In high school, I imagined having the most Pinterest-perfect college dorm room. I quickly realized that I didn't actually need an Insta-worthy college dorm. What I needed was a functional space that allowed me to study, relax, and enjoy my new home away from home. These are the ten things I have done over the past three years to create a college living space that feels like a second home.
1. Create a simple color scheme
College dorm rooms are often small spaces with eggshell walls and crazy carpets. One way to keep your tiny dorm room from feeling cluttered and overwhelming is to stick to a simple color theme. Try pairing two complementary colors with a neutral. Your room will feel comfy, fun, and organized!
2. Adjust the lighting
Lighting has the power to make or break a space. Unfortunately, most college dorms have harsh overhead lights. The good news is that you can use natural sunlight, lamps, and string lights to avoid ever using those nasty fluorescent lights.
3. Pick out a rug
A simple, solid rug that matches your color scheme will distract from the crazy flooring and tie the whole room together. Plus, having a rug will add an additional dose of comfort to your space!
4. Choose decorations that reflect who you are
Your college dorm room should be a place where you can study, hang out, and relax. Choose decorations that inspire you and reflect who you are as a person. Remember to add pictures of your family, best friends, and pets to remind you of those you love most!
5. Invest in enough pillows and blankets
Nothing says comfy like a pile of blankets and pillows.
6. Get a coffee or tea maker
My morning cup of coffee is the main thing that motivates me to get out of bed. That's why one of the first purchases I made in college was a Keurig. Having a coffee maker in my room makes every morning happier and easier.
7. Buy plants or a fish tank
Living things make every space more inviting. Plants increase air quality, have positive impacts on mental health, and generate good vibes. Fish are great college pets that add color and amusement to your dorm room. I've come to find that beta fish are surprisingly full of personality and a great way to start conversation with hall-mates.
8. Use a diffuser
Most college dorms ban candles. A safer and healthier alternative to burning candles is using an essential oil diffuser. There are tons of diffuser designs to choose from and essential oils come in an array of natural scents that will refresh your living quarters and spirit.
9. Rearrange and add furniture
As long as you don't put holes in the wall, it's probably okay to rearrange the furniture in your bedroom. Move and add furniture to your dorm until you've engineered a setup that works for you. Pro tip: rearranging your furniture is a great way to procrastinate the paper you have due at midnight.
10. Keep things tidy
Simple practices like making your bed, dusting, and organizing your desk will go a long way in making your dorm room feel like a second home. These practices are even more important when you live in a dorm because small spaces make clutter more obvious.