Simplifying Dorm Room Decor

August 18, 2015

The transition from home to campus is such an exciting experience. This is your college student's chance to explore new places, meet new faces, learn who they are and what they want to be, make mistakes, fall in love (over and over and over again), and live on their own for the very first time... and it all begins with the perfect dorm room.

Up to this point of their young lives, your child has been at the mercy of your home, your style and your decor choices. Now, it's their turn. Moving away from home allows them to step out of the "child" role and into "adult" territory, and they are very aware that college will be a social experience like no other. So, it is important to them that their dorm room reflect their personality, style, interests and spirit well! To them, their dorm room is more than four walls, a floor and a window (if they're lucky enough to have a window); its a blank canvas. The slate has been wiped clean and the possibilities are endless. 

These tips will help you, help your college student keep their new home functional and organized as they tap into their inner interior designer for the first time.

  • Simplify your space. Let's admit it: Dorm rooms are small. Really small. Uncomfortably and frustratingly small.  But a college freshman won't notice the lack of space... until it's too late. As you shop for dorm room decor, encourage your child to choose only items that are functional. Focus on comforters and decorative pillows, printed curtains, colorful lamps and fun desk caddies that emulate the look they are going for. Forget picture frames! Suggest having their favorite pic printed onto a mouse pad or their photos from summer vacation set as their computer screen saver instead. The bottom line: If it doesn't serve a purpose, it doesn't belong in the dorm room.
  • Take it to the walls. Like I mentioned above, space is going to be tight -- especially storage and surface space. Between clothes, shoes, school supplies, snacks, personal hygiene items and hair supplies, drawers and surfaces are going to fill up quickly! So, let's take it to the walls! Hang a shower caddy above the desk for notebooks and other school supplies, use plastic shoe storage pockets to organize snacks and drinks on the back of the closet door and (this one is my favorite) mount a magnetic board to the wall and stick small magnets to cosmetics for easy access! (It looks fun, too!)
  • Gettin' chalky with it. Remember those beautiful summer days, watching your child laughing and coloring on the sidewalk? Well, the truth is: The desire to play with chalk never really goes away. So if your college student is adamant about painting their dorm room, suggest chalk paint! Then, after they pick their jaw up from the floor, explain to them that this stuff is great for showcasing their creativity, quickly updating the walls when the need a change, communicating with roommates, having fun and maybe... just maybe... practicing their algebra? (C'mon! We can hope, right?)

    That's it! The perfect dorm room! It's functional, organized, creative... and they will love it! So, wipe your tears, kiss them goodbye and know that you have spent their whole life preparing them for this moment. Their dorm room is ready. They are ready. Their future is waiting.