Let’s face it, the dorm room life is a squished life. I was reminded of the fact as I dropped my younger sister off at BYU to start her sophomore year. We arrived at her apartment, took a look at the worn-out cabinets and shelves, entered the bathroom to see that the toilet didn’t flush, and there was mold growing in the corners of the shower. Typical college apartment, right? It doesn’t have to be! With the discovery of some mahogany stain under the kitchen sink, we spruced up damaged areas of the wood, bought some bleach and cotton balls to soak the moldy areas and quickly notified maintenance about the toilet (S.O.S.!) Thanks for the help, mom! With these projects underway, we went to decorating the (under furnished) apartment. Here are a few tips that guided us to making her dorm-like apartment her home for the next few months. We hope you can use and share these tips too!
* Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture. *
With such a small amount of space, especially if you’re sharing a bedroom, look at your options. Often the furniture is not arranged efficiently. A simple repositioning of the beds can make a huge difference. If you have a living room, the sofas can be moved around too.
* It pays to take risks. *
Try some out of the box decorating ideas. Those polka-dot vinyl stickers? For some reason, you can only get away with those if you’re a college student. From crazy tapestries (these are so in right now!) to flags or DIY projects, show off some creativity.. on your side of the room anyway.
* Make it look like a million bucks. *
We can agree that dorm rooms and college apartments are a far cry from luxurious. However, once you fluff up those throw pillows and add a succulent or house plant, you’ll find yourself feeling right at home. Really though, low maintenance plants are a favorite accessory.
Nate Berkus has a trendy and inexpensive home decor line at Target that are great for accessory finds, like throw pillows here, here & here. Or these rugs that would add some pizzazz in a heartbeat! ( our personal favorite HERE)
And since we’re talking about how to make your room look like a million bucks, don’t forget how much curtains can add to your space. With some floor length drapes, it may seem like you’ve stepped into a 4-star hotel…ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it will make a big difference! Plus, it will block the sun on those Saturday mornings meant to be slept in. But remember, most of the time, less is more. Keep it simple and don’t worry about using up all of your desk, wall and dresser space.
* Storage hacks will make your life easier. *
One of my go-to ways for more storage, and a way to dress up my walls, was using Command wall hooks. We were never allowed to put holes into the walls, dorms often have brick walls anyways (yuck!), but this damage free hanging solution gave me a place to hang my purses and keep stuff off of the floor. There are similar products out there to hang all sort of decor on your wall- we love them!
* Inspiration boards are a must. *
Bulletin boards, or an old tack board covered in some chic fabric will give you the perfect place to cut out inspiration from the latest fashion magazines, post some motivational quotes or a grocery list. We hung the board with some damage-free clips. It is sure to spruce up your walls quickly!
For a quick DIY, our friends at Houzz have a fun cork board tutorial HERE.
If that’s not your thing, try some removable wallpaper on walls or furniture, we love this installation!
There are a lot of different removable wallpapers out there. Tempaper is a great brand to use, with a variety of colors, patterns and you can even create your own! We love the playful vibe of their Bobby Berk collection.
* Pictures! *
Last, but certainly not least, I LOVE displaying pictures. Vacations, friends, new college memories, frame them or hang them! One of my favorite ways to display pictures in college was with clothes pins along a rope banner. Banners are a simple DIY project that can be done with fabric or paper as well. (Like this DIY banner project, so easy!)
For all of our college student readers out there, are you going to try any of these ideas? What have you done that you want to share with everyone else? Tag @allporju on Instagram with your ideas!