You’re hot and sweaty, holding various cotton bags (all on the brink of bursting) stuffed with your belongings. You’re excited to start your college career and subsequent new, adult life — and then you walk into your dorm room.
“Literally walking into this room, I wanted to cry,” said Mel DeCandia, a freshman at the University of Maryland.
“I remembered it from my orientation, but I really wasn’t in the room. I thought it was more rectangular. … It just seemed bigger. When I got here I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so small.’ I freaked out. It was so white. Everything was white.”
This is a common reaction from students at big state schools. Some students are so crestfallen by their new abodes that they delay decorating. After all, they’re just sleeping there.
All is not lost. With a few tips, your room can be transformed from a bland space into a place you can call home.
“Know your space before you move in,” DeCandia said. She suggested taking a few pictures at orientation so you’ll remember what it looks like and so you can figure out what is going to fit.
Another great tip to maximize space is to move your furniture around and employ the “Power L.” The Power L, in its simplest sense, is the arrangement of the beds into an “L” shape. This leaves an open area in the center for a throw rug and a place for your friends to gather.
There are so many things you never thought to bring to college with you. (I never thought that I’d be lost without a shower comb, for example). DeCandia recommended canvas bins for under-the-bed storage, but emphasized plastic containers.
“You’re probably thinking, ‘I don’t have this in my room now, why do I need it here?’ You don’t have room to be messy. Get organized and get colors.”
DeCandia stuck to the color scheme in her comforter. But the true statement piece in her dorm? A wire shelving unit draped with twinkling lights.
DeCandia smiled at it and said, “My mom saw it at Bed Bath & Beyond and was like, ‘You need this. You need shelves.’ I bought canvas bins that matched. My cousin goes to Columbia and gave me the idea for the Christmas lights because … Christmas decorations are the perfect dorm decorations year ’round. I have six more strands in my closet.”
“That was a big thing for me,” she said. “I hate florescent lights because it reminds me of school. You are already at school 24/7, and sometimes you just want to be at home. Get a lamp.”
Whether you’re at a big school like Maryland or a smaller school, these tips will help you make your dorm a little bit cozier.
ABOUT THIS SERIES:
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At Dormify, we believe that dorm rooms should be just as fun, hip and fashionable as the college students who live in them. We get it. You want to walk into the white-walled, four-by-four, tiled dorm room that tons of people have lived in before and feel like this space is all you. That’s why our Dormify Style Advisors share so many creative and stylish design tips and tricks, do-it-yourself projects and design solutions with students across the country.
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