Moving into your dorm room is one of the most exciting parts about starting university life. Your living space is your blank canvas – a chance for you to impress all the new people you’ll want to invite around. But it’s often too easy to conform to conventional ideas of what your place should look like. Why not show how unique you are? These unconventional dorm room ideas can help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Decals/Stickers on the wall
Leaving your walls bare will make your room feel empty and uninviting. While everyone else is desperately covering up the white space with the posters sold on campus, you can invest in decal stickers and murals.
Not only do you look ultra-modern by staying on-trend with the minimalist style, but you can enjoy a wider choice of stickers that suit your tastes. Just make sure they’re removable – you don’t want to get in trouble with your university’s accommodation services!
A passion for travelling isn’t just for Journalism students. If you’re still a fan of large patterns to cover up those big blank walls, skip the bohemian tapestry and opt instead for posters of maps.
The cream paper of older-looking maps ensures a soft, dreamy aesthetic for your room. Tacking on pins to the places you’ve already visited can also be a great conversation starter for anyone wandering by. The bigger, the better!
3. Hanging photos
Carrying the memories of good times with good people requires a lot of printing, and the Polaroid collection is a tried-and-tested centrepiece in any dorm room.
But who says you have to follow convention? If you’re up for a crafty solution, you could try dangling them from your walls instead. Secure your photos in a frame and let them dangle from a ribbon, just high enough that you can still see your loved ones’ faces.
Plants have become the trendiest thing to buy right now. Their easiness to cultivate means houseplants have become exceptionally popular in recent years – especially for busy students who need to give their study space some TLC. Small plants are available to buy at most outlets, and bookstores are providing plenty of how-to guides for looking after them.
If you don’t trust yourself with the responsibility of looking after another living thing, fake plants are just as popular – and they look just as convincing. Buying larger houseplants as well as smaller ones will make your space look busy in the best way – a surefire way to look unique amongst emptier-looking dorm rooms.
5. Washi tape
As a durable and easily removable alternative to Sellotape, Washi tape is quickly becoming known as the student’s best friend. It comes in countless colours and patterns to suit anyone’s tastes.
As well as holding up posters, you can use Washi tape to decorate plain surfaces, sprucing up your dorm door or shelving that would have otherwise cheapened the look of your room. As long as you have enough tape, a pattern in your head, and plenty of focus, you can create something beautiful out of something ordinary.
While everyone knows that a good duvet can make or break a sleeping space, not everyone is aware of the extra benefit cushions can bring. Selecting the right cushions that match your dorm room’s accent colour will elevate your slumber space to a new level of amazing.
The more cushions you add, the comfier your bed will be – but don’t let them clash with your duvet, and diversify the colour scheme with neutral tones so you won’t be overwhelmed. Soon, everyone will want to lounge on your bed!
7. Fairy light jars
Whether they’re there to help you feel good during a little ‘me time’, or to enjoy the company of new friends or a partner, fairy lights are an essential feature for creating special memories at university. However, they can be a nuisance to string up: sometimes you don’t have enough surfaces to hang them from, and finding long enough fairy light strings is like finding a needle in a haystack.
By putting your fairy lights into a glass jar or bottle, you get all the joy of owning twinkly lights without sacrificing your lower back muscles or your patience.
8. Lounge chair
Separating your sleeping space from your study space is a helpful way to get a better night’s sleep, and there is no one who benefits more from this advice than students. If decorated right, your dorm room can help you divide your time properly between work, play and rest. Having a lounge chair in which to relax, read and work means your bed can be used for its real purpose.
Your one-on-one chats with friends will benefit, too, from providing your friend with somewhere proper to sit. Relaxing never looked so good.
9. DIY projector
If the blank wall opposite your bed is large enough, you could put that Netflix subscription to good use and buy a portable screen projector. Besides, what better way is there to show off your dorm room than with a movie night? As a surefire way to attract new people, and a great way make good conversation with people who share your interests, you can be the talk of the university just by pressing ‘play’.
While this requires a bit more of a hands-on approach, installing a hammock in your dorm room may just make you the coolest person ever. A hammock inside your dorm room will provide a much-need space to get away when uni life gets too much. If you still use it while stressing over your imminent assignment, then at least you can look extremely cool while doing it.