In a dorm, the bed is the largest item in the room and usually has multiple purposes beyond supporting your slumber. These can range from a couch to desk to occasionally a table. Choosing bedding that reflects your personality, won’t drive you to distraction during enforced study sessions and is sturdy enough to handle college life and repeated washings is a big order but one worth the effort.
Privacy can be an enormous issue when dealing with roommates whether you’re living with your best friend since grade school or a veritable stranger that the dorm managers assigned to you. Even if you get along famously there will be times when you need your own space so you may want to consider adding some screening around your bed. Choose something simple such as a beaded curtain or even a printed flat sheet that can be strung up, hospital-room style, around your bed when the need for solace beckons but can be opened when you’re ready for company. A simple tri-folding screen is another easy, compact solitude solution that can be stored under the bed or leaned against the wall when you don’t need it. It can also function as a message center and art/photo gallery with some cork squares for tacking notes to. Add some simple metal sheets that you can buy at a crafts store and you’ve got a magnetic memo board. The possibilities are endless. Consider the light when choosing a privacy solution. Do you want to block all the light or just some? The answer to that question will dictate the material choice of the screen.
The miniscule living space that you’ll be occupying demands smart storage. A small space, no matter how clean, still looks cluttered and dirty with knickknacks, clothes, shoes and books piled and scattered everywhere. Create a sneaky storage spot next to your bed by stacking a couple of wooden storage crates and then covering them with a cloth to hid them. Voila! you’ve just created a spot to store your books, midnight snacks or other bits and pieces while also making a spot to perch your alarm clock, small calendar and a favorite picture.
Throw rugs to warm up the floor both visually as well as for your tootsies. Choose one that compliments the color and style of your bedding and has a great texture. You’ll be grateful every time you hop out of bed.
Purchase color-coordinated necessities, i.e. lamp, laundry bag, comforter and add a complimentary poster for a pulled-together look.
Personalize you space with wall decals that are easy to apply, temporary and won’t cause wall damage which you’d be fined for when you move out.
If you’re bringing a lamp with a boring shade, swap it for one with more personality or simply dress up the existing shade with ribbon or decoupage photos or fabric onto it.
Make your own memo board out of a plain purchased cork message board. Paint the frame in a color that coordinates with the rest of your stuff. You can also spray paint the cork or for a fun treatment cover it with a layer of coordinating, patterned tissue paper using spray adhesive. The pattern will disguise the thumbtack holes and is another way to personalize your space. And speaking of thumbtacks, don’t ignore their decorative possibilities. Why settle for boring push pins when you can find (or make) tacks that suit your design style.
A few sentimental photos from home, all housed in matching frames create a unified look. If you’ve taken a photography class, frame some of your best prints for a personalized touch. The key words here are “a few”. Typical dorms are fairly space-challenged and cluttering a small space with a lot of little knick knacks will just make it look cluttered and even smaller.
Mirrors reflect more than just your face. An inexpensive, full-length mirror mounted on the back of a door will reflect the light in the room creating a brighter atmosphere. They will also visually increase the size of the room. If the mirror is mounted on the main door of your dorm room, it’s perfectly positioned for a last-minute spot check before you leave for the day to make sure you’re perfectly coiffed, appropriately attired and ready for the day. A second smaller mirror beside your bed will give you another spot to primp if you’re living with a bathroom hog (and who isn’t?) Editor’s Note: Mirrors will also reflect your housekeeping skills. A tidy room is a pleasure to look at and live in but reflected slobbery is discouraging and unhealthy in both mind and body so keep things clean