As I start my fourth and final year of college, I like to think that I’ve gained a pretty solid grip of on-campus-living. Freshman year is a realm of new adventures for all students, but one of the most significant experiences is moving out of a childhood home and into the ‘dun dun duuun’… dorm room! Dorm life can seem intimidating at first, with the cinderblock walls and communal bathrooms, but one of my favorite parts of college was the freedom to decorate my new space however I wanted. A well-decorated dorm room can make any student feel at home. So whether you’re a parent preparing your child for college or you are about to become a student yourself, here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for dorm décor.
Coordinating with roommates
At some schools, it is tradition for roommates to collaborate and have a matching dorm room. While matching up sides can be a fun, bonding experience with a new roommate, a dorm does not need to be identical if each roommate has different preferences. Instead, the two roomies could agree on a color pallette or theme to tie both sides together while still allowing each student to have her individual style. This way, both roommates can have a cute dorm room while still maintaining their individuality.
Storage, Storage, Storage…
While most schools will have the basics in dorm rooms, such as a desk, a set of drawers, and a closet, these can fill up faster than you might think! Extra storage is critical in dorm life, so make sure to snatch up a few cheap, plastic drawers which can easily be tucked under a dorm bed. You can also upgrade these drawers from cheap to fabulous with a quick coat of spray paint and by gluing on some cute knobs or handles! Another great idea for expanding space is stackable desk shelves, which can sit on a desktop and store schoolwork or even serve as a makeshift pantry.
Brightening up wall space
Although dorm rooms can vary in size, there’s usually an abundance of wall space for decorating. Lightweight tapestries are so versatile; they cover up the bare wall and give the usually small room a softer feel. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this popular room décor either. Large wall tapestries can be found online for only a few bucks and in hundreds of styles, from mandalas to nature scenes and much more! These fun wall-hangings are great for bringing color and comfort to any room. If joining a sorority is on the agenda, however, make sure to leave open wall space for many canvases which are sure to come from sorority sisters!
Decorating for Guys
Don’t think that dorm decorations are just for girls! If you have a son about to go off to school, here are a few ideas for bringing some life to his room. Flags of your son’s favorite sport teams can be used to cover up some of that blank wall space and bring some color to the room. If your son is a collector of baseball caps, stick some adhesive hooks on the wall and let him hang his collection instead of hiding it away in the closet. Another key aspect of a boy’s dormitory is seating; whether your son wants an area to play his video games or a place for his buddies to watch sports, seating in a boy’s room can be a necessity. Check out dorm-appropriate seating such as foldable loveseats or futon-styled couches that won’t take up too much room.
Whether used as a study area or a place to relax with friends, a dorm room becomes home away from home for any student. It’s important to mix comfort with functionality when it comes to decorating in dorms. College can be a great time for everyone, and the experience will become even better with a great dorm room.