Let’s be honest here – dorm rooms are just not that cute. Despite the misrepresentation of college dorms in movies and catalogues as huge, wooden-floored oases complete with fireplaces, bay windows, and high ceilings, the real deal is much more on par with a prison cell. While there’s only so much you can do with the standard metal-framed beds and broken wooden furniture likely harkening from the 1980s, it is possible to upgrade your dorm room to something homey, comfortable, and attractive. Follow these 6 easy tips to make your dorm room look the best it can, from drab to fab.
TIP 1: LIGHTS
Arguably even worse than public bathrooms, dorm rooms are known for looking either dreary or hyperactive when it comes to lighting. Try to avoid using your room’s lights by taking advantage of natural lighting from your windows during the day and fully opening your blinds (which also helps save energy). For late afternoon, night, and overcast days, you can rely on a floor or table lamp, space allowing.
However, I prefer using string lights (and, yes, by string lights, I mean Christmas lights) around the perimeter of my ceiling – it’s prettier and more evenly distributes light throughout the entire room. Plus, you can get creative, and end up with some really cool designs.
TIP 2: WINDOWS
Window treatments make your room look exponentially more inhabitable. Just add a tension rod and curtains, and you’re good to go. This step is focused on the decorative aspect of your room, so there’s no need to buy thick curtains for privacy, since your windows will already have shades. Sheer white curtains are inexpensive and will look just as nice as a patterned print – plus they’re guaranteed to match with your bedspread.
TIP 3: RUGS
There are two scenarios with dorm room floors. Either you’ve got a flattened carpet with suspicious stains, or cheap linoleum that resembles the floor of your high school cafeteria. Alternatively, you could have actual hardwood floors and your life is great. You don’t spend a lot of time looking at them, but a rug will still make a huge impact on the look of your room. My preference is to get the biggest rug, covering as much floor as possible, but a few accent rugs are just as effective in brightening the mood. Also, a suggestion – stay away from pure white rugs, because you will not want to see how dirty they can become.
TIP 4: STORAGE
Dorm room closets and wardrobes are way too small to hold an entire year’s worth of clothes, shoes, and beauty supplies – right, ladies? You’ve got to put your off-season wardrobe somewhere, and you want to do it in style. Forget about those plastic tubs shoved under your bed, so that the entire world can see your extensive boot collection and judge you for having a shoe addiction. Discreet and sleek storage is a must to keep a dorm room from looking shabby.
TIP 5: BULLETIN BOARD
This may seem like an unusual request for spicing up a dorm room, but a basic cork board can be easily transformed into a space to free your inner artist, instead of a space to forget due dates and homework assignments. You can use a cork board as a canvas for a collage, essentially, posting anything from photos to postcards to clippings from your favorite magazine. It also serves a dual purpose in covering up the biggest strip of peeling paint, or that lovely hole in your wall. Plus, it’s a more unique and playful option than covering all your walls with posters. Because, as much as you love an Audrey Hepburn poster, most likely three girls down the hall love it, too.
TIP 6: FUN DETAILS
Probably the most fun part about dorm living is that you get to decorate the room however your heart desires. The key to a room you’ll love is in the details, personalizing the space. Show off your photos, get a plant, search Etsy for some original prints, and clutter your bookcase with travel knickknacks and your favorite books (you’ll probably never read them at school, but it will brighten your day to see a reminder of home residing next to that evil organic chemistry textbook).
BONUS TIP: CLEANLINESS
Because, the fact is, you can dress up your room as much as you like, but you can’t appreciate it if it’s hidden under layers of dirty clothes or marred by funky smells.
Featured Image From: Brown University
Category: Dorm Decor