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DIY Dorm Decorating Tips

When it comes to decorating your dorm room, some of you may have hatched a plan early in the summer of how you want to mold your space into the perfect home away from home. For others, the white walls might as well be a blank Microsoft document glaring at you when trying to figure out the best way to start an essay. But, (granted, I may be biased because I’m an eager interior design nerd) I don’t believe that adorning your dorm room should be difficult or stressful! Here are a few tips to get the ball rollin’ on how you can add a little flavor to your own nook of campus.

1. Mood: Are you most relaxed while sitting with friends on a sandy beach? Or what about lounging on your bed at home? I label mood as the most imperative element in creating any space, and considering your favorite places and spaces are awesome ways to figure out the vibe you want to exude. You can then take the extra step and create a mood board that you can either store in your brain or in your composition notebook.
Let’s take the beach scene for example. Turquoises and golds probably conjure feelings of being safe and carefree. Once you’ve got your place in mind, grab paint samples from the local Home Depot and/or print pictures of your favorite beach trip and compile them onto a poster board. When choosing décor to accent your room, keep those themes in mind.

For me, it was important to be surrounded by pictures of my friends and family, and things that reminded my home. So, I snagged an idea from Pinterest and created a heart of pictures on my wall and mounted a California state flag. Now, whenever I collapse on my bed after a long day of notes and professors, I instantly unwind because I am comfortable and happy in my space. The culmination of the items and hues you love will make your haven come to life, which will definitely be reassuring when you need a getaway from the tragically inevitable stress of college.

2. Price: College is an expensive time in anyone’s life, and spending the money to create a space all your own may not seem the best way to invest. But finding deals can be part of the adventure of decorating your dorm! Stores such as Target have back to school discounts, flea markets and vintage stores offer cheap and funky pieces, and even franchises like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters offer sale deals. Or you can always opt for the creative and engage in D.I.Y. project from Pinterest like I did with the photo heart!

3. Decorating: Now let’s get to the actual act of hanging things. When my mom first sent my California flag freshman year, I was so excited to hang it up, but every time I did tape would peel away from the wall, and the flag would plummet to floor. This year, I finally realized (I know, it took me while) thumbtacks would be perfect to hang it up, and now I use pins to hang up everything! They cause minimal damage unlike a nail, and can be more supportive to hang certain items in comparison to wall tape and hooks.

4. Have fun! Remember this is your opportunity to create a brand new space for your new time in college, so have fun with it! View the vacant walls as canvases full of imaginative possibility. Get inventive, try things that may be unconventional, and choose things you love because those possessions are going to be keeping you company the next year. Plus, a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or the local consignment store are ways to bond with friends or get to know your roommates!

Don’t forget to enter to win a $1000 dorm makeover through HerCampus and Our Campus Market. Check out the rules here: http://www.hercampus.com/dreamdorm
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