Dorm Life: Grin It, Bear It or Make the Most of It
By Amanda Green
Living in a dormitory room …. What can we say? It’s part of college life. Bite the bullet, grin and bear it. You may hate it or you may love it.
There are ways to spruce up your dorm room, inexpensively, so that it doesn’t look like a cell from Sing Sing. You can not only make it livable but quite charming. Everyone will want to hang out in your room because it’s so cool looking.
Each university has very specific rules about what a student can or can’t do to his dorm room. Find out what they are before you get the paint brush out.
You are probably going to spend a lot of time in your bed. Yes, college students are often sleeping when they should be in class. (Just don’t get carried away with the snoozing or you will be a former college student before you know it.)
Because space is limited in a dorm room, you may sit on your bed when you are studying and using your computer. Invest in a nice set of sheets. Buy pretty ones. That way, when your bed is unmade (always?) the bed will still look pretty.
Sheets can be used in a variety of ways including as window coverings. Choose a design, pattern and color that enhance the room. If the room is small, which it probably will be, select sheets that visually make the room look bigger. Remember that dark colors tend to make a space look smaller while lighter colors will make it look roomier than it actually is.
Buy a reversible comforter for your bed. When you get tired of one side, flip it over and you will have an entirely different look going on. You are getting two-for-one!
Lighting is essential because you need to see all of those words that you are going to be reading. Get a desk lamp that provides task lighting. In addition to functional lighting which the desk lamp provides you can incorporate ambient lighting such as a floor lamp that provides up lighting. Pink light bulbs and other colors can be purchased and this adds to the ambience.
String some rope lights around the room and it will really look festive. Of course, once again, stay within the parameters of the university’s rules about dorm decorations. Lights can be a fire hazard so do not do anything stupid. Follow the rules.
You and your roommate or roommates are going to need to co-exist harmoniously it is hoped, in a very limited space so you must make the most of the tiny area that is your designated territory. You can store items under your bed using pop-up under-bed storage solutions. This saves space and gives you quick access to whatever you need when you need it. Get a hanging shoe organizer and hang it (and your shoes) on the back (or front) of your closet door.
Placing carpet in the room is going to make the area cozier and warmer. You and your cohorts can sit on the floor and shoot the bull or even study, comfortably. In addition to carpet there is the option of carpet tiles which are square sections that can be utilized rather than a rolled carpet. These are easy to install and easy to replace. The tiles are installed by peeling off the protective sheeting on the back of the tile which reveals the adhesive backing that sticks to the floor.
Hang a mirror on the wall. This is going to be make the room appear bigger and, of course, let you see how you look … first thing in the morning (ugh!) and last thing at night (another ugh?) Mirrors reflect light and give the illusion of there being more space than there actually is.
Add some live plants (remember to water them) and artwork – your own? – and you are going to have a rocking dorm room.
Although you may not be thrilled, at least at first, about sharing a little room with one or more roommates, you can make the most of the situation by creating a homey, cozy atmosphere where you feel safe and comfortable. Get your roommates on board and create an area that will be talked about for years.
Remember Krissy’s dorm room her freshman year? It was drop dead gorgeous!
Amanda Green is Brand Manager at RHL, a leading online supplier of college bedding.