Whether you’re living on your own or with a roommate or five, your dorm room should be a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. You don’t have to break the bank either (we know you spend enough on books already!) Check out some cool ways to make a dorm room walls feel less like a military bunk and more like a home-away-from-home.
Bring the Walls to Life
Just because you can’t paint your dorm room walls doesn’t mean you can’t bring the them to life. Ditch the tacky posters featured in every college movie and go for a more “adult” look with Tempaint. It will give you the same look and feel without the headache of explaining it to your manager. If you haven’t met your roommate in person yet or talked about how you want to decorate your room order some samples and pick the color together (it’ll be a great bonding experience!) And of course, it’s easy to take off at the end of the year.
Another route you can try is adding decals. They aren’t all tacky sport team stickers these days (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and other budget friendly stores have lots of fun modern designs that you can use to bring some extra life into a dorm.
Washi tape is another great way to decorate, and you can put it on basically anything. Dressers, desks, doors, walls, you name it you can add some washi tape to it. Besides coming in virtually any pattern and color, it’s easy to remove and cheap to buy so you can always add more and redesign if you feel like you need to revamp your space for second semester.
Let’s face it this whole Twin XL thing really limits the amount of bedding choices. If you’re having trouble finding something you like try going with a neutral color and getting a bunch of bright pillows to add your style. Chances are you’ll use the pillows way longer than you will that comforter, which makes them a much smarter investment.
Make the Most of Your Space
It can be really tough finding enough space to fit all of your things, not to mention your roommate’s things. Before you start moving furniture, take a look around the room and try and decide on a layout that will work for both of you. If you’re lucky enough to snag a single room lofting the bed is highly recommended. It creates so much more room for activities!
It’s important to have some space that’s your space too. If the room is big enough an open cube shelf will give you storage and act as a “wall” to create two rooms. Be sure to consider the function of each piece of furniture too. Because dorm rooms are so small you want to be able to have multifunctional pieces like lamps that double as phone chargers.
Speaking of space, there’s only so much that you can fit under your bed. When organizing the rest of the room try going vertical to maximize floor space. Storage ottomans are another great purchase. You can use them for additional seating and footrests too.
Closets and Curtains
Lots of dorm rooms don’t have closets with actual doors. If you find yourself in this situation, curtains are the simplest solution -- unless you’re really into fashion and want everyone to be able to see your closet. Look for full length window or shower curtains, buy a rod and boom, you have a closet door. And don’t forget to get some actual window curtains. Sure the dorm will provide blinds, but curtains are a cost-effective way to add some color and style to the room and make it more inviting. Plus, it’s a guarantee that you’ll need the extra light blockage at least a few mornings this school year.
Art and Photos
Don’t forget to add some personal artwork and photos too. You might be surprised how much seeing pictures of friends and family will make you feel better while you’re off on your exciting new adventures. Plus, it gives you things to talk about with your new roommate.
One last things to keep in mind: this dorm room is temporary. It’s a shared space. It’s not going to be everything you want it to be and there will be compromises. But, if you are able to put a few personal touches on it, it’s definitely going to make the year better.