When you first get your assignment for your dorm, and you finally get your key on the first day, your mind is full of ways you’re going to decorate your dorm room. You want Christmas lights twinkling above your bed, mason jars for your pencils and pens, and a pretty comforter for your lofted dorm bed. But then you walk in, and you finally remember what it is you forgot about dorms. They’re awful. Dorms are small, cramped, and dark. While the only thing that can permanently fix this is to move, there are many ways to trick yourself (and everyone else who comes in) into thinking that your dorm room is a perfectly livable space that you can call home.
1. Play around with the lighting
The harsh fluorescent lighting of a dorm room can make the room seem impersonal and almost industrial, which is why Christmas lights are becoming a dorm room staple. A string of lights won’t only fix the lighting dilemma, but more light will make the room seem larger. Also, if you’re fortunate enough to have a large window, be sure to keep your window open and utilize the natural lighting that nature provides!
2. Go for light colors
Darker colors make rooms seem smaller while brighter colors make rooms seem larger. The off-white walls that you walk into make you dorm room seem dull, but a little color can fix that and open up your room immediately. Use Wallpops or other removable wall decals to brighten up the walls or try buying a brighter comforter. While dark colors are okay for accents, be sure not to overuse them.
3. Add more mirrors
Once you have the lights up, mirrors, or any type of reflective surface, are the perfect next step. These will bounce the light around the room and create the illusion that the room goes on forever (when, in reality, it’s the size of a shoe box). Placement and size of the mirrors are key. The bigger the mirror the better, and be sure to place them where the most light will be reflected off of them.
4. Watch out for clutter
The biggest way to make a room seem small is to clutter it with unnecessary objects. Don’t drag a ton of items that you won’t need into your dorm room. Leave extra chairs, tables, etc. at home, and make sure that anything that you do bring can be folded up and placed in your closet or under your bed.
5. Loft your bed
If you can, set your bed to one of the higher settings. If your bed isn’t adjustable, you can buy bed risers and place your bed on those with a bit of help. This makes it possible to place smaller pieces of furniture, such as your dresser or mini-fridge, under your bed. This way, you can have more open space in your dorm room. Bonus points if you hang up a cute bed skirt or curtain underneath.
6. Compact and multifunctional furniture
An ottoman is the perfect type of extra furniture to have in a dorm room. Not only can you take advantage of the storage aspect by shoving extra items into the center, but they can be used as an extra table or chair when needed. When not being used, it can either be stored away or used as a step stool to reach the top shelf of your closet or get on top of your lofted bed. Foldable, decorated chairs are another option. While they don’t have another use, they can easily be stored in the back of a closet with minimal space disruption. There are a million and one Pinterest tutorials on how to dress up a metal folding chair, and every one of them will lead you to a good place.
Feature image source: blog.dormify.com