For most students, college is the first opportunity to move out on their own — to have their own place, their own stuff and their own style. Unfortunately, dorm living can sometimes stifle style due to small spaces, strict rules, limited cash flow and mismatched roommates.
Interior decorator Marlene Prater, of Remixed Rooms in Canton, offers some advice to help students tackle the typical dorm decorating issues. She also offers ideas on how to make his or her dorm the coolest dorm on the floor.
“Bring things from home,” says Prater. She suggests items from home are the first and foremost tool in making a plain, boring dorm room “homey” and personal without making it cluttered. Bring pictures of family, friends, pets and places that remind you of home. Prater loves to use 3M Command Strips to easily and non-invasively hang picture frames and suggests hanging several smaller, different frames in one large space to create a collage effect.
Prater also insists organization is vital because dorm rooms tend to be very small. “I love IKEA. They have great things to hide stuff,” she explains. IKEA has some great organization solutions that are easily assembled and disassembled, colorful, stylish and best of all, cheap.
Colorful throws and curtains also add color and comfort to a dorm room.
“Every college student needs a big comforter to warm up the room,” says Prater. “Wal-Mart actually has great prices and lots of co-ordinate sets that include comforters, throws and curtains, all for one price.”
Prater suggests using Velcro or suction cups to hang curtains over the windows and even around beds to help create privacy and personal space.
In order to keep the peace, keep your roommate in mind when decorating.
“Have an imaginary line down the middle,” says Prater. “Let each other’s personalities shine even if they are completely different.”
The clash can bring about a uniqueness that is especially stylish according to Prater. Simply put, you can’t compromise on taste so don’t even try.
A final touch Prater suggests is a word wall. Wonderful Graffiti is an online store specializing in wall transfers. Customers can create their own wall transfers or browse a selection of pre-designed transfers ranging from notable quotations and monograms to sheet music. All the transfers are easy to apply and easily removed with a hairdryer. As Prater points out, word walls are a great way to temporarily personalize dorm room walls without making any permanent structural changes.
Prater believes making a dorm room comfortable and inviting may make all the difference for the college experience.
“Once you get the coolest dorm room, you’ll be the most popular person on the floor. What more motivation do you need?”