Wednesday, March 13

COLLEGE DECORATING: Dorm Room Basics 101

I don't have to be a psychic to know thousands of mothers of college students from all across America  spent a small fortune in Bed, Bath, and Beyond,  before their child headed off to college. You began by throwing countless items into your cart, then packed up your child and all their goods and headed to the college of their choice. It was moving day. Before long you found your college student's new room’s wardrobe dumped onto the floor of their dorm room. It was not until after you and your young co-ed began unpacking  that you finally figured out what you had actually purchased. Realizing that a leopard print rug does not quite go with a lime green and turquoise throw blanket, or a three-foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower and fuchsia bean bag chair. As you stand there with your student in awe of what you have done, it slowly begins to sink did not need to buy out the inventory of the dorm room section of the BB&B. In order to make this lunchbox sized dorm room feel like home, all you needed were a few personal touches from home! I HOPE YOU KEPT THE RECEIPT MY DEARS!

1. The first thing to consider before you even begin decorating  a dorm room is: what are the colors that make you happy?  You need to be surrounded by an environment that will be conducive to you working at your full potential....after all, you are at college to learn! And in order to do this, you need to be happy! It really doesn't matter what color theme you choose, whether it be soft pastels, neutral beige, brown and grays, or vibrant neons. After you decide what color palette will make you smile every morning, even when you are waking up for an 8 a.m. class, go with it!

2. The first item I suggest you find in your palette is your comforter. Your bed is one of the largest pieces of furniture in your room and therefore one of the focal points that your eyes will naturally be drawn to. Make sure that you LOVE your bedspread!  Colored comforters work well because they open up your room and add a little life to your shared shoe box.

3. Make sure to spice up those white cinder block walls! In addition to posters, try getting some colored scrapbook paper that works with your color scheme, and organize the pieces in a funky pattern on the wall. Grab a glue stick, print some pictures of family, friends from home, and college buddies and make an interesting collage on scrapbook paper. Hang them on your wall for instant colorful art. Surrounding yourself with photos of the ones you love will make you feel more at home. Try ZAZZLE.COM....they have everything pretty to cover drab dorm room walls.

4. Okay, I know organizing sounds more like homework than it does a night out on the town, but it is important and can be a bit fun...if you're OCD!  Find some colored hangers, bins or storage cubes to organize your school supplies, they're cute and can store your books as well as double as a step stool in your color palette. These organizing accessories will help you keep the surfaces of your furniture as empty as possible, which is a huge asset to every well put together room.  Decorating experts recommend that any work surface be covered only 20% with items, especially a desk where you will be studying, you need no distractions here. Keep in mind that anything that you have to have in your room for organization can still be decorative and make your room more appealing and inviting!

5. Although 'tchotchkes' may seem like their only purpose is to take up space, they are truly necessary to calling your dorm room home away from home!  Decorative items…are not specifically necessary for a dorm room's functionality, but they do provide elements that personalize the space and create an expression of who lives in it.  Bring that stuffed animal that you got when you were 10, your slinky, and your cute frog cookie jar, and make your room wonderfully, happily, you!   

.....and if you are lucky enough to have the space.....

Soooo....Before you head to the store, look around at your personal inventory of favorite things. Decide what will fit the theme of your dorm room and more importantly make your first experience away from home a bit easier.....and all without stepping foot into a store. Your checking account and parents will thank you!


Dedicated to Ms.E, who will be heading off to college this Fall
......Mr.P & I will miss her.


  1. Some lovely rooms, Ronda. A far sight from when I was in college. One very good design principle illustrated here....staying with a color theme. In this case greens. Makes designing much easier.
    Coleen in Ukraine

  2. I love the green & black color scheme. Nowadays girls want to coordinate colors and styles with their college room mate. We definitely didn't do that back in the early 80's!

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