Once the car has been unloaded, the parents have driven away and the boxes are unpacked a small dilemma still remains for the average college freshman. That is how to go about arranging a multitude of clothes, electronic equipment and furniture into a small square room while still making it look good.
Although the space available to work with in a dorm room is noticeably limited, a little creativity and the right supplies can create a comfortable and welcoming living space.
Along with the basics such as nails and hooks a useful tool when decorating a dorm room is double-sided mounting tape. The mounting tape, which can be used to place heavy or light items around a room, can be found at any store that carries office or home supplies.
Chad Cabral, Hall Director of Corbett Hall also suggested rubber cement as a useful hanging tool for posters and other lighter items because it holds well to the walls but rubs off easily when move out time rolls around.
However, the first step to room decorating, said Cabral, is to ensure that both roommates are involved in the process.
“It’s vital that both residents share in deciding their room because it involves both of them,” he said. “It is also a great way for residents to find out about one another.”
When actually decorating the room begin by arranging the larger pieces of furniture such as beds and desks to get a basic layout of where items will be located.
With such a small living area it is important not only to the physical appearance of the room but also for the sake of convenience to conserve space whenever possible.
Anne Larson, manager of Bed Bath and Beyond, said that storage units are in high demand among college students. “Because the dorm rooms are a little smaller than they expect, students need to get organized,” she said.
Many stores including Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target and Wal-mart stock space-saving items such as shelving units, closet organizers that hold sweaters and shoes and pop-up laundry hampers. Other items available include bed caddies, which are storage units that hang off a bed frame and towel racks that can be hung on a room or closet door. Larson suggested Yaffa blocks, which are stackable plastic boxes that can be used for storage.
“They can be put into fun configurations and fit into any space,” she said.
But furniture and storage units aren’t what make a dorm room feel like home. The most important aspect of decorating is those personal touches that create the atmosphere of the room.
In order to generate a more personalized feel for the room include alternate lighting like floor lamps or hanging lights, floor coverings such as throw rugs and wall hangings.
Posters are always a favorite among students. Two places in Fort Collins that carry selections of posters are Myriad Art and Framery and Walnut Street Gallery. There will also be a poster purchase in the East Ballroom of the Lory Student Center from Aug. 28-30 from 8 a.m. to 11p.m.
Natalie Minyard, Hall Director of Braiden Hall said that plants are an often overlooked but instrumental room decoration.
“Plants are so simple yet they add so much,” she said.
No matter how a room is decorated Cabral said that the most important thing is to have fun.
“Just be yourself and go with the flow,” he said.