By Karaline Harrell
Decorating a dorm room allows students to express their individuality, but still make functional use of a small space.
On campus residents have rules on what they can do to their rooms, but with careful planning, students can make their home away from home comfortable and practical.
Below are 5 easy steps to personalize and make the most out of living in a dorm.
Talk with a roommate: Before rushing out to buy every dorm furnishing Target has to offer, get in touch with roommates to avoid doubling up on items. Sophomore Shelby Frauenberger coordinated with her roommates in order to save money.
“We talked a lot about who was going to buy what. It’s so much easier than having two of everything. Just make sure you talk about who will get what when you move out,” said Frauenberger.
Stay in touch over breaks to know what additions will be made to the room after coming back to school.
Utilize the space: Dorms are not the most spacious living arrangements. Before making any purchases, consider how much space it will take up. Fraunberger suggests only using one mini-fridge to save space. With on campus meal plans and very limited options to cook in the rooms, one refrigerator is more than enough.
Consider alternate uses for typical dorm room items. For example, hang an over-the-door shoe rack in the bathroom to store supplies. Slide the dresser provided by housing underneath the bed. Simple ideas can save space and make your belongings more accessible.
Pick a color scheme: Not everything has to match perfectly, but deciding early on a few basic colors can make any room look put together with minimal effort.
“I really like darker blues and greens. Start with neutral colors. After that you can pick an accent color or something to make the room brighter. Get maybe gray curtains, but have a bright red rug. Just don’t clash with your roommate,” said Frauenburger.
By picking simple tones but having a few items that are stronger, a room can look effortlessly coordinated.
Be frugal: Having a personal living space does not require lots of cash. Ornelas Resident Lizzy Dieterich shared how to decorate while on a budget.
“Definitely look at thrift stores for picture frames that you can paint and decorate yourself. I got a lot of stuff shopping in the dollar section at stores. It’s so much easier to buy things on sale,” said Dieterich.
Get creative: Doing projects such as painting or making picture collages will make a dorm room homey and personal.
“As soon as I found out I was coming here I stayed up all night coming up with ideas of how to make my dorm look awesome. I’ve lived in the same house all my life, so having a new dorm would kind of give me a fresh start to do whatever I want with my room,” said Dieterich.
Before making any major decorating changes to a room, consult the housing handbook to avoid fines.