The Dorm is Where the Heart Is.
Moving into your dorm can be exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. Not knowing your surroundings and the people that you are living with is hard for everyone. For you and your roommate, whether it be your best friend, Facebook find, or random pairing, decorating your new space can be a great way to get to know each other better. Here are some tips for making your dorm your home. Not only will you feel more comfortable in your space, but everyone will want to hang out in your awesome room!
1. Decide Early. Talk to your roommate early about what colors you both like for your room. The earlier that you decide, the more time you will have to look for things. You can compare more prices and wait for sales when you are not trying to throw everything together at the last minute.
2. Don’t Settle. Make sure you and your roommate decide on something that you both like. You will be living there for the rest of the year and you don’t want something that is going to make you unhappy. Talk about what your favorite colors are, and if you both have different tastes compromise: there is always going to be something that suites both of your needs! Go online to some site like Pottery Barn for inspiration if you have no clue what you want!
3. Matching is out. Try to find coordinating bedspreads rather than the same ones, that way both of your personalities come through. There are great sets that you can look at in stores like Target or JC Penny’s. If you find something that you really like and it is out of your price range try to look for it at a discount retailer like Marshalls or TJ Maxx; they usually have not only great bedding sections but awesome accessories that you can use too. Solid bedspreads can be fun also and you can always spruce it up with pillows!
4. Pillow Fun. Pillows are a great way to add color to your room. If you do go for a solid bedspread, which can be very chic, add some flair with a bunch of multicolored pillows. If you go to one of the discount retailers or Target there are great pillow sections that you can chose from. If you are feeling adventurous then you can make your own. Try finding some fun remnants and pillow forms from the fabric store. If you can get the right width, only three simple seams and voila.
5. Cute Curtains. Curtains will bring a fun accent to any space. Make sure that you check with your university, but usually they will allow curtains that have been fire proofed. You can buy fireproofing spray from a store like Target; it can get pricy (around $15), so see if you can split the cost with your whole hall, there is defiantly enough in the bottle to go around. Check back next week for my post on how to make curtains and pillows without having to sew!
6. Space Counts. Dorm rooms are most likely going to be a lot smaller space than you are used to living in, and you are probably going to have a roommate to share it with. Think about lofting your bed so that there will be more floor space. It will make the room feel a lot bigger, especially if you both loft. If you don’t want to loft then use bed risers or cinder blocks so that you can store things under your bed. If you get it high enough, you can even fit your refrigerator under your bed.
7. Accessories. Accessories are important to making your space homey. The key is not to over accessorize. Making the space to cluttered with tchotchkes will just make your room feel smaller and overwhelming. Pick a few nice things that are practical. A fun lamp is always a good option, giving you light and décor! You could use a purse or shoe rack to hang your collections- they will not only save space but also add color to your walls and make for good conversation starters. A fun rug will spice up your space and keep your feet warm on those cold winter mornings!
8. Think Practical. You can use small glass containers to keep your makeup brushes, hair accessories, and things like Q-tips or cotton balls in. Glass containers will give you space to keep all the things that you need, make great accessories for your room, and let you see what’s in them. Think about using a hutch on your desk that you can keep things like your printer and binders in. This will give you optimum space on your desk for spreading out and getting your work done.
This is your space, so make it reflect your personality. Don’t pick muted colors if you are a high energy person, and don’t pick bright colors if you are calmer. Either of these will make you uneasy in your room. Choose something that is also going to make your space relaxing: cool colors like blues and light greens are good. Your room is somewhere you want to come back to after a long day of classes, so make it unique to fit your needs. You can always rearrange the layout of your room throughout they year if you want a new view!
- Check with your university, most school have twin extra long beds. Make sure you are looking at twin extra long bed spreads and sheets, it really does make a difference!
- Usually you cannot put up brackets for the curtains, but you can use a tension rod to put in the window to hang your drapes from.
- Make sure that if you get a lamp for your room it meets up to your university’s standards, some do not allow halogen lamps!
Kendall Meyer is an intern with College Lifestyles (TM). She is an Interior Design major at James Madison University and a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. She can’t wait to get back to school to see all of the new dorm room ideas and designs!
Check out my post from two weeks ago, No Paint, No Problem, for some more tips on adding color to your space without using paint!