The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Simple touches to make your dorm room feel like home

Adding decorations to a bland dorm room can make it both personal and comfortable.

Adding decorations to a bland dorm room can make it both personal and comfortable.

Jessica Jutzi

Jessica Jutzi

Adding decorations to a bland dorm room can make it both personal and comfortable.

By Madeline Galassi, Supplements editor

The transition from home to a dorm room can undoubtedly be challenging, and the monotonous, dull dorm rooms don’t help. From plain brick walls to old furniture, a little effort is needed to make a dorm feel like home. With a little determination, your new home can feel just as comfortable as your old one.


Decorating a wall with pictures is an inexpensive way to make your dorm feel like a familiar place. Print out pictures and find  a section of your wall to cover with all your memories. You can also get a picture printed on a canvas at your local Walgreen’s.


Translucent dorm room lighting can feel more like you’re in a doctor’s office than your room. Bringing lamps, desk lights and string lights to turn on as a substitute for the dorm lighting can help to make it feel cozy and comfortable.


Bringing small area rugs to your dorm can customize your room and change the entire feel of your living space, especially since many of the dorm’s floors are tile. Covering even a small part of your floor with a fun patterned or colored rug will help brighten up the space.


If space allows, having a futon in your room is an excellent choice. It’s great to have a space in your room for people to come and sit besides your bed, and to encourage friends and visitors to spend more time with you, and they can even sleep in your room if needed.


Hanging a tapestry on a wall is another easy, inexpensive way to change an entire dorm room. Since they take up so much wall space, they eliminate the need to invest in other wall hangings and do the job of decorating for you.

Potted plants and flowers

Investing in some potted plants (real or fake will do the job) can help immediately liven up a room. Putting them in colorful flowerpots can help you get double the bang for you buck.

Floor cushions

Floor cushions are another way to provide color to the room, while doubling as additional seating. They are also easy to store under a bed or in a closet if they need to be put away.

Removable wall decals

Removable wall decals can make your walls feel painted, but easily peel off at the end of the year, leaving your walls damage-free.

Throw pillows

Adding a few throw pillows to your couch or futon can help your bed feel more comfortable while adding decoration to the room.

Keep it organized

With such a small space to live in, staying organized is vital. Living without clutter helps your room feel more relaxed, and disorganization is a huge waste of precious space.

Although a dorm room is something that takes getting used to, there are many ways to make it your own and help you look forward to coming home at night. Utilizing one or all of these simple tricks will leave you forgetting you’re not at home.

Madeline is a junior in Media.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment