There’s nothing that says “home sweet home” quite like the cold embrace of white cinderblock walls and suspiciously-stained carpet. When moving into a college dorm room, it can feel overwhelming trying to make the space your own.
Here are a few tips on how to make your dorm room feel less dreary and more personal.
Comfortable Bedding and Seating
Bedding isn’t just important for decorating your dorm room: it’s the most essential part of making your space feel cozy. When you’re coming back after a long day, you’ll want an inviting bed for your after-class naps.
Students can choose colorful duvet covers and throw pillows to brighten up their beds. Many students get foam toppers for their mattresses to make them more comfortable.
Aside from bedding, you may choose to get additional seating for when their friends visit — bean bags, floor pillows and cushions are popular choices to combine function with decor.
Start With Wall Art
Posters, prints and art of any kind are some of the easiest and most versatile ways to decorate your dorm room. Whether you want to keep it simple with a poster or two or create an entire collage, wall art can add a personal touch to an otherwise plain space.
When choosing art for a dorm room, many students consider specific color schemes, their favorite movies, musicians and athletes, or pictures of their friends and family.
There are several websites — like Redbubble, Society6 and Etsy — that allow you to directly support an artist when you purchase their poster. Other sites, like AllPosters.com, have thousands of options for sale.
If you’re looking to decorate on a budget, there are online resources like Unsplash and the Met Museum Collection offer free, printable artwork for you to download.
Lighten Up the Room
As charming as we all know harsh overhead lighting is, adding other light sources to your dorm room can make it feel much cozier.
Hanging fairy lights are an easy choice for students looking to give their room a soft, cozy glow. LED strip lights are another ever-popular option, and can change color to suit whatever mood you may be feeling.
If you’re looking to get creative, there are all kinds of novelty string lights online. Hanging lanterns, butterflies, footballs, flamingos — the options are endless.
Depending on whether your dorm room has carpet or not, you may want to consider adding a rug. Even if it’s carpeted, you may want one if your carpet looks particularly beat up.
Area rugs are helpful when trying to cover a larger space. Target and Rugs.com have several inexpensive rugs that are perfect for dorm rooms.
Storage — Function and Decor
Storage is essential when you’re living in a small space like a dorm room. Luckily, storage options can also serve as decor. Some students use multi-purpose storage ottomans, while others use hanging shelves or jewelry organizers. There are many storage methods that act as decor while also helping you organize your limited space.
This article was originally published in the 2022 Orienter New Student Guide. Explore the entire guide here.