Creative Dorm Rooms

So my oldest son is off to college this year. I had forgotten how small, and shall we say, unadorned a dorm room can be.

Now of all my children Chris is the least interested in design; but even he had to admit that he wouldn't mind sprucing up his room. Ah, the last convert....

One of the biggest and least expensive changes we can make is to the walls. Since we're not allowed to paint anything in the room; the next option is to cover the walls and cabinets with removable things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Big flags and multiple pennants. Ok this is a standard dorm decoration. You can find a ginormous flag or pennant sets; hang up on the wall with duct tape or velcro, and you're ready for class

  • King size (light-weight) quilts and sheets offer a quick fix for drab walls. If the room has those cork hang strips you hang from there with T-pins. If not, attach the fabric with heavy duty velcro strips.

  • Shower curtains - WHAT? Yes. Hang a shower curtain with a cool design from those sticky-but-removable wall hangers.

  • Paper - This is a really inexpensive option but you need to think creatively. Try your hand with patterns made from post-it notes. Or forget the tedious hanging job and buy several pages (or a pack) of beautiful scrapbook paper. There is a pattern to please everyone. This option is also great for those with allergies, as fabric options may collect dust.

  • Fun prints - Convert your photos to wallpaper. Print black and white photos on legal size (or larger) paper and hang with double-sided tape.

  • Fabric - You can use fabric as a background or a foreground. There are plenty of discount fabric stores offering great bargains for your quick fix. I love the look of burlap - it offers a natural texture, low cost, and functional camouflage.

        • Wall decals - Since we can't do traditional wallpaper; try the large removable decals. blik makes some that are really fun. Including this from the late artist Keith Haring... How's that for unique dorms?

        • Plywood - painted of course. Get a big piece of wood and a can of chalkboard paint. Paint a few coats and lean the board against the wall. This is more of a hassle to move at the end of the year than the other options, but can be cool for leaving personal notes and fun drawings throughout the semester.
        • And of course, you can always make your own art...

        I love that I can put many of these elements into the first care package I send off to school. But since Chris is just over an hour away from home; I may pop in one Friday afternoon to hang some wall adornments myself :-)




        Anonymous said...

        interesting words of advice when it comes to decorating dorm rooms. I will definitely use some of these things to spruce up my dingy old dorm room. thanks for the advice!!

        Cheryl Finley: said...

        You are just a fount of ideas for making any living space beautiful...and a place of self-expression.

        Thank for being an inspiration!