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Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Guest Author - Donna Coogan

There's no reason to settle for boring decor just because you are a college student, and thereís no reason to break your college budget to make your living quarters stylish and personable. Decorating a dorm room can follow similar guidelines as decorating any small apartment. Consider the following principles:

1) Create a focal point in your room.
2) Arrange furniture for easy traffic flow
3) Add color and texture.
4) Personalize the space with window treatments, bedding and accessories.
5) Add comfort with extra seating and area rugs.
6) Provide multiple lighting sources with chic desk lamps or floor lamps
7) Provide efficient storage.

Some of the challenges in decorating a dorm room are that itís small, crammed with modular furniture pieces, and typically shared by 2 or more students. There may be restrictions on how to hang things on the walls and whether you can paint them or not. To overcome these challenges, itís important that you have a plan to make your home away from home inviting.

Get together with your roommates and see if you can all agree on a decorating plan for the overall space. Using decorating principles as your guide, create a plan that honors each personís preferences. Keep in mind that with any living arrangement; compromises and negotiations are to be expected.

1) Create a focal point in your room.
Choose a focal point for the room to create some wow factor and to give the eye a place to rest when you first walk in. For example, this could be a tall window flanked by two beds or a gallery of art on one specific wall.

2) Arrange furniture for easy traffic flow
Since dorm rooms are small and cramped, itís important that you allow for traffic flow. With 2 or more roommates moving about in the space, it needs to be comfortable and functional for everyone. Place furnishings and storage so that itís easy to walk through the room, while also allowing everyone to have their own private space.

3) Add color and texture.
Adding color and texture to soften the modular furniture lines can go a long way in making the room more comfortable. Try to choose one main color with 2 or 3 colors that coordinate. This way everyone can make his or her own preferences within the chosen colors. If all else fails and you canít agree on color, consider a neutral plan in gray or brown for example, that lets each person add colorful accents to their personal space. Add texture through fabric selection and accessories.

4) Personalize the space with window treatments, bedding and accessories
For your dorm room to really feel inviting, you want to add personality. Hang curtains on the windows. Choose comfortable bedding in patterns and hues that you love. Include favorite photos or posters. Bring a little of the outdoors in with the addition of a plant.

If you are creative, visit craft stores for ideas to add one-of-a-kind accents to your room. Consider making your own message board with an old frame and some chalk spray paint. Or cover corkboard with a vibrant fabric to tack up notes. Stencil favorite quotes on large pieces of poster board that is framed with scrapbook paper. Hang photos from long strands of ribbon or beads.

5) Add comfort with extra seating and area rugs.
Add an area rug next to your bed and a soft pad to your desk chair. If thereís room, consider adding a comfortable lounge pillow or extra chair to curl up with one of your textbooks.

6) Provide multiple lighting sources with chic desk lamps or floor lamps.
Donít settle for the glare of overhead lighting in your dorm room. Shop for stylish desk and floor lamps that offer dimmer switches to quickly alter your lighting needs or to change the ambience of the space.

7.) Provide efficient storage.
Storage can be lacking in a dorm room. If possible, add horizontal storage with tall, narrow bookshelves or file cabinets. If you like, paint them in colors that go with the room. Keep smaller items in 2 or 3 colorful baskets that can be kept under the bed, yet pulled out for quick retrieval.

College is expensive enough without spending a lot of money on decorating your dorm room. Thankfully, there are many sources where you can find bargains. Look for bedding and lamps at discount stores. Dollar stores sell colorful wicker baskets for organizing off-season clothing or smaller items. Check home improvement stores for area rugs or remnant pieces at low prices. Craigslist or yard sales offer inexpensive shelving and seating options.

For more inspiration on decorating your dorm room, research Google images to see how other college students are transforming their space. You never know when youíll come across a room that might spark ideas for your own.




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Content copyright © 2014 by Donna Coogan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Donna Coogan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Michelle Ullman for details.

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