Thirteen Ways to Decorate Your Dorm Room

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Fun, colorful and decorative decor spruce up the blank walls of any room and make it your own.

Haley Fuller, Class of 2022

Decorating a dorm room for the first time can be intimidating. How do you put your best foot forward for future visitors while also displaying all of the comforts of home? Having spent the past four years living in a dorm room at boarding school, I’ve compiled my years of knowledge and expertise into 13 tips for decorating a room that you’ll love.

1. Invest in Command hooks and Command strips. A lot of them. In all sizes. They can be used to hang up everything from posters and signs to jackets and towels. They are much stronger than tape and won’t ruin your walls, so you won’t be facing charges from Residential Life at the end of the year.

2. Bring or print out photos from home. Not only will they spruce up your plain white walls, but seeing familiar faces will brighten up your days and soothe your homesickness while you adjust to life away from home.

3. If you don’t want to take up valuable surface space with picture frames, use Washi tape to add a decorative frame to photos on your wall and color to your room.

4. Flags, tapestries and banners occupy large areas of space on your walls and represent your style in unique ways, making your room both colorful and special.

5. Throw pillows with bright colors and interesting patterns will make your bed both cozier and more difficult to pry yourself out of for your 8 a.m. class. 

6. For those of you who don’t like sleeping in a pitch-black room, hang up some string lights. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can get colorful lights or ones shaped like pineapples or unicorns. You can also purchase glow-in-the-dark stars and create a constellation on your ceiling. 

7. A whiteboard can be useful for writing down deadlines or genius spur-of-the-moment  ideas. You can put up a small one on your door so your friends can leave notes. Also, whiteboards can serve double-duty as a “Do Not Disturb Sign” while you are taking a much needed nap. 

8. For a touch of green in a dark room, try a plant. Succulents are great because you don’t have to water them very often, and they’ll also improve the air quality in your room.

9. Feel free to move the furniture if the layout does not work. Desks and bureaus can easily be turned. To maximize storage space, raise your bed; the dresser and other plastic storage containers can fit under it.

10. If you don’t have carpeting in your room, an area rug can provide a pop of color and some well-needed warmth when you finally get out of bed on winter mornings.

11. For extra storage that fits conveniently under or next to your bed, use stacking drawers. Their versatility makes them a great       addition to every room, especially for those who overpack.

12. Over-the-door shoe organizers will fit on the inside or outside of your door and fit everything from shoes and school supplies to toiletries and snacks. They will also free up some floor space.

13. For more intricate decor options, research do-it-yourself projects online. You can find instructions to make everything from a cardboard headboard to a shoebox movie projector.

I hope some of these tips help you create a room that you love, or at least don’t mind living in for the next nine months! 

Contact Haley Fuller at [email protected]