Choosing a theme for your bedroom may seem like a daunting task. Picking out small pieces to fit together in sync sounds impossible unless you're an interior designer, right? You may be thinking, how the hell am I supposed to focus on decorating when all of these college dorm checklists have EVERYTHINGbut decor. People tell you to bring things like command strips, cotton pads, extra tampons (this isn't taboo, everyone needs 'em!), and lots of sneakers, but no one teaches you the brain it takes for interior designing.
I've learned from my freshman year dorm room that I didn't need half of the "essentials" that I supposedly needed according to blog posts just like this one. This year, I had more of a budget to spend on decor. When I first moved to New York City, I was super into to the chic vibe. I wanted marble everything, silk sheets like Blair Waldorf, the whole nine. But trust me, looking at the same thing every day gets boring. While I loved my space, for the time being, staring at the same decor in a 10 by 15-foot room gets tedious after two semesters.
First and foremost, coordinating with your roommate is so important to make the room look whole. If one side encompasses something extremely bohemian, and the other is filling the room with all white decor, it won't look right. For my sophomore year, my roommate and I decided on incorporating some bohemian decor to spice things up! We are keeping some pieces from the previous year to save money (welcome to college, everyone is poor!), but we are adding some key elements from places like Home Goods, Urban Outfitters, Target, and even Forever 21 to make our room look like a home.
My main resource: Pinterest. I use Pinterest for everything from planning my future wedding, to finding healthy recipes, and of course, getting dorm inspiration. Here's a pro tip, sometimes it's just not worth searching for "dorm pictures." For one, look up the style you are aiming for. It helps give you inspiration on how to decorate any type of space, and often times links you directly to the item you are looking at! Overall, Pinterest is a major convenience to those who need that extra inspo for interior design.
Two words: HOME GOODS. This place may have run me out of all my money, but it's okay (kind of). They have everything from small trinkets, to plants, to mirrors, and bigger furniture such as nightstands and headboards. Make this your last stop following your Amazon purchases with all of the essentials. Pro tip: If you have a summer birthday, ask for a gift card for Home Goods or TJ Maxx (they're the same store)! It saves my life every year.
Your best friends will be the cozy pillows you add to your bed. Not only because they look ridiculously adorable, but they make the space home-worthy. Because moving yourself into college could be terrifying, making your bed a sanctuary that you feel safe and cozy in is the perfect outlet for when you're feeling down. Some of my favorites come from Target, Urban Outfitters, and Home Goods.
Now, this is a big tip: Add an area rug. These could be a bit pricey for the typical college student, but there's a slight chance your parents will want to splurge on a high-quality rug in hopes that you'll utilize it for all four years. Because our room isn't the biggest, (we live in New York City), we picked an off-white shag rug to open up space a bit more. It covers pretty much the whole room, which means it covers that ugly tile Fordham THOUGHT would be super cute, (not)!
My last tip is based on budgeting rather than the decor. Set a price limit at the beginning of the summer so you know how much you're spending on a dorm room. While all of us may reach for different price ranges, it's important to stay within. Really think about the purchases you want to make before buying. Do you really need 6 pillows for your Twin XL bed? Probably not. Take it easy. Buy throughout the summer instead of all at once and your bank account will most likely thank you.
I know moving into a dorm is stressful, to begin with. Having fun and embracing your personality throughout the room makes it so much better. For those who are entering their freshman year, good luck, and make the most out of your living space!