By Joseph Garcia —

Does your dorm feel empty? Are the walls empty and an ugly off-shade of white? Is the most furniture you have the furniture that was included with the dorm? Even though it’s almost the end of the semester and you’re getting ready for finals in a few weeks, it’s never too late to spruce up your dorm with a few items.

If you don’t have the time now for a full renovation, it’s still not a bad idea to start thinking of how you will decorate next semester.

Decorating  the right way can transform a bland, empty dorm into a fun place that not only feels more like home, but also highlights your individual personality.

Here are some transformative tips for creating the perfect room.

Filling out the Walls

Right off the bat, it’s important to cover up those walls. Barren walls make the room feel sterile, like a hospital room or jail cell.

The easiest way to fix this issue is by adding a few posters that highlight your personality. If you live on campus next fall, go to the poster sale that happens every Fall. The posters are cheap and look great, and there’s tons of different styles to choose from.

Want something larger? Fill out a whole wall with a fabric tapestry. While most tapestries cost around $30-50, you can find some on Amazon as cheap as $12. They’re fun and vibrant pieces of art to have hanging.

If you know someone who makes art, you can ask them to make you something personal for your dorm. Just be sure to pay them for their work!

As college students, it’s easy to forget important dates while you’re running between classes or trying to finish large products every week. Add a calendar to your walls and keep track of those important days to stay on top of all your assignments.

Filling out the Room

The next step is to add a bit more furniture to the room. Without extra pieces, the room can feel bigger and emptier. Something as simple as a large area rug can make a huge difference. It can add a bit of color and texture. If you’ve got tile floors, it can also serve as a way to keep your feet warm in colder weather.

Another simple thing to add are some succulents. Plants around the dorm can provide bright green colors that make your room pop and feel more lively.

Hang a few fairy lights, usually found at around $10-15, and you’ve got extra lighting that can create relaxing dim-lit spaces after a long day. Along with fairy lights, use colored light bulbs in your lamps to have different lighting types. It’s not as bright as white lights, but it’s still enough lighting for studying and relaxing with friends.

The Personal Stuff

Being in college you sometimes forget about your life back home. If you don’t have time to go home often, you might even get a bit homesick. By adding a few photos of your friends and family back home on your desk or around your walls, you can keep them in your mind anytime you’re just running in and out of your dorm.

No matter how you decorate your room though, it’s important to keep in mind your personality and interests. Your room should feel like a space made for you and is meant to keep you relaxed.  Don’t over do it by buying tons of expensive furniture either if you can’t afford it, this is where your own creativity can factor in.

By adding a few things throughout the semester, you can quickly turn your empty dorm into a room full of life and character.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal