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6 Easy Ways to Make Your Dorm Feel Like Home

Let's be real—we all know that dorm rooms aren't exactly cozy and homey the day you move in. That said, it's easier than you think to work some interior design magic, even if you've never seen an episode on HGTV. Try these easy tips to make that dorm room somewhere you actually look forward to coming home to every day. 


Pillows come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Whether you prefer faux fur, real fur, print, patterns, or solid colors, there’s a pillow for you. Put them on your bed, your desk chair, or even in a cozy pile on the floor to make your room a significantly comfier place to hang out and study.


With the hard, flat carpeting or bare linoleum flooring that many dorms have, a rug or two makes a difference. They don’t have to be big; even a small bathroom rug can make your room feel cozier. This is especially true if you want to go barefoot in a room with cold linoleum flooring.


Everyone these days has thousands of pictures saved on their phones and social media accounts, but sometimes it’s nice to have physical copies. Printed photos of fond memories and loved ones are a nice addition to any living space. You can frame them, stick them on the wall, pin them up, and get extra creative with collages. Having these photos around can help cheer you up and feel less lonely when you’re having a bad day or make good days even brighter.

Tassel Garlands

Tassel garlands are easy to make yourself and require very few materials. All you need are scissors, a piece of string of your desired length, and a tassel material of your choice. Tissue paper, yarn, and fabric work well for this. Optionally, you can use a little glue to keep your tassels in place and hang them up with a couple of sticky hooks. Here are some tutorials using tissue paper and heavy thread.    

House Plants

A few plants literally brings life into a room. Studies have shown that having plants in your home can be beneficial to your health. If you aren’t the best plant parent, succulents are a good option because they don’t need much water. In particular, air plants are great because there’s no risk of spilling soil and making a mess; you can put them pretty much wherever and just give them a spritz every now and then.


The way a room smells is as important to its atmosphere as its decorations. If you’ve ever been to college, you probably know that thick, stuffy, sometimes overpowering dorm room smell. You may not notice it in your own room, but there’s a good chance it’s there. You can combat this using air fresheners and diffusing essential oils. Of course, you should also open your window often to let your room air out (even when it’s cold outside).

People can have allergies and sensitivities to plants, oils, scents, and animal furs, make sure you check with any roommates before bringing them into your room!

Kristy Lee

Washington '20

Undergraduate at the University of Washington majoring in English and minoring in American Indian Studies.
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