Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dorm Decor Tips and Tricks

Exciting things have been happening lately: I hit 100 followers on my main Tumblr account (after more than a year, but still exciting nonetheless), my desk picture hit 1,000 notes on my college sideblog, and subsequently that account also has almost 100 followers. This blogspot account also hit 10,000 pageviews! I want to do a follow forever for my main account and a perhaps a giveaway for my college sideblog. I'm not sure what I will be doing here yet, or if I should even do anything at all. Classes are about to start and things are going to be busy, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyhow, since that picture of my study area was so popular, I wanted to share some advice and hacks on dorm decor. I am currently residing in a triple mini-suite, which houses three people, has its own bathroom, and is much more spacious than most dorm rooms. Some of these tips might not work for other dorm rooms, but they're just ideas if you're looking for inspiration.

»Gooseneck Lamp
I highly recommend gooseneck lamps if you're still looking for a light source to take to college. They're are quite literally flexible in every direction. I have one that clamps on to a bookshelf between my desk and my bed, so I can use it to light both.

One of my favorite parts of my room design is this small set of curtains that I attached to the head of my bed. Their use is threefold. First, they block some of the light coming in from the window in the morning, as well as my roommate's lamp when she stays up late, so it helps me sleep. Secondly, they diffuse the light coming from the lamp when it's pointed at my bed, so it's not as harsh and instead is a soft, warm glow. Lastly, they provide cover, so people can't see in to my desk from my door. I value my privacy, so this was important to me, but if you're a more public person and you want people to know when you're in, this might not be the best choice for you.

As you may have noticed, this is the only image in this post right now. I'll take more tomorrow when I have better natural lighting.

»Scrapbook Paper
As this building is in California, an area prone to earthquakes, much of the building is concrete. Unfortunately, bare concrete is not the most attractive material for a wall. However, wallpaper can be considered a fire hazard, so for a neutral way to cover up small patches of visible concrete, I used double sided tape to attach two squares of scrapbook paper. It brightens up the place and it gives me a place to stick post-it notes.

»Brightly Colored Rug
If you have a large room, I would recommend bringing an area rug to brighten things up. Dorm floors are mostly clean, but they still look drab. A soft area rug is also nice in the morning when you wake up, and you want your feet to hit something soothing, rather than hard, scratchy floor. My room currently does not have one, so the center of the room is a dull, empty square, so I plan on buying one.

»Hanging Hooks
Dorm rooms are usually pretty small, so you have to be creative with your space. My main storage problem is bags, as I have brought what is probably too many bags. These hanging hooks were given to me by a teacher so I don't know where you can find them, but they're super simple to use and very convenient. All of my bags stay upright and structured, not crushed, and they don't take up much space either.

»Color Coordination
I find that I like studying more when I have a well composed work space. One simple way to do that is to plan ahead and coordinate your colors. My bathroom set is primarily sunny yellow. You can also add in a secondary color. As of right now, my desk is primarily teal/aqua/turquoise and secondarily pink. If you can't do that, neutral colors like black, white, and grey always work. My bed is primarily purple and secondarily white/grey. Also, my closet is primarily neutral with a few colored accent pieces just because it makes it so much easier to coordinate outfits in the morning.

Another short piece of advice is to bring double sided tape. Pins are great if you have soft corkboard walls, like the one I have beside my bed, but for other materials like concrete or cinderblock, pins don't work, so double sided tape will save the day. For larger things like whiteboards, command hooks work excellently (but make sure you follow all of the instructions on how to use them).

I would also recommend bringing more posters! Whether they broadcast your interests, or are simply for aesthetic, they easily cover up large spaces. If you don't have space, that's fine, as flat posters are easy to store.

I'll be posting a room tour vlog soon so you can see these things in action, and I'll make sure to upload more photos here once I have the chance. Hopefully this was useful to you in some way! ◊

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