Dorm decor is all the rage. A simple internet search for “dorm room ideas” yields thousands of results. Merchandise retailers even will categorize their products into dorm room designs.
Tips for Decorating Your Freshman Dorm Room
How do you prepare for a new living situation with all of the decorating options available? Your imagination is only limited to your student handbook’s dorm rules. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind that will help.
1. Multipurpose Furniture
You will be spending lots of time in your new living space, and being able to feel comfortable in a tight area is key. One great way to do that is to have furnishings that can perform double, or even triple, duty. A storage ottoman can also perform as extra seating or a small cocktail table, for example.
2. Think Vertical
Another way to make your space feel bigger is by lofting your bed with risers. Many colleges offer this as an option as well. Raising the bed off the ground can create at minimum extra storage space and at best enough room for a desk or study nook.
3. Add a Mirror
One more trick to making a small space feel larger is by adding a mirror, and the larger, the better. It also will reflect natural light into more areas of the room, so it won’t feel quite so much like a small box. It’s also a great add if the only other mirror is in the bathroom, so you and your roommate can both get ready. Finally, it can double as a dry-erase board for messages or reminders. Going back to the first tip, it covers multiple purposes.
4. Change Up the Lighting
Many dorms come equipped with one bright light to illuminate the whole room, but it doesn’t lend itself to being welcoming or relaxing. There are many ways you can add lighting to a room that feels more welcoming and localized—especially on nights where your roommate wants to sleep, but you need to stay up and study—and this is an opportunity to develop your style in the room. Twinkle, or “fairy,” lights are a whimsical way to add light, and they can be strung in such a way to illuminate a small portion of the room or light a larger area. There are also types that can change color to create different environments. They also get hung on a wall, from the ceiling, or draped across other furniture, so they don’t take up much coveted floor space either.
If whimsy is not so much your style, there are many designs for bedside table- or desk-lamps. In addition to finding one that matches your style, try to find one that can do different levels of illumination. There are also some that come with USB chargers or organizational cubbies if you want something that is more multipurpose.
5. Add Some Art
Apart from any kind of design statement, art can provide many uses. It can comfort, or inspire. It can make a statement, or soothe. If you think—or know—you’ll miss home, Pinterest has a ton of ways to create a photo wall. Or maybe you want to hang a picture related to your field of study, so you can stay inspired. There are a ton of ways to decorate your walls. If you just want to cover up the white space, tapestries are an easy, and temporary, way to throw some color up on the walls.
6. Invest in Some “Permanent Elements”
Features like headboards, curtains, and rugs can transform a stark, plain room into a warm, homey space. If you really want to convert your room into a “Dorm Sweet Dorm,” try adding some of these, which may take a little more work but can pay off huge in creating a home away from home.
Headboards are a great way to add a personal touch to your room, and help your bed look and feel more inviting. Upholstered headboards also provide padding if you like to read or study in bed. If you invest in some nice sheets or a comforter, a headboard is a great way to extend the style of your bed up the wall as well.
Curtains can add privacy to a room, especially if your room is on the first floor. They also can filter the light. If you have a window that faces east, you may want to get some blackout curtains so the sun won’t wake you before your alarm does. They are also a great way to add color to a room, and their vertical lines help a room seem taller and not as cramped.
Rugs are a great way to add some style and color to a room, but they also can be multi-functional. Some dorms aren’t insulated very well or have cement or tiled floors, and a rug can help keep the room from getting too cold. Rugs also absorb sound and can add a sound buffer so music (or parties) won’t disturb others.
7. Work as a Team
You often won’t have an opportunity to pick your roommate as a freshman, so it’s a great idea to speak with them as early as possible, so you have a sense of each other’s style. You can try to combine your styles, or come up with a style that is more neutral but you both feel comfortable in. But neither of you will feel very comfortable if your boho chic is clashing with their mega sports fandom. Try creating a shared Pinterest board so you both can submit ideas and create a new style from there.
Insure Your Dorm Room with Farm Bureau Renters Insurance
You may not think you need renters insurance at your dorm, but you can protect your valuables with an affordable policy from Farm Bureau Insurance. Dorms aren’t immune to fires, floods, and break-ins, and your computer, phone, and other expensive items may not be covered under your parents’ insurance while you’re living in a residence hall. To find out more about renters insurance for your dorm, use our Agent Finder to locate an agent near you.