How To Decorate A Dorm Room

By: Amanda Gates
AB HOME Interiors

As we approach August many students are preparing to enter into their first year of college. Both an exciting and terrifying experience. On one hand you find your independence and have new found freedom, (yay!) on the other hand you have no idea where anything is and you don’t know a soul (boo!); except the weird over talkative roommate who you are about to cohabitate with for the next four months of your life. Your dorm room, while temporary, should become the most at home experience you can create. It needs to be comfortable, well lit and provide privacy.

Dorm rooms come standard with two beds, a desk and some sort of storage facility for your clothes.
dorm room

Try to split up the space as best as possible with the furniture provided. dorm room 2

1) Privacy

If the room comes with tall dressers use them around the beds so they create privacy. Also split the desks up so study time is easy to focus on without distraction. Some dorm rooms will allow you to attach things to the wall. In this case I will suspend drapery over the bed for light control and added comfort.

2) Seating

If the room allows, add a comfortable chair for reading and doing homework. Being that dorms are rarely larger than 12′ x 12′ rooms, you will want the option to sit on the bed, sit at your desk and sit on a comfy chair. A bean bag is also a great solution.

3) Lighting

This is a big one. Dorm rooms either come with no lighting or strip fluorescents, neither of which are good. Be sure to add a floor lamp, desk lamp and to create a great relaxing mood, string up lights along the perimeter of the room or along your bed to help with relaxation.

From Pottery Barn
From Pottery Barn

4) Flooring

Dorm rooms always have a poor choice in flooring options. And when it is 20 degrees outside cold tile is not welcoming. Add area rugs for color, and comfort.

5) Bedding

One of the most important factors to make you feel at home. Buy fairly good sheets, a soft comforter and a mattress pad. Add extra pillows that can be used around the room and if possible buy down fills.

6) Misc tips

As I mentioned above, most dorms do not allow you to punch holes in their walls, so purchase removable strip hangers from 3m to hang artwork, posters and mementos on the wall. Having an area to display family photos, friends and fun vacation pics are a great way to feel uplifted and happy, especially during stressful times like finals. A hot plate to warm tea, or make coffee is great to have. Always keep a piggy bank or jar close by to hold change….unless the parentals live close by, there’s a laundry mat in your future!

Get more of Amanda’s style tips on her blog. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.


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Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.