Study in style

It’s that time of year when a collective sigh can be heard across the city. As schools prepare to open and the students throughout the valley prepare to get back to the books and classes, the evolution from summer enjoyment to the structure of the educational system moves to the forefront.

The traffic increases as the students are transported to and fro. While the police presence is heightened and the buses are back on the road, it becomes more and more of a challenge to get around.

Sometimes it is just easier to go with the flow. But always be prepared for the unexpected and make sure that your student starts off with all of the necessities to shine and be successful.

Kohl’s department store has posted a back-to-school list of necessities on its website,, to help guide parents through the pitfalls of back-to-school shopping. The list includes items for the college student as well as high school and lower grades. Items for the dorm room, kitchen and bath, electronics and clothing are just some of the offerings. Others include area rugs, alarm clocks, lighting, bedding and microwaveable cookware.

With the limited space offered in dorm rooms, totes and storage containers are a big hit and universal purpose items like comforters and pillows are always a sure fit and a great way to add style and personality to a room.

Target is offering all of its usual items as well as some new twists on old standards. My Life/My Wall is a line of new high-design wall decals in various shapes and colors to change the appearance of any room in a matter of minutes.

“Older teens and college students want their personal spaces to reflect their distinct sense of style,” said Pamela Quigley, creative director of DCWV Home, the Provo, Utah-based company that manufactures the decals. ”We conduct meticulous research that examines emerging trends within the worlds of fashion, design, music, art and pop culture, all to ensure that our products have a current, style-savvy aesthetic.”

And one of the best parts of the line is that it won’t cost a fortune to personalize your space. My Life/My Wall decals range in price from $9.99 to $14.99.

Target also offers chic storage ottomans that double as seating and backpacks designed by Gwen Stefani.

Cubes from YUBE and organizer sets from PB Teen are great for organizing and keeping track of the tons of new stuff the student has to have.

Wonderful new ergonomic designs for student furniture and accessories have been offered by several designers and distributors.

The Woody chair is the latest addition by Posture in Style, a Los Angeles-based distributor of ergonomically correct furniture for children. The swivel chair features a 3D luffing mechanism that supports natural body weight and encourages healthy posture. It comes in two sizes and seven colors to accommodate children through their teens.

Beautiful on the eyes and the hands is 3M’s new designer line of tape dispensers and Post-it note holders. The Pebble Collection by Karim is available in a vibrant shade of purple, white and black, with an ergonomic weighted construction that allows for easy, one-handed tabletop access.

“I am inspired by the challenge of fusing contemporary form and function with the world’s innate beauty to develop design-centric solutions for people’s everyday problems,” said acclaimed designer Karim Rashid. “For the creation of The Pebble Collection, I aspired to further beautify two objects which have become a naturalized part of our modern society. The Pebble Collection was created to bring an island of softness and serenity to the eye while inviting our hands to objects that are enjoyable and functional to use.”

The line fuses Rashid’s avant-garde aesthetics with functional desktop accessories. It is available wherever you shop for office and school supplies.

Also blending form with function, but in a much more practical way is CSN stores, which has some really great ideas with backpacks that have alarm systems built in to deter would-be backpack snatchers and backpacks with built-in solar panels to charge a cell-phone.

The online retailer also offers a four-piece set of luggage that transforms into a portable hamper with a liner that goes as far as to designate whether the contents are clean or dirty.

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