Location: Collage Campus
Assignment: Decorate Your Dorm Room
Requirements: Make it comfortable, fun and personable while staying on budget.
Whether you are a freshman or returning upperclassman (or woman) you face the same challenges when moving into campus housing.
A 12’ x 14’ space needs to serve as a bedroom, office, family room and mini kitchen. Divide that by a room mate with the same needs (whom you may or may not know) and the challenge magnifies. (Didn’t know there was going to be math did you?)
This assignment requires you to create a refuge you are comfortable in, reflects your personality and allows you to sleep and study. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank when furnishing your room if you know how shop. Resale shops have bargains in every department. In a few hours at several Goodwill stores, I found bedding, furniture and accessories to furnish 3 totally different dorm rooms.
Carroll University, the oldest college in Wisconsin, allowed us to “move” into a double room to demonstrate how easy it is to create a variety of looks. A+ to the staff and students who provided the space and helped us move our stuff in and out and loft the beds!
Room #1: Mother Earth
Maggie is a Senior Art Therapy major. Since she is an artist I wanted to do something creative and funky. This year she asked for earthy colors in shades of brown, green and orange.
This brand new duvet cover and sham set was a lucky find. A duvet cover (a comforter without the batting) is a great idea. It allows you to change your bedding regularly. It’s also easier to launder. Since this one is reversible, she has two looks in one.
Many colleges allow you to loft your bed and most students do it to create more floor space. Since every dorm is different, be sure to measure the area under the bed before you purchase any furniture. Having a futon may sound like a great idea, but if it doesn’t fit, it’s a waste of money.
I found a great sling chair at Goodwill made from plastic tubing. Since the fabric was boring off-white, I covered it with a round table cloth in bold stripes. Instant slip-cover without sewing! The rug, also brand new, anchors the space and keeps the tootsies warm in the morning. You never know what you will find at resale stores.
Maggie wanted her room to be cozy and comfortable. Floor pillows and a square ottoman provide extra seating when friends hang out. The fluorescent lighting in dorm rooms can be harsh and unflattering. A little white lamp provides task lighting and the string of mini lights with lantern shades creates a mellow mood.
“Storage is always a big problem in dorm rooms. There just isn’t enough,” said Maggie. Using a variety of boxes and baskets to organize and store your personal items keeps the room neat and manageable. I Re~Styled the “table” next to the chair from a wicker wine rack. It’s sturdy enough for the lamp and pictures and the compartments can hold towels, glasses or magazines.
The closets at Carroll U do not have doors. So keeping it neat and organized can be a challenge. I used curtain panel to hide what is inside.
This room lay-out separates the “living space” from the “office”. The desk is positioned at the end of the bed near the window. The standard blue chair didn’t match, so a towel solved that problem.
Being surrounded by things you love is important. Collect picture frames and accessories. Think about what you can Re~Style when you’re shopping. The wicker picnic basket isn’t just for picnics; it can hold toiletries or office supplies.
When you decorate like this, you can afford to change and update your room every year.
I would love to hear from you. Send me your dorm decorating dilemmas and ideas!