Select Page

College is an incredibly wonderful part of a person’s life. The opportunity to learn as many new things as possible and the amazing new taste of freedom as young people head out to live on their own for the very first time is really what’s all about. It’s also about the chance to learn to adapt to new surroundings and make the most of what they have (when what they have is sparse). It’s all a very valuable life experience.

Some people might bemoan the new accommodations when they see their dorm room. After all, it can be door after door of the same standard-issue rooms with standard-issue furniture and completely devoid of any sort of character or decoration.

However, there is no reason to get down about this. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, there are so many possible ways that a dorm dweller can customize their living space.

The most obvious piece of furniture in a dorm room is probably going to be the bed, so start there. If you really want to customize your dorm room, don’t just go for the first “bed in a bag” set you can find at Walmart. Do it if you find one that you really like, but remember you have options and you should make an active choice in what kind of comforter and bed set you to go with because it will set the tone for the rest of the room. Not to mention you’ll be looking at it every day, and night.

Unlike back home, dorm beds do not just function as beds. They also serve as your couch, the place where you study, the place where you seat your guests, and probably more than a few times it will serve as your dining room table as well. So the first key thing is to pick a bed set that has both a color scheme you love (Solid, bold colors? Black and white? Plaid or polka dots? A huge photo blanket of you and your friends or you in action in your favorite sport?), and also something that doesn’t show dirt too easily.

Next, turn your attention to your walls. Turn them into a place for art and expression. You probably can’t paint directly on the walls of your dorm room, but you can put up butcher paper to cover them completely and spend the rest of the year decorating them as you wish with drawings, inspirational quotes, and signatures, and messages from your friends and visitors that come into your room throughout the year. Mix it up with some photographs taped up to the paper too, and maybe add some word balloons on the paper for them. You can either make a progressive wall that gets added to all year, or you could make a new mural every month or every changing season. Your imagination is the limit.

For even more personality, string a laundry line on the wall or across the room and use it to clothespin up your favorite photographs or peace sign bedding. You can also use the line to pin up ticket stubs, flyers, love notes, dried flowers, and other mementos that you collect throughout the year. If you need more space, drape a few more lines from the mainline, like a rope ladder, and use those too.

Lastly, the fluorescent lighting in a dorm room can be fairly horrendous. One of the best things you can do for your room is hanging white or multi-colored Christmas lights. You can outline the walls and plug them in so they turn on when you flip on the switch. Or hang them so they dip loosely across the room and garnish them with fake plants and sheer cloth for a romantic feel. Add a lava lamp to the mix, and you will have one awesome customized dorm room.