Life in a freshman dorm is a wonderful thing. With people living above, below, and next door it’s like a constant party all the time. Think an episode of Friends, but college edition.
However…freshman dorms aren’t entirely too aesthetically pleasing. With four plain cement walls and a single window (maybe two if you’re lucky), I have the slightest suspicion that the interior designers got inspiration from prison cells.
But fear not! Wall decorations and throw pillows galore are here to rescue you from the terribly bland and prison inspired theme of freshman dorms.
So let’s take a little tour through my dorm from last year to hopefully give you some ideas on how to brighten things up a bit.
–Flowers (!!!): Bringing the outside inside is always a wonderful idea. Except of course if you’re bringing in wild raccoons or something…let’s keep those outside please.
-Window stickers: Not only are these incredibly cheap, but they’re also super easy to apply and take off, so your windows will always be ready for new stickers every season. For Spring, I highly recommend pretty colored tulips…to match your real life tulips, of course.
-Christmas lights: These were by far the greatest investment ever. And the best thing is, I didn’t even really invest in them. I just stole them from a forgotten bin in our attic. But still. Best idea ever. Dorms typically come with awful fluorescent lighting, so if you’re not into blinding light and constant headaches, then I would definitely advise you to steal some from your own attic.
-Pictures: I pretty much covered up any empty, visible space with as many photographs as possible. Not only does it distract from the bland cement walls, but it’s also nice to have little reminders of friends and family hanging up.
-Storage bins: Those little bins on top of my dresser are from Target and they are a lifesaver. I kept one stocked up with medicine, one with laundry supplies, and the last with makeup & hair brushes. They were perfect for organizing and keeping everything together so that it was easily accessible, but not an eyesore.
-Plants: Like I said before, bring the outside inside! But also like I said before, that’s not exactly the best advice. So let’s clarify a bit: bring houseplants, succulents, and bouquets inside. Don’t steal any trees from the park. Trust me, they won’t fit in your room and the people at the front desk might give you some strange looks.
-Fish: Most dorms don’t allow pets of the furry sort (but if yours does, then I’m extremely jealous and want to know where you go so I can transfer), however, we were allowed to keep a small fish tank in our room! So let me introduce you to Richard the beta fish! My roommate and I bought him back in October and he’s still swimming strong to this day.
-Rug/Carpet: A perfect addition for a little pop of color to your floor.
-Pillows: I bought a white quilt for my bed, specifically so that I could buy any throw pillows that I wanted and they would match. White was great for coordinating, but word of advice: don’t eat or paint on your bed unless you want some strange stains showing up. Another word of advice: use those strange stains as an excuse to buy more pillows.
-Stuffed Animals: Don’t be afraid to bring your own little menagerie to your dorm. Honestly, I thought people would judge me for packing my stuffed animals for college, but I can’t think of a single room I visited where a stuffed animal wasn’t present. They’re the best and none of us are too cool for them. That’s a fact.
-Blankets: Bring multiple blankets! Sometime the AC/heater is out of your control and it’s good to be extra prepared just in case things get a bit chilly.
-Paintings: The sunflower canvas is a little painting that I made, but the one with the quote is from T.J. Maxx! Canvases like these are super easy to find at any home goods store and they’re usually pretty inexpensive, which is great because they make walls look super cute.
-String lights: They may be overdone on Pinterest, but they’re overdone for a reason. And that reason is because they’re adorable. (These ones are also from Target).
-Twine: Twine is the answer for all of your aesthetically pleasing needs. Invest in some glittery clothes pins, fake flowers, and photo prints and you are ready to go with a nice little picture line.
-Bunting and doodles: Hang up little things that you make you happy! For me that’s bunting, quotes, postcards, and random things of that sort.
This is a little peek into my roommate’s side, because I loved her little purple lantern lights and moon & sun decorations.
-Record player: I brought along my all of my records, which especially came in handy during Christmas time when we found the cheesiest (but also amazing) Christmas albums.
-Mugs & Mason Jars: They double as storage and cups! Plus they’re super adorable. What more could you need?
Hopefully this brings a little inspiration to your dorm room shopping list. Just remember to bring whatever makes you happy and you’ll have the best home away from home yet.