Let's face it, dorm rooms are mostly utilitarian. They're usually sparse, bland, and dated. Not exactly the kind of place anyone would want to spend their time, for sure. How do you take a crap-tastic dorm room and turn it into someplace you want to be? Here's a few easy tips to make it a little closer to home:
Tip #1: Look for Multifunctional Pieces
One of the biggest issues in dorm rooms (you know, besides the complete lack of personality) is space. While it might not seem like a huge consideration, having more space can open itself up to a lot more possibilities and make the space not only feel bigger, but also a lot more like home.
When you're looking to stretch space, look for:
- Ottomans that have hidden storage, or
- Oversized, stuffed ottomans that double as seating
- Futons or other convertible bed-types
- Coffee tables and end tables with shelves underneath for storage and display
- Stackable furniture (small tables or stools that can be stacked to create shelves)
The more purposes a piece serves, the more useful it becomes!
Tip #2: Loft Bed
Speaking of multifunctional pieces and making space, simply lifting your bed into the air can free up an entire wall's worth! By putting your bed on a loft, you can create a seating area underneath with a small couch, comfy chairs, or some of those stacking stools mentioned above.
You can also turn that space into the perfect study nook with a desk, chair, and charger set up for your computer without it being uncomfortably cramped.
If you already have a bed and you just want to get it in the air, you can buy loft kits that use a wall as an anchor and lift your bed right off the ground.
Tip #3: Change the Mood Lighting
Instead, find some softer lighting options: small lamps (or lamps you can hang on the wall sconce-style, even better!) or flameless candle sets can create a much more inviting atmosphere and feel a lot more like home. Don't be afraid to experiment with different bulbs and lighting options until you find the right combination for your space.
Tip #4: Invest in a Decent Rug
Dorm room floors usually consist of one of two things: hard tile/wood or old carpet. Either way, not exactly the most comfortable or most welcoming thing for your feet. Investing in a rug that you like, both for the way it looks and the way it feels, can go a long way for any room that needs a better floor.
Find a rug that mostly fills the space, leaving just a little bit of room at the edges, and look for something that will last and something that you genuinely enjoy (after all, you'll probably be looking at it for a while!)
It's amazing what this one little thing can do for a space with a bad floor, but you'll be glad you made the investment in the long run.
Tip #5: Don't Underestimate the Value of Art
Whether it's your favorite pictures from home arranged in an artful wall of frames or your favorite paintings, prints, and posters on full display, having something with personality on the wall will absolutely bring your space back to the kind of place you can spend your time in. There are so many options: frames, photo boards, wall art, wall clocks, posters, even hand-made washi tape designs have made an appearance.
Don't forget accessories, too; from throw pillows and blankets to tablecloths and coasters, this is the perfect place to display the things that make you happy, and the value in that is priceless.
Tip #6: Bring Some Nature Inside
Don't be afraid. Though taking care of a plant can seem a little intimidating in a dorm, there are a lot of plants that are extremely easy to maintain (see also: cactus!) that will bring some much-needed freshness and life into your new space.
You don't need anything too complicated, and if you aren't exactly sure what to get, visit a local nursery and ask for suggestions for the easiest plants to care for in a home (believe me, someone there is waiting for someone to ask this question!).
A little goes a long way, and just that little bit of freshness on a gloomy day can make a big difference.
The important thing is to make the space your own. It's your home, even if it's only temporary, so make it as enjoyable as you can!