Do-it-yourself dorm room


I do not look forward to 4 years in a basic dorm. For a few dollars, how can I make it livable?

It seems that as tuition rises, students find more ways to spend money. As the cost of an education becomes more valuable, everything associated with it garners more attention. I heartily agree, your dorm room should be a comfortable place to study, entertain, sleep and live. Universities have responded to the desire for higher standards by partnering with real estate developers to create palatial student quarters, report marketing agents for condos. Companies have also appeared that offer a complete makeover of tired dorm room. Without becoming a decorating magazine, here is what we found.

Around half of students live in dorms or off-campus housing. The remainder commute from home. For those residing at school, home-related spending includes refrigerator, microwave and bedding. Twice as much goes towards electronics. Since a tiny bit is left over for décor, we need to focus on do-it-yourself ideas. Stay in front of your computer, since nearly 40% of students shop online to fill up their dorm room with stuff.

Before reaching for a hammer or paint brush, you should check what dorm modifications are allowed by your university. Many colleges have restrictions on what students can bring to campus accommodations. Some allow basic appliances such as a microwave, toaster, coffee pot etc., while others view them as fire hazards. Decorating is also subject to campus rules, so make sure you know what is permitted.

If you are allowed to re-decorate then start with a decent color scheme, it makes a difference in the feel of the room. Neutral shades with a couple of accent colors can enhance the room, as can textures.

Living quarters are usually small so you have to work to maximize space. Some items can have a dual function, like a table with hidden storage. The bed is the centerpiece of the room. You can invest in a murphy bed that will fold up and increase your entertaining and study area. Either way, the bed needs quality cotton sheets, pillows, duvet covers and more. The colors and fabrics allows you to express yourself. You must not overlook the comfort of your mattress, with many opting for a featherbed, explains Plumeria Bay.

Wall space is the same as Pinterest for every college student. This is where you announce yourself with posters, tapestries, photos or decals. Hanging or track lights brighten your room and highlight your wall features. Today, everyone is using LED lights.

Greenery helps the room feel more homelike and less claustrophobic. Using unusual plant containers adds a quirky detail.

You can do a lot to decorate your dorm inexpensively such as making your own photo walls and collages, turning metal waste baskets into tables, getting creative with washi tape, and throwing in a couple of floor cushions.

Stop looking at the walls, look out the window…

Karl Pilkington.

Written by John Regan, former Director of Sales, for equity research.


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