Dorm Décor

Ashley Hughes

     College is often said to be the best years of your life. You are finally off on your own, out of your parents’ supervision; you even have your own place, right? Well, sort of. The dorm experience is typically shared with a roommate, which, along with the limited space, can be tricky in the decorating process. Dorms are on average pretty small, not to mention having to share that small space with another person makes the room seem even more compact. And as if there isn’t enough to worry about, what if you and your roommate just don’t see eye to eye?

     Collaboration is necessary.    There is an extremely slim chance that both you and your roommate will agree on everything. Get together with him or her and try to develop a theme to follow. For example, you can choose a simple theme like the pink and black flowers or a general sports car theme. If you can’t agree on a theme, try to select a color that you can both tolerate instead. It’s important to visually establish the different sides of the room. Curtains can be a great way to do this. Simply pick curtains with different fabrics or designs and hang them on each side of the window. You can also buy a room divider to help clarify the boundaries. Remember, arranging things symmetrically helps make contrasting styles more cohesive.

     Cope with the limited space you are given.    How in the world are you and your roommate both going to fit all of your stuff in that tiny room? Well, you may want to consider the possibility of bunking or lofting your beds. A loft bed will help make use of the space both above and under your bed. Underneath your bed you could place a desk, a chair, or even a bookcase leaving you with a quiet study environment. Think vertical. Since there isn’t much horizontal space, build up. Shelves and hanging hooks are great ways to store things without taking up too much of that precious space.

     Organize yourself.    Organization is key, especially with two people living in such close quarters. Storage boxes are the best way to go. They come in many styles and sizes and will assist you in keeping your belongings safe and organized: Door organizers can hold essentials like ID cards, keys, wallets, cell phones, etc. and don’t take up extra floor space. Hanging shoe racks are inexpensive and can be hung on closet doors to maintain organized shoes and conserve space. Shower totes are a great way organize your bathroom necessities without cluttering the counters. Consider getting a dry erase board for your door. They come in handy for self reminders, letting your roommate know where you are and letting people know when you are studying.

     Figure out what you need to bring and what can be left at home.   This all depends on the school. Some schools come equipped with every piece of furniture you need, while others don’t. In order to ensure you don’t forget anything, simply do your research. Ask for information on your room size, existing storage, recommended items and prohibited items. This way you don’t buy so much stuff that it doesn’t fit in your room, or worse, isn’t allowed. Some colleges prohibit candles, certain types of lamps, microwaves and toasters. Others schools might find these items perfectly acceptable. It is a good idea to make a list of things you have, a list of things you need and a list of things that you want.

     Establish your special, personal touch.    Most colleges do not allow you to paint your walls or poke holes in the walls. To add color, hang a colorful swatch of fabric to brighten up your dorm. Funky pillows can be placed on chairs to add flair while bed skirts and unique comforters can enhance the room’s feel. If you can’t put holes in the walls, removable plastic adhesive should be used to attach decorations or invest in the IKEA stickers called SLÄTTHULT that resemble wallpaper. Bulletin boards are also good ways to coordinate with your bedroom’s vibe as well as keeping you organized. Lamps are also pretty important to give your room additional light and to add a touch of your own personality, since they come in so many original styles. Your hobbies can also make great decorations. If you play tennis for example, simply prop your racket on top of the bookshelf and voila!

     Whatever your style or personality, there are a ton of ways for you to incorporate it and create an excellent dorm room. So, get out there and start shopping for your dorm! You are now adequately prepared to do so.