


Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan