Despite rules about what you can and cannot have in a dorm room, right down to the wall hangings, there’s no reason why your dorm room can’t feel cozy and home-like. After all, it is your “base of operations” while you’re at school, the quiet space where you can relax on your own or with friends.
To make the most of a dorm room’s restorative effects, it’s essential to decorate it with things that make you feel at home and give you a sense of happiness. Whether you’re entering university or a college prep program, follow these guidelines to make your dorm room feel like home.
Surround Yourself with Pictures and Posters
When loneliness or homesickness strikes, it’s important to be reminded of the things we love and the people we care about. Fill your dorm-turned-sanctuary with posters and pictures that are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Whether it be a collage of your pets, your best friends back home, or your favorite band, these photos and memories can help you stay cheerful and can even help your roommate get to know you a little better.
The key thing is to be sure to add new photos (yes, it’s worth printing them out!) to your collage as you make new memories with your new friends. This simple act can help you feel right at home, even if the first few weeks or months are a little uncomfortable.
Have Fun with Bright Colors
Your dorm room represents an opportunity to put your personality on full-blast. Have fun with it! From your bedspread to curtains to trashcan, try not to settle for anything that is cold and clinical.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune either. For example, a metal trashcan can be spray-painted to go along with your color scheme, instantly transforming it into a decorative yet functional statement piece.
You can even make your own faux-headboard out of cardboard and fabric, covering the cookie-cutter dorm bed and making the room feel like it’s truly to your tastes.
And although you cannot add a coat of paint to the walls, you can cover them with any number of decorations. A large scarf can be hung on the wall as a decoration, or you can use colored masking tape (if allowed by your school) to create geometric designs on closet doors, for example.
Add Rugs, Throw Pillows, Poufs and Lights
Besides being a place that cheers you up and gives you a sense of ownership, your dorm room must also be comfortable and relaxing. You’ll spend plenty of time away from your dorm during the day. By the time you do return to your room, you’ll want it to be an inviting space that allows you to relax.
That means adding as many “plush” things as possible, as well as some atmospheric lighting.
A large fuzzy rug, bountiful throw pillows, a smattering of bean bags or poufs and a string of white lights will round out the cozy feeling of your dorm room. Of course, make them colorful according to your tastes! Now when you return to your dorm room after a long day, you’ll be happy to fall into a relaxing sea of comfort for a good night’s rest.
What Not to Do
It’s wise to hold off on bringing small appliances. Although these may be home-like comforts, they might be an unnecessary expense and waste of space if there is, for example, a kitchenette just down the hall. Wait a few weeks to see if you really pine for them.
Likewise, don’t pack up your entire bedroom and expect everything to fit in a dorm room. Leave some of your clothes and belongings at home, and exchange things during holidays.
Finally, don’t lock yourself up in your dorm! Be sure to get out and explore. Have fun!