How to Brighten Up a Small Space

College is stressful and having a space that feels confined and uncomfortable can add even more stress to your life. A homey and personal space can make a major difference in your mental health and even your productivity. Take the time to make your space yours even if you’re sharing that space with a roommate.

Choose a color scheme picking major colors for your room makes it feel more put together and cohesive. The colors you surround yourself with have a serious effect on your moods (blue is calming, red is excited, etc.) so think carefully about what your putting in your space. Having white or cream as a base color adds light to your room and and makes it seem a lot bigger. 

Plants (even fake ones) Plants add life to your room, literally. They help filter the air. NASA recently studied houseplants and found they can filter up to 87% of air toxins from a room in 24 hours, they improve mood and productivity and they look great! If you don’t trust yourself to look after a real plant, get a fake one. Even if they don’t have the same health benefits, having the illusion of plant life in your room can still improve moods and productivity. 

Cover the Walls Walls in dorm rooms tend to be a little cell-like, so covering them in artwork and color helps make your room a more pleasant place to be. Get artwork whenever you go to conventions, festivals, farmers markets, etc. and then find their websites and social media to figure out where to buy online. Buying from local artists makes your room unique and creative, instead of the copy and paste artwork from Target. (And it’s not more expensive.)

Make it comfy Surround yourself with pillows, soft blankets and a rug. Having soft and comfortable materials makes your space inviting and turns it into a place you want to spend time in. Having a good rug covers your cold tile floor, helps keep the room warm and muffles sound from noisy downstairs neighbors. Facebook marketplace and garage sales are great places to find affordable items, especially in a college town. Meijer also sells large $25 rugs, and displays them at the beginning of the school year.

Invest in lasting pieces Your bed is the biggest thing you want to invest in. Not only is comfort important for your mental health, but when you spend your days sitting in uncomfortable class chairs and hauling around a heavy backpack, having a supportive bed will help relieve pain and discomfort. School can have lasting effects on your back, shoulders and neck so invest is a quality mattress pad and pillows to stay as healthy as possible. It is also a good idea to invest in a good comforter or a heated blanket so you stay warm in dorms that don’t allow you to control the room temperature.

School is hard, so make your space a home away from home. Facebook Marketplace, garage sales, thrift stores and sales are great ways to decorate your room on a college student budget. You will appreciate the thought you put into your room when you come home after a long day of classes and school events and get to crash into your cushy cloud bed!