College Days: Tips to Make Your Door Room Feel Like Home

The dorm room: A decorating challenge for even the most creative amateur designer. How can a small, boxy room become a personal and private living space for completely different individuals? How can one impersonal institutional space reflect the needs and personalities of the two or more people who are required to share it? If you’re faced with a dull, faceless dorm room cube, here are some tips for turning your space into a place you love to call home.

Focus on Your Bed

In most dorm rooms, the beds are the focal point, taking up the largest portion of the dorm room real estate. Make sure your bed can do double duty, both as a comfortable place to study and hang out with friends, and as a private place to catch some Zzzzzs.

Choose bedding that invites lounging and relaxation. For most people, this means selecting coordinating and contrasting colors for sheets, blankets, and comforters. It means adding five or six accent pillows in addition to the ones you use for sleep. It means adding texture, perhaps in the form of a faux fur throw or roughly woven ethnic cotton blanket. Think of your bed as the center of your dorm room decorating scheme.

Long curtains or a full-length canopy around your bed are an inexpensive way to add an element of separation. An easy way to add a canopy is to simply pin a colorful sheet to the ceiling. If you are more creative, use adhesive hooks on the ceiling to run a string along the four corners of your bed and hold curtains in place.

Add Custom Lighting

Image via Flickr by ofeverydaylife

Lighting changes the ambience of a room. Whether you add a bold, colorful desk lamp, construct mood lighting with strategically placed bulbs and electric tea lights, or create a marquis sign with Christmas lights, custom lighting choices personalize your space and help differentiate your part of the room from your roommate’s.

An audacious desk lamp can serve as a focal point to anchor your room’s décor. Choose a gooseneck style with a daring shade so you can direct lighting toward your activities. Or place three or four petite table lamps on your desk, windowsill, and bedside table. For maximum impact, string some twinkling lights from across a wall and attach favorite photos or large stencil letters of your name from the cord. A string of lights can also make a subtle but distinct border between two sides of a dorm room.

Put Your Life on Your Walls

Image via Flickr by Sahrish Creating Individuality

Devote some wall space to the things in your life that make you happy. Whether that means buying inexpensive frames in various sizes for photos of your pets, your people, and your favorite places, or putting up posters of concerts and movies that mean a lot to you, you’ll want to define your space with the things that have shaped your life.

For easy photo frames and wall decorations, purchase some washi tape and let your imagination run wild.

Make it Easy to be Neat

Image via Flickr by Lady Froufrou

When you’re living in a small space, it’s more important than ever to have a place to store your everyday essentials. Even a little clutter can make a small space look messy and uninviting.

Create attractive desktop storage for pens and pencils; decorated tea tins or mason jars are simple choices. Use plastic storage bins to stash sports gear, spare linens, and seasonal clothing under the bed. Use an over-the-door fabric shoe holder to sort and store small items like nail polish, cleaning supplies, or snacks.

Coordinate with Your Roommate

One of the best ways to make a dorm room into your own personal oasis is to work with your roommate. Discuss with your roommate what you need from your dorm room space, and what your roommate expects. Apply principles of feng shui to rearrange the furniture in your room to create zones of privacy.

Decorating your dorm room is one of the most exciting parts of going off to college. With a little planning and creativity, it’s easy to create a pretty, yet private space that feels like home.

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Posted by on September 25, 2014. Filed under Advice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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One Response to College Days: Tips to Make Your Door Room Feel Like Home

  1. Tall Stacey

    September 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    The best thing I ever added to my dorm room was an overstuffed easy chair. A comfortable piece of my real world in an otherwise foreign land of somebody else’s utilitarian Formica and chromed steel.