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How to: decorate your dorm

By on April 1, 2014

By Olivia Krauth–

When I came to Louisville, I went all out when it came to my dorm; everything had to be perfect. With a recently implemented freshman live-on policy, many new students were, and still are, in the same boat. Navigating the world of dorm decor can be quite the process, so here are some tips to hopefully make it a bit less stressful.

Check out Pinterest. This should be slightly obvious. With thousands of real-life examples, color schemes and checklists, you’re bound to find something you like. It’s also a good place to store all of your ideas in one area.

Make everything match. I’m not an interior designer by any means, but I think it’s a general principle that a room looks better when the colors go together. Try having a main color and two accent colors.
Go on a crafting spree. Crafts are good for dorms for several reasons. They tend to be cheaper than store bought stuff, they’re more likely to match what you already have, and they are much more personal. Pinterest has tons of DIY ideas that you can try out.
Cooperate with your roommates. If you have roommates, try and contact them before the semester starts to see if you can decide on a color scheme (and who is bringing the mini-fridge, TV, microwave, etc.). It’ll help your room look more cohesive, because just because all of your stuff matches doesn’t mean that the room will look good if it clashes completely with your roommate’s stuff.
Don’t go overboard. Moving out and living on your own (kind of) is exciting, don’t get me wrong. But keep everything in check. Chances are, you won’t need multiple bulletin boards, a mini blender, and a 40-piece tupperware set. Remember you can buy stuff in Louisville if you need to (we have Targets here).
Pack in seasons if possible. While you’ve heard this about the clothes you’re bringing, you might not have heard it for decor. If you plan on celebrating holidays via decorations, there’s no need to bring your mini Christmas tree with you when you first move in in August. You’ll just have to store it until December, taking up valuable space.
Lists lists lists. Keep a list of all of your ideas, as well as the things you need to get. Without a list, you’re more likely to forget that you need or already bought something, causing you to go without or with way too much.
Leave room to grow. You’re going to make friends here. You’ll take pictures, go to events, make memories. You’ll want to remember them. If you immediately cover the walls when you move in, you won’t be able to show off your new memories. Definitely keep this in mind when deciding how much you want to decorate, and what exactly you want to decorate.
Don’t forget bathroom stuff. Miller, Threkheld, and Unitas residents: this doesn’t apply to you. To everyone else: you most likely have your own bathroom, or at least one you share. Don’t forget to bring a shower curtain, bath rug, etc. so your bathroom doesn’t totally look like a prison.
Think of the walls. Fun fact: dorms are tiny. Even if you’re lucky enough to be in a single room, they’re still pretty cramped. Try thinking up when looking at storage and decor options. Also remember that some dorm walls are cinder blocks, which command hooks have a hard time sticking to, making decorating difficult.

About Olivia Krauth

Asst. Editor in Chief at The Louisville Cardinal.

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