Not enough people respect how difficult it is to turn a dorm or student housing unit into a home. If you’re looking for some new strategies or options for dorm decoration, look no further.
It may sound strange, avant-garde even, but if you’re looking for a wall hanging to get your dorm-mates talking and want to fill some wall space, you could try hitting up a local art supplies or reclaimed materials shop and see if they have any computer circuitboards. No I’m not joking. A large computer board can actually serve as a wall hanging, and the intricate design and three-dimensional nature of the components can lend a unique, abstract flair to any living space. Recycled computer boards are also fairly cheap and don’t require much upkeep or cleaning. Making an alternative use of the board as an art piece is also environmentally friendly, and if you decide you don’t want it you can send it in to a local company for recycling or just sell it off to someone else. If your dorm or housing happens to be near a shop that sells such things, possibly to local artists, give it a look. You never know what interesting new decoration options you’ll find.
If you find yourself shopping for art, furniture, or other items for room decoration, make sure to check out the local artist and artisan scene. This might be a little on the expensive side, so make sure you have spare budget before getting your heart set on anything specific. Local artisans will generally provide very unique products or local specialties that will greatly spice up the interior of whatever dorm room or student apartment you happen to be living in. buying locally made art pieces such as small statues, paintings, decorated boxes, or other small artisan goods will not only net you high-quality decorations and a memento of your time in the area, but will also support the local artistic community.
If you’re looking for places to find these locally made arts and crafts, your first resource is the internet, check out the local arts and crafts community, see who’s making and selling what, and how expensive their work usually is. Local consignment stores may also sell local artisan designs at fair prices. Another great option is to check for local events or festivals during which local artisans may set up stalls or other shops to sell their goods. You can even make going there an outing with your roommates.
Another great way to find high quality decoration options and furniture on a budget is to check out local consignment stores or thrift shops. You can find everything from random antiques to gently-used sofas at a thrift store, often at bargain prices. I once found a comfortable and good-looking armchair for like $40 at a consignment store once. Consignment stores are an absolute goldmine for neat little decorations or objects to add character to a dorm or apartment. Another great thing about consignment stores and especially thrift stores is that the items they sell are cheap. So even on the most shoestring of college-student budgets, you’ll more than likely be able to find something you think fits with your sense of interior design.
I’ll admit that gently-used and thrift-store goods might not fit with all aesthetics of interior design, but they have a charm all their own. A unique object or piece of furniture that looks like it has a history behind it can add character and depth to a living space or be a conversation starter. And let’s be real, not all of us can afford the latest and most chic decorations anyway, but a thrift store will absolutely have at least one interesting thing in your price range.
As mentioned earlier, posters, wall scrolls, or other wall hangings are an inexpensive decoration that can really add identity to a dorm or bedroom. By hanging poster and wall scroll to demonstrate your interests, you can create a cozier feel in a bedroom or dorm by lowering the amount of negative space on the walls. Wall decorations are a cornerstone of making a room feel lived-in and personal. Large stretches of blank wall can make a room feel cavernous and liminal, like the room isn’t really yours. Posters, wall scrolls, or other forms of wall art break up this emptiness, and further emphasize that a person with specific interests and tastes lives there.
If you have your own personal room or living space, you can decorate the walls with as many posters or other wall hangings as you can fit, and representing whatever interests you have. However, If you have a shared space or common area, you should make sure that wall hangings or posters there are agreed on by your roommates, just out of courtesy. If you’re into music, most music shops will have many band posters for cheap so you’ll definitely be able to find one you like.
A classic way to decorate a living space is by adding a houseplant or two, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or resources for properly taking care of them. Luckily, there is an alternative to high-maintenance decorative plants. Decorative succulents. Desert succulent plants such as small flowering cacti require very minimal attention, can be kept in very small pots, and are very hardy. Many of these succulents are quite pretty to look at too, and are often small enough to be kept on a windowsill, table, or counter. Most garden stores have at least a couple decorative cacti and succulents, and because these plants are adapted to survive for months without rain, taking care of them is a breeze.
There are a wide variety of small cacti and succulents to choose from, but choices include the Lace Cactus, a slow-growing cactus that sprouts bright pink flowers during the spring, The Lithops or “Living Stone”, a rock-like plant that blossoms in the fall and can take years to grow, and the Miniature Aloe, a hardy plant that tolerates a wide variety of light and temperature, making it excellent for beginners. If you want to add a touch of greenery and life to your dorm, don’t hesitate to add one of these little guys.
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