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Original photo by Nicole Katz

5 Unique-ish Ways to Decorate your Dorm

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to come up with creative ways to decorate my dorm room that make it feel personal and homey.  Having a welcoming and calming living space is of utmost importance to me.  Not only does it help me cope with homesickness, having a fun and inspiring environment helps me maintain a positive mindset in general.  Although my dorm room is far from Pinterest-worthy, and I am by no means an interior designer, I have come up with a few unique-ish (emphasis on ish) ways to spruce up a small living space.  

Postcard/Art Print Wall

This year I had the, in my opinion, genius idea to decorate a blank wall in my room with a conglomerate of art prints.  I thought it would be a cute way to display some of my many interests in a fun, eye-catching collage.  Redbubble has a ton of amazing artwork from independent artists.  I purchased ten postcards that had an inspirational quote I loved, displayed one of my favorite idols (aka RBG), shouted out a TV show/movie I was a fan of, or was simply a piece of art I enjoyed looking at.  The great thing about Redbubble is that the more items you buy, the bigger the discount they give you.  I shared this idea with some friends and we all went in on an order of postcards together, giving us 20% off of our order.  It was so fun to arrange the postcards in an aesthetically pleasing way, and I am already planning on placing another order soon to expand my wall of art prints.

Cork Board Collages

Maybe I am the only one who does this, but I tend to collect random pins and stickers, and then I never do anything with them.  The pins and stickers lay discarded and forgotten in a desk drawer and are subsequently a sign of wasted potential and wasted money.  The summer before my first year of college, I pulled out all of these pins and stickers and decided that I wanted to display them in my dorm room, but I wasn’t sure how.  I eventually came up with the idea to get a 4-pack of circular cork boards from Amazon.  I stuck the pins directly into the corkboard and then used thumbtacks to attach the stickers and other random cards/art to the boards.  The cork boards turned out looking amazing, and it was a great way to make a fun collage with somewhat random things I had collected throughout the years.  Command Strips worked perfectly in attaching the cork boards to my dorm wall, and there are a lot of different ways to arrange them on a wall.  I highly recommend experimenting with cork boards as dorm decorations!

T-Shirt Blanket

This may not be a very creative idea, but I have not seen many people with t-shirt blankets in their dorms.  My mom got me a t-shirt blanket as a graduation present, and I absolutely love it.  I had so many t-shirts that were either too small or that I just never wore anymore, and making them into a blanket is a great way to give those shirts another use.  Making a t-shirt blanket can be a fun DIY project for you, or you can do what my mom did and send the shirts to an Etsy shop that specializes in making these blankets.  My t-shirt blanket is so soft, and I use it all the time, but if you don’t need another blanket, another use for it is for it to be hung as a tapestry.  A t-shirt blanket would take up a lot of space on a blank wall and would add a personal touch to your dorm.

Salt Lamp/Diffuser

There have been many times throughout my experience at college where I have been extremely stressed and overwhelmed in my dorm room.  Having a few relaxing decorations that give off zen vibes can be super helpful during those stressful times.  I have a small salt lamp on my desk and a diffuser on my dresser which both help to keep me sane when I am struggling.  My particular salt lamp has a multicolor light so it creates a very calming atmosphere with the switching colors.  I also love having a diffuser, especially since candles are not permitted, because it keeps my room smelling fresh and keeps me relaxed.  Peppermint and lavender are my favorite essential oils to diffuse when I am particularly anxious or if I am struggling to fall asleep at night.  Whether it is a salt lamp, an essential oil diffuser, or something else entirely, I highly recommend getting some decorations for your room that help ease stress and anxiety.

Magnets for your Fridge

This year, I decided to get a few magnets for my fridge and, although it is a small change, it really has made my room feel more homey and personalized.  In the past, I have felt that my fridge was the eyesore of my room.  The shiny silver finish always stuck out like a sore thumb against my otherwise bright and colorful space.  The few magnets that I put on my fridge this year have truly made a big difference in making my fridge more aesthetically pleasing and fun to look at.  Sometimes it really is the smallest changes that make the biggest difference!

Sarah Hennig

Conn Coll '24

Sarah Hennig is a sophomore at Conn who loves to read and write. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her friends.
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