Dorm decorating can be a struggle – what with all the restrictions res gives you. You can’t put nails in the wall, candles are a no go, and the rooms are – let’s be honest – kinda bleh. I’ve lived in residential units that have lime green doors, cinder-block walls and muddy, flat-pack wardrobes. These are the eight golden rules that will brighten up your dorm!
1. Rugs, Rugs, And More Rugs
Icky carpet that has been lived upon by hundreds of students before you is a huge turn-off. Lucky for us, rugs exist to save our feet from touching old carpet, and our eyes from seeing it!
There are many trends around to suit just about any style you like – shag, faux fur, jute, you name it! You can get them on the cheap from ‘K-Mart’, or splurge by checking out local furniture stores! Pick up certain colours, Aztec prints, florals and fringes, and lay them down on their own or in layers.
Rugs can guarantee you a completely new vibe for your dorm!
2. Plants, Especially If They’re Fake
The fake plant can be a busy uni students best friend! They need no love, no water, attention or sunshine, which means they can survive all the neglect you could throw at them.
If you’re up for real plants too, you can try your hand at it! Just be sure you pot them in something that doesn’t have a drainage hole on the bottom of it, or you might find yourself with a mouldy bit of carpet or corner of desk come the end of the year.
Adding some plants into your space introduces colour, and they have been linked to having health benefits.
As it is, these little beauties are everywhere at the moment!
3. Desk Decor Is A Must
Run down the streets and grab a few boxes, a cup for your stationery, and some bookends for your textbooks. Having an organised desk will legitimately change the way you study!
There are many options around that will help you organise your desk and keep it stylish at the same time. Gold tones are in, and you can never go wrong with sleek black book organisers. Accessorise it with some colourful pots, a desk lamp, and you’ve got a productive work-space waiting for you to smash at that essay.
4. Sticky Hooks And Posters
While your uni might not let you hammer nails into the wall, it doesn’t mean that the plaster won’t have some holes beaten into it already! Uni life is rough, and often times, the dorm room walls reflect this with marks, peeling paint, and unfortunate gaps.
Thankfully, sticky hooks exist. While they might not be able to hold a lot of weight, they are perfect if all you want to hang is a lightweight poster over any imperfections on the walls.
5. Fairy Lights, Everywhere
Fairy lights are light enough to be held up by a few temporary hooks, and can transform the lighting the room. If you’re looking for something whimsical, these could be an option for you!
If lighting is your concern, you are usually welcome to change the colour of the globe in your room – or else opt for your own lighting. Not only are fairy lights an option, there are other thread lights that may be shaped like vintage bulbs, flamingos, and butterflies!
If you prefer something more industrial, consider a bright desk lamp, or – if there’s room – a metal floor lamp.
Adding and changing the lighting in your dorm room can brighten the darkest spaces!
6. Lots O’ Cushions
All rooms need colour, no matter how minimalist you are. There is such a thing as too much white, and if you want to avoid having a doctor’s office for a dorm room, you gotta get dorm decorating with some cushions!
It’s an easy way to add colour and texture to any space, and lots of it! Too much white is a design no-no, but is there such a thing as too many cushions? We think not.
7. Big, Big Beanbags
Common areas are commonly filled with mess – let’s be real. Eighteen-year-olds don’t really know how to clean up after themselves. While you’re figuring out adulthood and living with other people, there is something that can make your room more accommodating to yourself and to other people.
If you’re looking for a comfy way of dorm decorating, the beanbag is definitely for you. You can go patterned, fluffy, linen – there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.
8. Move It Around
If you walk into your room and feel your mood sink – you might just need a simple refresher. To get you looking at your room with fresh eyes, move the furniture around!
Of course, you usually have to move it back to it’s original place come the move-out date at the end of the year, but worry about that then! When you’re spending large amounts of time in a room that is both your study, bedroom and living area, it’s important it feel functional for you.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Dorm decorating is about creating an environment that is fun and relaxing, and that means something different for everyone!