by Jessica Newlin
Ah, the dorm room, home sweet home. If you are in the freshmen quad, the walls are cement blocks painted over in white. If you are in Estes or Javis, each room has that awkward shelf that gets in the way of white/tan walls. All the furniture (beds, desks and dressers) are a light brown wood. The floors are either a shade or brown or green or carpet. The closets are open, so everything you put in there is for anybody in your room to see. Instead of hoping for a dorm room remodel (HGTV, we're looking at you), there are a couple things you can do to make it more appealing. When thinking about making your dorm more homie, there are a couple things that are not allowed:
- We are not allowed to have candles.
- We cannot nail anything to the walls.
- We cannot paint any piece of furniture.
- We cannot permanently change anything in the room.
- We cannot paint the walls.
- We cannot move beds, desks or dressers to the basement (unless a loft is purchased).
If you're a girl, here's a couple things you can do:
- Discuss bedding with your roommate! Your bedding can dictate the whole decor or colors you will use for you room. For example: zebra print. I have zebra bedding, and so does my roommate, and we both have an accent color of pink. This will allow us to expand on our decor with those prints & colors.
- Cover your closet. Use a bathroom rod to place within the space with either a shower curtain or an actual curtain. Now, everything you have in there will be covered, but can still be easily accessible. For example (going along with the zebra theme): I would choose either a sheer curtain that is black or pink, and my roommate would either choose the same color or the opposite color.
- Buy hooks that stick to the walls & come off at the end of the year. These can be found at any store, especially during Back to School sales. Add a fabric message board to your wall -- I have a zebra print one. The board allows you to post reminders, display pictures, attach birthday cards or love letters.
- Buy lamps. Everyone knows the lighting in our rooms isn't top notch, and sometimes it's hard to read your textbook. Buy a desk lamp and a tall lamp for the rest of the room. I have a short zebra print lamp, and my roommate could have tall pink one.
- Give yourself some space. The best way to create space in those oh-so-small rooms is to bunk the beds. Some people don't like climbing all the way to the top after a long night of partying, but it frees up half the room & you won't feel crowded anymore.
- Cover those floors! Carpet isn't that expensive, but make sure it matches your decor.
- Use the shelf to your advantage. Some people use it for practicality (place books, movies, CDs, coffee maker, microwave), but it can be used for decor. Split it with your roomie and make it your own. Place trophies, medals, awards or memories so when someone walks into your room, they know what you're all about.
- Stack your microwave on your mini-fridge. What to do with some extra room? Add a couch or a chair to lounge in!
- Place curtains in the windows. Using the same technique as above, but be VERY careful. Radiators are under the windows and during the winter, they can get really hot. If you want curtains that bad, make sure they don't touch the radiator!
- Store things. There are boxes that can be used as decoration or as chairs, but are empty on the inside. They come in different kinds of colors and prints and are great if you need extra space.
- Create a frame around your mirror with a ribbon. Choose a ribbon that matches your decor and place it with sticky tack. Voila!
- Buy hanger drawers. They will save you tons of space in your closes to put shoes or clothes in.
- Decorate your ceiling with your fave quotes. You can buy wall vinyls at any major store such as Meijer or Walmart in the decoration section.
And whether you're a guy or a girl, buy a wall flower from Bath and Body works! Plug it in, and your room will smell amazing for weeks!
Guys, here are some things you can do:
- Be tasteful! I am sick of walking into guys rooms and seeing they have posters of half naked girls. That's not decorating.
- Keep the beer/liquor to a minimum also. (Or at least keep it out of sight!)
- Chat with your roommate about your favorite teams. If you like the same sport, which is likely as teams are usually roomed with each other, but like different teams, decorate your rooms as if the teams are at war.
- However: don't get bedding that has your team logo on it. Your room will look too busy, and therefore smaller. Use a plain color from your sports team.
- Into cars? Maybe your roommate is too. The shelf can be used to line up different cars. My brother used to buy kits that allowed him to put together and paint the cars himself. It can be a hobby, and a place to display them after.
- Bunk your beds. Guys like video games. Have all the guys on the floor over and fill up the space freed up from bunking the beds.
- Use a carpet that is plain and goes with your sports decor. Add a couch and chairs that compliment it.
- Mainly though, most men don't take the time to decorate, which is fine, but you have to make sure your room is clean and smells all right. That means dirty clothes = in the hamper. Gotta impress the ladies.
With these tips, I believe you are going to enjoy your room (& may actually want to spend time in it!) with all your friends.