Back to school season is quickly approaching again, which means that college campuses will soon be bustling! Whether you’re a college freshman moving into the freshman dorm room for the first time, or you’re heading back to a new dorm room for your sophomore year, we have some thoughts on the best ways to personalize your space and make your college dorm room feel like home away from home!
Collaborate with your roommate and check your residence hall policies
The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to decorating an interior space and making it feel oh-so-cozy! However, before you start diving in and shopping for decor, you’ll want to check the policies for your new residence hall, as they may have a few ground rules on the type of items that are allowed and not allowed. A few common examples of dorm room decor stipulations are no nails in the walls, no candles, and no microwaves. Though, this will vary from campus to campus. In addition to the rules given by the residence hall, it’s also polite to collaborate with your roommates on any decor items that will be a part of your shared space, such as floor decor, entryway decor, and bathroom decor. Not only is it nice to make sure you and your roommate can agree on the decor, but it’s also a great way to get to know your roommate better!
Liven it up
…With plants and flowers! Small houseplants and flowers can be placed on your desktop or windowsill. Incorporate anything small, from flowers in a vase to succulent plants. Just be sure to place them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Adding a touch of nature to your space will give it a cozy and inviting ambiance.
Add space-saving storage that elevates the rest of the decor
Dorm rooms are known for being small spaces, so you’ll want to have storage that will either stay out of sight or be incorporated into the room decor itself. Out-of-sight storage might include under-bed storage bins. Most dorm room beds are elevated, allowing you to store plenty of items underneath. In addition, you can add stacked storage bins to your closet space and even a hanging shelf closet organizer to hold folded clothes. When it comes to storage that will be out in the open, opt for small storage shelves that can sit on the floor and be stacked vertically, and make it cozy by opting for colorful or chic bins and baskets to place on top of the shelves. You can add additional storage to your desk area by hanging a bulletin board above and pinning small items to the board such as a file holder and pictures of friends and family.
Incorporate a comfy accent chair (if your space allows)
An accent chair is a great way to make your dorm room feel relaxed and cozy! Bring in a comfy easy chair or a small beanbag chair (whichever works best in your space), and use it while you study or when you and your roommate are just hanging out.
Keep it cool
Bring in a mini fridge! This is a great way to keep a few leftovers, groceries, and drinks cool without needing to use the community fridge at the end of the hall. In addition, you can customize it with custom magnets, photos, and reminders.
Decorate with wallpaper and wall art
Dorm room walls are usually plain and neutral in color (beige or white most often). Though most residence halls won’t allow nails in the wall for hanging decor, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have wall decor... You still can! Temporary wallpaper, the peel-and-stick kind, is a great way to add color, design, and personality to your space for the next two semesters. Or take some of your favorite quotes or pieces of art and print them on canvas or glossy wall tiles to stick to your walls.
Don’t forget about the floor
Most dorm room floors consist of hardwood, concrete, or thin neutral-colored carpeting. To mix things up a bit, lay down a fluffy rug, or a rug with a colorful design that matches the rest of the room’s vibe, like chevron, floral, polka-dot, etc.
Curtains: chic and useful
Curtains have endless designs, colors, and textures and are a great way to turn bland windows into something that ties the room decor together to create a cozy space that feels like home. Use a blackout curtain to keep the sunrise out, or add a sheer curtain to simply add some pizzazz to the room!
Consider the lighting
Overhead dorm room lighting can either be too harsh or not quite bright enough to see the words in your textbook after the sun goes down. To make the lighting in your room feel more like home and less like a classroom or office, incorporate string lights, desk lamps, and floor lamps. Not only will this help you see your homework better, but it will also create a cozy atmosphere.
Bring a piece of home
Nothing quite says cozy and personalized like bringing your favorite photos of some of your favorite people from home back to college with you. Create a custom photo wall of your family and friends with canvas prints or glossy wall tiles. You can make a single canvas collage print of up to four of your favorite photos, or you can create multiple individual prints with a variety of your favorites. Whichever way you choose, Simple Canvas Prints can help you get the photos on your phone to become photos on your walls.
Whether you’re off to college for the first time or going back for another semester, savor every moment of creating new memories, learning new things, and being a part of a great community. And no matter how far school is, you can follow these decorative tips to make sure your dorm is more than just a room. As you can transform it into a cozy representation of where you were, where you are, and where you’re going!