Before I point fingers, I’ll be the first to say the walls of my dorm room are a little lackluster. My roomie’s side is great–I need to pick up the slack. Could your room use a face lift, too? You don’t need endless time and money to make your space look more “you” – truthfully, you (and I!) just need to stop procrastinating and put in the small effort necessary to make a foreign place home for a year. I know if you haven’t decorated your walls yet, that probably isn’t enough to convince you. I’ll make it easier: here is some guidance to transform your dorm room, broken down into three projects you can attack one weekend at a time.
3. Don’t forget the main feature – The first thing your eyes probably pick out in a bedroom is, well, the bed. That’s why I’ve included this as the third most significant thing to consider when revitalizing your dorm. If the bed looks drab, chances are it’ll affect the way you and others perceive your room. Vibrant colors and interesting patterns really showcase your bed set. You can also purchase a couple throw pillows and quilts to layer over it for extra style and comfort. Shop places like PBteen and Cost Plus World Market.
2. Get creative with wall decor – The second biggest contributor to the mood of your room is the walls. Having completely barren walls can make your dorm seem cold and uninviting, especially if they’re of the standard off-white or yellow variety ubiquitous on Duke’s campus.
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of paper posters, so to deck out your place in style I challenge you to up the creativity. For example, I hung a wooden cork board onto which I assembled an array of inspirational fashion pictures and fortune cookie quotes I kept. It’s a fun decoration that’s also a little more personal. For an easy way to glamorize your wall art, you can always frame it. This makes it look a little more “home-y” and a little less “dorm-y.” Craft stores like Jo-Ann’s may carry chic poster frames.
1. Optimize your furniture layout – This one can be tough, but in my opinion it makes the single most dramatic impact on how your place looks and feels. I saw my dorm room last year when it was occupied, and I thought I was moving into a small box with little floor space. Turns out the previous tenants were just messy (I know them, so it’s okay). This year, my roommate rearranged all the furniture during move-in. I couldn’t believe it was the same floor plan – it looked like a new room, and the people who saw the room the year before commented the same thing. So, make good use of the space you have, even if it’s tight. You can request to have your bed lofted (see, you don’t even have to do the work!), use shoe/clothing organizers, and take advantage of wheeled and stackable storage bins.