It’s finally here, the moment you worked your entire high school career for…College! While everyone departs to their separate universities, it finally sinks in that you will be on your own, left to take on daily tasks without the help of your parents. Pro tip: write EVERYTHING down- or else you will forget things. On the contrary, no parents!! While a tear or two may be shed in honor of your departure, most families arrive at a mutual consensus that some time apart is necessary - three cheers for your independence! In a guilty attempt to hide their growing feelings of joy, for having the house entirely to themselves, parents will dive into helping you with one last task, and you can let them! This task will be most likely be moving you into your new dorm room and helping you to get settled. As a reflection of your new found independence, take a step toward individuality and strive to look for dorm pieces that are out of the ordinary. Break the mold of the stereotypical “one stop shop” dorm room. Make your room the envy of your friends by blending function with fun and college with chic!
Most dorm rooms will provide you with a set of furniture that will match everyone else’s in your hall (and probably will seem like a color that won’t match anything) but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your room a haven from stressful days and THE spot that everyone will want to crash in. Here are some suggestions on how to transform your 120 square-foot rectangle living space into a decorated dorm room that you will never want to leave.
1. Wall Accessories: Bland, blah, and boring. One day schools will realize that stark white walls are not the way to go in small confined places (or so we hope), but until that day, it is our job to transform the space with wall accessories! Artwork and prints pose as a great alternative to paint for covering large amounts of wall space and can also be found at very reasonable prices. Try mixing printed quotes in with other prints for a change of pace and never stray from a mixture of color, black, and white. A good gallery wall will incorporate pieces in a
variety of sizes, along with pops of color to add personal flare. Don’t be afraid to hang some personal sketches or paintings that you might have accumulated over summer when you felt the urge to be “artsy.” Artwork is not the only wall accessory that can bring life to an otherwise dead-looking wall. Look for versatile pieces that can be reused over the years. Pro tip: gold adds a touch of elegance.
2.Pillows/ Rugs: People stress over finding the perfect comforter/ duvet for their twin extra long bunk, but what many people don’t realize is that a simple duvet can easily be dressed up with the right pillows. Adding pillows to your bed will help personalize its trite dorm-room nature and instead, make it your very own. Stack them on in all colors and sizes, prints and patterns, to create a comforting space that you will be able to melt into during a Netflix binge. Purchasing a large quantity of pillows may seem excessive, but keep in mind that larger pillows can be thrown on the floor and used as a small pouf when friends come over. This brings us right into our next topic: rugs! Comfort is all I can say here. You may be drawn to the intricate pattern of one rug, but if it’s not something you can see yourself laying on through out the day, don’t purchase it! Opt for something with a subtle pattern that you wouldn’t mind walking on your bare feet with, like a causal throw from Jonathan Adler!
3. Desk accessories: A small and restricted desk space makes it easy to fall into a habit of cramming objects anywhere they will fit, encouraging clutter. Fight this problem with streamlined desk accessories that look so nice, you may even want to do your homework, just so you can admire your oh-so-studious looking surroundings. Snazzy scissors, acrylic trays, and a Kate Spade pencil case will do the trick! Make sure to include a set of cards for when you and your best friend decide to communicate as pen pals, and need to send out some reminders of how much you miss each other, snail-mail-style. Scatter other surfaces with picture frames filled with snapshots of friends and family from home to help remind you of your former life.
4. Lighting: All of the great decor that took you so long to color coordinate among furniture and accessories would be a waste if it not illuminated in the right way. In addition to the stark walls, dorm room lighting is a serious design problem as well. Squeeze in lamps (or plug in sconces if you’re feeling adventurous) anywhere you can to help deter complete reliance on the universal overhead lighting that will surely make everything in your room suddenly become unbearable. Despite the lack of a year-round Christmas, Christmas tree lights are a great source of lighting that will work in conjunction with your lamps, providing the dim, but still well lit, living area that you envisioned.
For the final touch on your subtly chic dorm room, light one of your favorite candles (shhh… no one will tell the RA). Have a couple new scents on hand, but start off with a familiar one that will remind you of home. This will help to aid your transition into your new space by emanating a small but distinguished homely comfort. It may seem like a daunting task at first as you transition into a new and independent lifestyle for the first time, but having a room that you will enjoy coming back to after a long day will make all the difference!