College dorm rooms are not known for being particularly aesthetically pleasing. They tend to be boring, bland, and not very up-to-date in terms of furniture styles. In the past many college students were content to just slap some posters on the wall and call it a day. But as society grows more image conscious (due in part to social media such as Instagram and Pinterest), more and more students want their dorm rooms to reflect their personal style. The movement around caring about what your style is and sharing it means that dorm room decor has upped its game. Besides looking cool, the rooms still have to be functional though. Dorm rooms need to serve as entire homes, yet are crammed into such a small space. Part bedroom, part bedroom, part study here’s how to get the most out of your dorm space while still having it look amazing.
Storage and Organization Are Key
You can’t have a great looking dorm room if clothes and clutter are spread all over the place. You’re likely going to have more things than it looks like you have space for, so you’ll really have to hone your storage and organization skills. Since you’ll have to make the most out of every inch, try gaining some extra space by lifting the bed with bed risers. There are plenty of under-bed storage drawers available, or you could even re-purpose old dresser drawers to help you store things underneath. Drawer organizers will also help you make the most of the drawer space you have. Organizers for your desk will let you easily keep your schoolwork neat and tidy. If possible you can use the walls for hanging storage, but you’ll likely need to look for options that don’t require causing any damage to the wall. Baskets, bins, and boxes will provide cute and functional storage.
Look into Multi-functional Furniture
When you don’t have much space, you need your furniture to pull double duty. Ottomans can be a great piece to invest in because they can serve so many functions. They can be used as extra seating, they can be used as a table, and if you get one with built in storage, they can be used to hold extra things. You may also find that your bed ends up being used as seating and not just for sleeping, so you may want to get an extra comforter or throw blanket to keep on top when people are hanging out in your room.
Temporary Wall Art
While the wall art of dorm rooms past were mostly posters hastily hung up with scotch tape, there are now way more temporary art options to help improve the space. There are tons of removable wall decals available in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors. If you still want to hang up posters, washi tape allows you to hang them up in a way that looks a bit more sophisticated and stylish than regular tape. You can also use washi tape to create your own wall art designs. A clothesline held up by removable hooks allows you to easily create a feature wall where you can display your favorite photos and other paper mementos.
Soften Harsh Lighting
Many dorms have harsh, fluorescent overhead lighting, which can make a space feel cold and sterile. Windows may help provide some natural light during the day, but once night falls you’ll still be stuck with artificial lighting. Fortunately it’s easy to supplement this light with table lamps, or even a floor lamp. When you provide your own light you can add whatever warmth bulb you’d like. The right desk lamp will add style and light to your room, and can help you keep working late when that final paper is due but you don’t want to keep your roommate up. For your desk look for lamps that focus the light downwards and don’t spread it too far throughout the room.
Coordinate with Your Roommate
Everyone wants to bring their own style to the space, so don’t feel like you and your roommate have to match decors exactly. But if you can, see if you and your roommate can coordinate. Choose a color palette that you both like and work from there when putting together your respective parts of the room. Depending on the level of coordination you desire, you may want to wait until you get to school to buy things like comforters, pillows, and curtains so you can pick them out together. Your room doesn’t have to look like a page from a magazine, but a nicely coordinated space can help you feel calmer and more at home.
It may be a bit depressing to face the bland decor most dorm rooms start out with, but that just means there’s even more opportunities to make it your own! Your dorm room will be your home while you’re at school so bringing as much of your personal style to the space as you can will help ease the transition between the two spaces. Out on your own you may get a chance to explore your personal style more than you did at home, so take this opportunity to experiment and have fun with your decor.