Monday, July 15

Decorating A Dorm Room: First Things First

DORM ROOM DECORATING 101

You and your roommate don't have to 'matchy-match' everything.
Settle on a common color and then put your individual stamp on your side of the room.

29 years ago -yikes!, as a college freshman, I was very lucky to be sharing a dorm room with my very best friend. From the age of 8 we had talked and dreamed of college life together. When the time arrived there was NO doubt as to how we would decorate our dorm room. We had decide AND re-decided many times on the tone of our room; colors, lighting, storage, carpet/no carpet, who's bringing the shower curtain and who has the nicest stereo. Being with my girlfriend made the transition from high school and home life to college and dorm life a seamless process. I LOVED COLLEGE, learning and discovering new things with my closest friend by my side were some of the best years of my life. Now as I help our daughter prepare for college life and an unknown roommate, I must admit I am a bit tense and apprehensive for her. Will she and her college roommate have things in common and sleep patterns that mesh? How will she know before August the 22, move-in day, who is providing the shower curtain and TV? Will she love college and dorm life? Will she look back on these years with the same kind of fondness that I do? I sincerely hope so, it's a very important step most 'fish' have to wade through and my prayer for her is that she swims with the greatest of ease and style. 
We decided on a padded corner headboard for E's bed.
It will make it more comfortable when her friends to come to hang out -
and she won't have to sleep right up against the wall.
Making a padded headboard is easy to accomplish with a jigsaw. I'll post our results!
So how do you plan for dorm life and decorating a dorm room when you are the half of a whole and you don't know the other half? The most important thing is to have a plan! Do not buy random items, no matter how cute or inexpensive, for your dorm room without knowing space limitations, dorm rules, and roommate's ideas. Impulse purchases may very well end up as wasted money! Here are a few issues you need to take care of before you hit the stores.

CALL YOUR UNIVERSITY

The first thing you MUST do is get information from your college. What is the size of the room? What furniture is provided? Do you have to keep the furniture in the room or will they store it and allow you to substitute furniture of your own? Are items like refrigerators available for rental or do you need your own? What items are prohibited? What about curtains and wall decor? Most universities have policies about how items are hung on the walls. Getting accurate information before you begin planning will go a long way in preventing disappointments and frustrations later.


CONTACT YOUR ROOMMATE

Most likely you will receive the name and contact information of your roommate from your university.....make your life a little easier by using social media to communicate with her/him. If your styles are vastly different it is better to find that out before move-in day. Your Goth motif may not fit well with her Hello, Kitty bed linens! Even if your preferences are different, there are things you can do to make the room cohesive. Decide, for example, on a common neutral and then accessorize your own side of the room more to your preference. On a more practical note, there are many ways that coordination can save money by preventing both of you from purchasing some items that can be shared.


TALK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY

If your personality screams authenticity don't run out and buy everything new! Eclectic is IN! Check around with friends and family. Maybe someone has some stored furniture or a dorm refrigerator sitting in their garage. It's a lot smarter not to over-purchase before move-in day. If you spend big money on a nice fridge and your roommate shows up with a full-sized fridge/freezer (this happened to our son) then you've wasted money on a fridge. Bring one from uncle Joe's garage, if you end up not using it you won't feel badly. Borrow what you can, save money and then buy what you NEED once you have settled into you're dorm room.


SETTLE ON A REALISTIC BUDGET

Sit down with your parents and settle on how much you want to spend on dorm room 'decor'. Attending college is an expensive undertaking and you need to know where your parents stand on this issue. Once you have a budget in place and a good idea of what you need and want for your room, you can begin the shopping process. No need to be stressed that too much money was spent...stick to that budget!


MAKE A LIST

If you haven't already made a list of essentials then do it now! Take what information you have from the college and your roommate and begin making a list. Divide your list between 'must-haves' and the 'nice-to-haves' AND know the difference between the two. Our daughter was shopping with my mother and they came across a gecko tape dispenser. The tape fed through it's mouth and come out in differently colors. Of course my daughter thought this was a must-have item and luckily my mother convinced her that it was a not needed nice-to-have! Know the difference and you'll save money. Revise your list often. Check off what you've purchased; it's easy to get confused or carried away when out shopping. If you have a list there are NO doubts or questions.


BUY A MEASURING TAPE

Before you buy make sure that the items you decided on will fit into your room. Measurements are important! If you are shopping locally, always carry a tape measure with you. Things often look smaller in the store than they actually are. You don't want to figure out on move-in day that the book shelf you loved at the thrift store sticks out two inches into the bathroom doorway! Not a good feeling.


HAVE FUN!

And lastly, have fun! Decorating a dorm room is fun and gives you a chance to express your personality. It's a short term commitment so it's okay to be a little bit wild and crazy! 

ENJOY THESE BEAUTIFUL DORM ROOMS. I HOPE THEY WILL INSPIRE YOU TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF DECKING OUT YOUR SPACE! GOOD LUCK COLLEGE FRESHMEN of 2013, I HOPE YOU SWIM WITH EASE!



I hope this next step in your life is everything you dreamed it would be and that you are extremely successful in your studies! Hit it, HIT IT HARD!
YOU'LL BE GLAD YA DID!

ENJOY!
~THE DOMESTIC CURATOR~
RONDA

"Never give up on what you want to do.
The person with BIG dreams is more powerful than one with all of the facts!" 

- Albert Einstein

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