Heading to college can feel like a fresh start, but living on your own comes with a unique set of challenges. From making new friends to navigating new classes, college life can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. One way to help make the adjustment easier is to turn your dorm room into a welcoming space.
Making your dorm room your own doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. It can be done simply and on any budget. With a little creativity, you can transform your generic dorm room into a haven. I said haven, not heaven; you still have to do homework and study for your upcoming exams. With the right touches, it just might feel like a little slice of heaven, too.
Decide How You Want to Feel
If you’ve been thinking about decorating in terms of who you are as a person, scratch that! You’re just getting started in life. You have time to figure out who you are. A better question might be, “How do you want to feel?” The answer could give you a clearer idea of what you want to do with your space.
Maybe you like to feel edgy. There’s a whole world of design ideas that could include vintage rock band posters, provocative art, or bold colors. A simple perusal of Pinterest could give you a ton of inspiration.
If you want to feel serene, you might want to choose cool colors and images that make you feel relaxed — like a trip to the day spa or beach. Serene, for you, might even feel cozier, and you may choose to look for soft, plush bedding and warm lamplight. If you can find the feeling, you’ll have the inspiration.
Make a Cozy Nest
While budget can be a factor, you won’t want to cut too many corners when it comes to bedding. A decent pillow, soft blankets, and even an affordable mattress pad can turn your dorm room bed into a comfortable nest. Whether you turn in at a decent hour or not, you’ll be glad for a cozy place to rest.
Bring the Outside In
Consider adding a potted plant to your dorm decor. Finding a low-maintenance potted plant can help bring a little nature into your home, and it can even create a more welcome environment. While you might not want to create an indoor jungle, you may want to consider adding a plant or two to a desk, bookshelf, or windowsill.
There are a few low-maintenance plants you may want to consider. Aloe vera is easy to grow, and it can also double as a home remedy for sunburns and mosquito bites. Succulents, cacti, and air plants can also be easy additions to a dorm room. None of them need much care, and they also bring a cool look to your dorm.
Dorm rooms don’t always have the best lighting. Consider bringing in an extra lamp or two if the room suffers from harsh or insufficient lighting. Lights with timers can also help create a more welcoming environment by coming on when you need to wake up, being off while you’re out of the room, and being on again to greet you when you get back home.
Don’t Overlook Rugs
If you have to deal with cold tile or concrete floors, you could bring a pair of fuzzy slippers with you to college, but don’t overlook a soft rug as an alternative. Putting one down beside your bed could add a decorative and practical touch to the room. A rug is an easy, affordable way to make your room feel more like home.
Add Personal Touches
It is your room, after all. Consider adding family photos, pictures with your friends, and any other image that helps you remember your life outside of college. You could even add positive affirmations, meaningful quotes, or inspiring images to your dorm room. If it makes you feel more at home and less homesick, you’ll be glad you did.
Decorating a dorm room shouldn’t require you to take out an extra student loan or run up your first store credit card. It can be both simple and affordable. You can even add as you go, which leaves room for your style to change as you do. With a little effort and inspiration, you can make your dorm room your own.