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Dorm Life: Decorating Tips for College Students

Written By:
Published: 09-02-2015
Drapery Hardware For Dorm

Dorm life is a major rite of passage for most college freshmen, and decorating a dorm room is an ideal way to express who you are and feel more at home. Read on for some tips and ideas for unique and trendy dorm decor ideas.

Tweak the Layout

Most dorms include basic furniture like beds and desks, but none of it needs to stay where you find it when you first arrive at your new room. Play around with layout options to maximize space and efficiency. If possible, consider lofting your bed and putting a dresser, desk or futon underneath.

When buying additional furniture, think in terms of multifunctional items. Pieces like trunks and storage ottomans serve as additional seating or surface area while hiding extra clothing, bedding or books. Conceal clothing racks to minimize clutter and present a tidier appearance.

Work Those Windows

Curtains and draperies can make a statement while also controlling light levels and increasing privacy. Many college students appreciate the utility of blackout curtains, especially after a late-night study session or party. These heavy drapes block all outside light, keeping the room dark and cozy during even the sunniest mornings.

Alternatively, consider curtains in your favorite colors or patterns. Bright stripes or chevron prints make bold statements, and matching the curtains to your bedding helps bring the room together.

And of course, don’t forget those drapery rods!

Blank Walls? Blank Canvases

Dorms have different rules about what can and can’t be done with walls, so check with your admissions office or resident adviser before making any permanent changes.

If your school allows painting, your options are unlimited. In addition to solid colors, consider using painter’s tape to section off geometric shapes or stripes, or paint one wall a brighter accent color. Use chalkboard paint to turn an entire wall into a giant blackboard and encourage friends to write on it when they drop by.

If you can’t paint, cover a wall in draped fabric or hang interesting posters and artwork using temporary hooks to avoid damage. Other popular and trendy choices include garland, bunting and fairy lights.

Don't Forget the Floor

Area rugs are an easy way to warm up dorm rooms with bare concrete, tile or wood flooring. A plush rug feels more pleasant on bare feet while also adding visual interest, especially if the carpet makes a bold statement.

When choosing a rug, think in terms of the overall room and consider how it will look with your bedding and draperies. Don't forget to measure your floor so you know what size to shop for.

Make It Your Own

Feel more at home with happy memories and reminders. Hang framed photos of friends and family on the walls, or display smaller snapshots on a clothespin garland.

Hang a bulletin board and start a collection of notes, photos, ticket stubs, postcards and other ephemera collected during your time at college. Looking back on those memories will inspire you to keep making new ones.

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