Decorating Your Dorm

Hot tips for finding cool dorm decor

Dorm rooms are notoriously drab and prison-like. Who wants to look at cinderblock walls all day long? Decorating your dorm room is a must. As long as you don’t permanently alter your dorm room or cause a fire hazard, most colleges let you decorate it however you want. An added benefit is that it can be a great bonding experience between new roommates.

Dorm Sweet Dorm

Try these tips for making your dorm room the place to be on your floor:

  • Make good use of space. The average dorm room has enough space for two beds, two desks, two dressers and not much else. You want your room to be stylish, but you also want it to be functional. Try storing anything you don’t normally use (old textbooks, off-season clothes) under your bed. Buy organizers to put in your closet and on your desk. The less room that’s taken up by your school stuff, the more room there is for decorating.
  • Personalize the room. Try to express your personality in your choice of decorations. Maybe you aren’t allowed to paint the walls, but there probably isn’t a rule about splashing paint on a white sheet and hanging that on the wall (after it dries, of course). Some schools will even allow you to write on the walls using colored chalk. For example, if you’re into ’50s or ’60s kitsch, hit up an antique shop and buy a vintage lamp, chair or rug. If your room has a particular theme, people will want to stop by and check it out. Even if all you do is buy some posters of your favorite band, movie or celebrity, at least you can look at things you like instead of bare walls.
  • Don’t forget the door. The door to your room is what everyone else on your floor will see most, so make sure to spice it up. Many students like to buy a dry-erase board to put on their door so that passersby can leave a message. Another cool thing to do is to buy a small string of Christmas lights and hang them around the frame of the door (make sure they don’t produce any heat and aren’t a fire hazard).
  • Bring some life to your room. You may not be able to bring your dog or cat from home, but some colleges will let you have a small fishbowl in your room. If nothing else, you can get a cool potted plant.
  • Collaborate. Remember that you and your roommate should both have a say in how the room is decorated. You two can work together or, for an interesting twist, compete against each other to see who can make their side of the room look the best.
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