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10 Things Every College Living Space Needs

With the beginning of every semester comes the most obsessed over and dreamed about aspect of back-to-school shopping: how to decorate your living space! Fear not, collegiettes™. In this post you’ll find everything you need to know about decorating your college dorm or apartment and making it the sanctuary you get to call home.

1. Artwork you didn’t purchase at your college bookstore or poster sale Forget about the posters of your favorite shows or actors you think are hot. Everything that goes on your walls should be a representation of yourself, of course, but it should also help you find your inner Zen. Think of it this way: you come home late looking forward to a nice, hot bath and ready to sink into a cozy bed. Waking up in the morning will be a doozy if the first thing you see is the Breaking Bad poster you bought for $5 at the poster sale. Instead of buying a poster of the cool show you watch on Monday nights, opt for a nice portrait or painting that goes with the color scheme of your comforter or duvet.

2. A place to sit comfortably Don’t choose a futon because it’s cheap or the floor because it’s cheaper. Investing in a good couch goes a long way, not just in room décor but also in any future apartments you’ll live in. IKEA and Rooms To Go offer affordable couches and love seats that can bring in a homey vibe and lively atmosphere to any living space.

3. A rug that covers up the stains Let’s face it: Not every apartment in Gainesville is brand new. That’s especially true for the dorms. Apartments usually show signs of previous tenants. Who knows? Maybe there used to be a couple jocks who didn’t care about taking off their shoes while walking around on the carpet before you. Maybe that dark stain isn’t dirt but rather wine from the group of grad students who lived there two years ago. Either way, you want to cover up any signs of your carpet being less than pristine. Look for colors that either blend in with accessories you have in your living room or a bright color that can serve as an accent.

4. A few mirrors Most apartments are small, especially if you’re living with more than one, two or three people. Adding mirrors to your home creates the illusion of more space, and who doesn’t want that?

5. Plenty of lighting. Don’t settle for the lighting that came with your new space. Buy cute, cheap lamp stands at thrift stores, and check out Target for a cute shade you can match or contrast with your bedroom or living room décor. You can also play with lamps of different heights to add dimension.

6. The perfect bedding set Choosing how to decorate your bed is probably one of the most important choices you can make in decorating your apartment or dorm. Take the “What’s your color personality?” test from Better Homes and Gardens, and decorate according to the color that best fits your personality. The bedding you choose will dictate the rest of your bedroom décor, so go for colors that work well as accents and complement each other.

7. Coffee tables to bring it all together Nobody likes to eat off a plate in their lap because there’s no table to sit around. If you can’t afford a traditional wooden coffee table, think outside of the box! Ottomans don’t have to just serve as storage. They can be used as coffee tables and work as an extra accent to your rug or couch.

8. A desk that’s for more than studying Don’t immediately think about studying when you think about getting a desk for your room. A desk can serve as more than just a place to store books, receipts and your laptop. If you love makeup, you can set up your desk to be a makeup counter or DIY vanity space. Get a mirror to hang on the wall and some storage containers to store everything in, and you’ll be set!

9. Pillows to make it cozy Extra comfort and added decoration make pillows a must-have in any living space. Not just for the couch or the bed, pillows are a cheaper alternaative that can serve as a fashion statement and catch the eye of anyone who walks into the room.

10. Cute kitchen accessories While you may not use your kitchen all the time because of the constant pull of Chipotle and all of its temptations, you will use it for something at some point, whether it’s to store plates in the cabinets or keep drinks in the fridge. If you ever have friends over, you’ll also want to have a decorative atmosphere that’ll make it feel welcoming. Pick a color scheme or theme, and run with it. Invest in matching dishtowels, paper towels, plates and cups. 

Make your apartment or dorm your sanctuary—the place you want to come home to and spend time in. Decorate to your taste, but take it slow. Don’t overcrowd your space with too many things. You want it to be soothing and homey, not busy. Happy decorating, collegiettes™!


Photo credits: Apartmenttherapy.comShutterfly.comNewlywedmcgees.blogspot.comEtsy.comBhg.com

Alexia Fernandez is a senior at the University of Florida. A journalism major, she has been interested in films, books and pop culture since she can remember. An avid film buff, she hopes to one day write screenplays, make films and tell stories through as many mediums as possible.
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