One of the most fabulous parts of going to college is also the most often forgotten: the ability to customize your dorm room or living area so that it’s completely your own. Just think about it: you have an entirely blank slate, walls that are begging to be covered, and dorm room supplies that are waiting to be chosen. The possibilities are endless and it’s your first time to break out and show the world your personality as soon as they step into your room.
So what do you do? Well, first of all, pick a theme or color and stick to it. It’s tempting to run out and buy posters of all your favorite bands, movies, or supermodels, but the clash of posters on your wall may actually make your dorm real feel cramped, busy, and stressful—not great for studying. If you choose one particular inspiration, like music, then you’ll have an easier time focusing on items to choose to decorate your dorm room.
Colors should be pretty easy to settle on. Pick something that makes you feel energetic, or choose the colors of your favorite sports team. These colors will give your room a put-together, cohesive feel, even on days when you feel like you’re running in a million directions at once. Pick up dorm room supplies, like lamps or towels, that match this color. Don’t go overboard; if you settle on orange, then use enough of the color so that people can spot the theme, but don’t use so much that they feel like they’re walking into a furnace. It can often help to use a second, less prominent color to complement or offset the first.
Finally, choose one element or piece of furniture and make it the central focus of the room. For example, a customized beer pong tables be a clever, humorous way to reinforce a theme, but they’ll also make your dorm room the most popular one on your hall. If you live in a fraternity house or other house where you and your friends are sharing a common space, these tables can be a great addition to a basement or living room. And they’re downright cheap, too.
So there you have it. Follow a few easy tips and your dorm room will be brighter and more welcoming. More importantly, it will be the place where you—and your hallmates—will want to be.