Whether you’re moving into college for the first (or fourth) time or just spending a season or two away from immediate family, chances are your housing situation only provides you with the bare minimum. You’re not complaining (you love the prospect of having a place of your own), but you wish there was an easy, cheap way to make your place more you. And luckily for you, you won’t need a staggering budget or a visit from The Fab Five to breathe some life into your abode. Ranging from soft to vibrant, here are 5 color palettes you can copy to elevate your whole dorm.
A Brief Intro To Color Psychology
Before giving your dorm a full-on makeover, it’s important to know your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you’re looking for when you return home after a long day. Craving a little inner peace? Go for turquoises, greens, and grays. Need a pick me up in the morning before brewing your coffee? Look for yellows, pinks, and if you can handle it, reds. Be aware that whites make your place look larker, and blacks or dark items can make it look smaller. Whatever you do, seek to create balance and a welcoming atmosphere for your particular needs.
1). Beach Sunrise
The first on our list of color palettes is perfect for those who love vibrant colors but want to create an airier, more spacious feel to their dorm room. It’s a perfect blend of warm and cool tones, just like you’d expect to find at 7 a.m. on a remote Tahitian shore. Use brighter colors, such as light robin’s egg blue or pink for your bigger items (the ones that take up more room) such as your bedding or extra comfy chairs. That way, your accent colors (try marigold yellow or soft teal) really pop, and you’re not compromising any more of your small space. We recommend going to places like Target and IKEA to get some great decor. Just remember to avoid anything too striking (like cherry red or charcoal black) to keep up this dusky, peachy aesthetic.
2). Fruit Sorbet
The six luscious shades in this palette almost look good enough to eat! If you like the combos from before but are looking for something with a bit more pizzaz, this is one of the color palettes that tastefully blends eye-catching with understated. Colors like berry and papaya yellow shine against a classic cream background, and you can play with different shades by getting solid sheets of adhesive wallpaper. Just make sure to measure your wall before, you wouldn’t want to end up with ten extra feet (or lack ten feet) of pear green walls! Since this mix is a little quirky (in the best possible way), we recommend looking at Cost Plus World Market for some eclectic, colorful pieces, or even checking out your local Goodwill (if you live near a big city, chances are you’ll find some amazing items). Next step: invite friends over for mocktails and a New Girl marathon. They’ll never want to leave!
3). Modern & Sophisticated
Maybe you’re the type of student who’s super driven, wise beyond her years, and looking for a dorm-style to complement their mature personality. Here’s where it pays to play with the classics- black, white, and light brown. To really keep this scheme streamlined, we recommend keeping most things black or white and adding a couple of peach or green accents to break up the finesse. Our trick for adding youth to this posh establishment? Go for unique or unconventional items to give your space a bit of personality. The photo below looks very minimalistic and grown-up, but it’s also appropriate for a twenty-year-old, with a floral pattern on the bed, the fluffy accent rug, and a vintage alarm clock. Try this palette out for wise and you just might be finding yourself preparing a four-course dinner and going to concerts at your local theatre. Audrey Hepburn would be envious!
4). Boho & Warm
If you like luxurious colors like reds and mahogany browns but would rather go to an indie concert than High Tea, then this palette is definitely for you. This set of colors is cultivated, but a bit more jovial than the palette listed above, and will add warmth and depth to any ensemble. To achieve a similar look to the one below, try and keep away from blacks and whites and instead go for orangey or reddish browns as your neutrals, with pops of seafoam, olive green, or ivory as your accent colors. If your budget is a bit more forgiving, we recommend checking out Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn for some wonderful bedding and furniture. If you’re watching your wallet, try looking up some less expensive dupes on Amazon (their furniture section is actually amazing). To add some rustic elements to your room, check out your antique store (or your family’s attic) for some wooden picture frames and put in some vintage prints. Now all you need is an everlasting supply of hot apple cider!
5). Eclectic Chic
If you’re the type of person who would go to a flea market and then out for ice cream just for the heck of it, you’ve likely got an eclectic style. When you come home, you’ll want a bedroom that’s as original as you are. This set is probably the most energetic of all of our color palettes, and it’ll take a charismatic individual such as yourself to rock it! Use grays and dusty blues as your base colors, but don’t shy away from rusty or warm reds, golden yellows, or even Kelly greens. Best of all, your artistic eye can totally get away with pairing patterns that otherwise might not go together. Our advice is to pair more serious patterns (like small, solid horizontal stripes), with a bold, fun pattern like big flowers. Just remember to get yourself some easy-assemble shelves for all of your books, knick-knacks, and art supplies.