Dorm Living: How to Make the Most of Your Campus Housing

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How to decorate your dorm room to reflect your personality and style while welcoming your new friends.

Many people get their first experience living on their own in a dorm room. Unfortunately, most university-sponsored housing is a horribly bleak box with industrial paint on the cinderblock walls and rugged and durable furniture that lacks any sense of style. Not to mention the horrible carpet.

Dorm Decorating Rules

It’s exciting to live on your own for the first time, but turning a dorm room into a personal oasis can be challenging. The most important thing to know when you begin decorating your dorm is the college rules. Every campus is different, but most of them have very specific rules about what you can and can’t do to your dorm room. Learn the rules and then think of creative ways to work within the boundaries. It may seem very limiting at first but the rules are actually there to protect you from harm.

Adding Color to your Dorm Room

If your dorm allows you to paint the wall, go for it! Some dorms actually do allow you to paint your walls as long as you repaint them when you move out. It’s worth the extra effort to give your room some color.

If you can’t paint the walls, add color in other ways. Most dorms allow you to put posters or other artwork on the walls as long as you use approved products for hanging them. Instead of going the traditional route with your artwork consider canvasses with a solid color or framed swatches of fabric.

Add color in other ways with throw pillows, bright bedding, colorful throw rugs, and attractive desk supplies.

Remember to choose your colors wisely. Color not only reflects your personality but it also can affect your mood. Since you’ll be spending so much time in this small room, it’s important to select a color that makes you feel happy and energized for studying and rested and relaxed in your free time. If you can, give yourself a studying and play area and a relaxing and sleep area and add color appropriately.

Furnishings in Campus Housing

If your dorm allows you to have a loft, then do it. This gives you additional floor space and creates a dedicated sleeping area. It also gives you a more flexible floor plan and breaks up the standard dorm room box.

Check what the rules are in regards to other furnishings, replace what you can to bring more of your personality into the room. If you can add furnishings you may want to bring in more seating options for new friends. If you can’t then bring in some comfortable pillows so no one has to sit directly on the hard floor.

Organization and University Living

Keeping a dorm room looking good is similar to living in a small apartment or home. You need to be very organized to keep things neat and tidy. Search for storage containers that will hide your junk while looking attractive and bringing color into your dorm room. Add plastic wall hooks wherever necessary to hang items and prevent desktop and dresser top clutter.

If you have an exposed closet, look for a colorful fabric shower curtain to hide your clothes and give the room a little more appeal.

Dorm living is exciting, fun and stressful all at the same time. It’s important to have a personal retreat that makes you feel welcome and comforted and one that reflects your personal style.