Decorate your dorm to feel at home

By Zila Renfro

One of the college rites of passage is turning half of a tiny barren room into your personalized home for the next nine months. 

As many fun opportunities as there are to go out and explore campus, a lot of your time is going to be spent in your residence hall dorm. Whether studying, snacking, napping or hanging out with new friends, it is always nice to look around your dorm room and feel at home.  

The decorations you choose are the best way to create a space that represents you. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for sprucing up your newest abode.

Avoid blank walls

Blank walls are the epitome of drab rooms. Nothing enhances a dorm as quickly as getting rid of the blank white space on the walls. 

There are many options from which to choose to cover the dullness. As painting walls is forbidden per University policy, many people opt for posters of their favorite celebrities, bands or movies. 

The Illini Union Board hosts an annual poster sale each semester if you forget to bring your own. Other cool alternatives are deco wall art (sold at retailers like Walmart and Target), decorative bulletin boards, or picture displays. 

The more space covered on your wall, the less it resembles a prison cell and the more it feels like home.

Put up photographs

What better way to remind you of home than to put up photos of your friends and loved ones? Pictures and picture displays make the best decorations because they tell a personal story your other decorations cannot. 

Plus, in the age of Facebook and Instagram, it’s nice to get physical copies of your photos. Gather your favorites in a folder on your computer and send them to a photo-printing service (like the Walgreens on Green Street). 

You can also print your favorite quotes or movie posters on photo paper to take your collages to the next level.

Choose bedding wisely

There are other spots for studying, eating and hanging with friends on campus, but sleeping will be done in your dorm. 

Choosing a nice mattress pad and comfortable bedding is a good investment. This way you can get just as good a night’s sleep as you can back home. 

Furthermore, visually, your bed takes up a good chunk of your room. When you choose your bed sheets and comforter, in addition to thinking about its comfortability, consider its decorative value. 

Bedding is a staple, and the patterns and colors will add to your room’s overall atmosphere, so don’t choose something on a whim that you might regret later.

Opt for a rug

Although bare floors may be easier to clean, a rug of some sort is highly advisable. The color or pattern is a decorative asset to your room, and having a soft place for your feet adds a coziness that will make you feel more at home. 

Carpeting is available for purchase in some residence halls, but if you check your room’s measurements online, you can find adequately sized rugs at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond that are cheap, easily cleaned and can be disposed of at the end of the year.

Maximize sitting spaces

Rooming in a residence hall means making many floormate friends. When visitations occur, it’s always nice to have extra seating on hand. 

Beanbags, cushions and foldout chairs can add colorful pieces to your room while also serving to seat your friends when they come knocking. 

Certain ottomans can work as storage, step stools and seating. Different pillow arrangements can turn your bed into couch seating. 

Be creative, and your room will feel like home not only to you, but also to your friends.

Zila is a junior in Media.
[email protected]
Tweet: Decorating your dorm is a college rite of passage. Here are a few tips before you get started.