Guest blogger Robin McDonald is a designer, mom and certified “Dorm Diva” who writes about dorm room bedding and decor.
Dorm rooms are small and drab. You want your new home away from home to be the room uniquely yours. Good bye blank walls and boring dorm bedding. Exciting things are on the horizon. Let’s get started.
1. Get your dorm room layout.
If possible get the furniture measurements and work with your room mate(s) to get a plan that works for both of you. If one snores, the beds should be across the room from each other. Also, if one person is a night owl and the other a morning riser arrange the beds across the room. Place lighting (lamps/floor lamps) for late night studying in appropriate spots- near desk or over bed etc. Decide if you want dressers back to back or side by side as room dividers. Play with layout options. Decide who gets the top bunk, if beds are going on risers etc…
Drab! Photo: Apartment Therapy
2. Color scheme/theme
Once you’ve got your plan… now get your color scheme. If possible, try to coordinate with your dorm roommate for the best dorm looks. However, this is not a must. Make sure you reach a happy medium here as you don’t want to start off on a bad note. Try to each have your own style and coordinate accent colors. Add rugs for buffering those cold and often dirty floors. Add rugs by sink (small) and larger size in front of the bed. Try a yoga mat as a rug… long, colorful, and cushy
Add panels. I prefer long panels for color pop and light diffuser. Use a small PVC pole cut to size and add “finials” with round Styrofoam balls covered in fabric and hot glued to the ends. Panels are great to cover the closet. Remove the doors and store under the beds for another option.
4. Wall Art
Many options here. Get a memo board or bulletin board. LOVE vinyl wall art for walls. These allow selection of font, color, size… and are removable. Very popular are monograms (giant) and collage frame collections – These are inexpensive, offer major impact and a way to show off friends and family .
5. Dorm Bedding
Don’t get caught in the bedding blahs. Get creative! Load up with pillows for comfort. Find pillows that have removable inserts for cleaning (you will spill) And reversible fabrics (you will get bored). Add many sizes and feels to make your hangout popular and cozy. Definitely get a sham. King shams make great pseudo-headboard. Add a custom dorm headboard for great look and cushy dense foam comfort. You’ll be spending lots of time in your here so make it durable, fun and comfortable.
6. Dorm sheets
Twin XL sheets are often required; however, jersey cotton twins are often sufficient when pinned in corners. Check for thread counts – I find girls love the jersey cotton feel and they wash well. Beech cotton sheets are also popular. Add monogramming for a special touch and ability to keep up with your things at the laundry. Make sure you get mattress protector/pad. Those mattresses need life and help for a dreamy sleep.
Dorm duvet covers are very popular for cleaning and ability to specify down/poly inserts for feel preference. Select fabrics you love! Fix the insert to the cover with Velcro spots or safety pins. Get a throw blanket available in a variety of fun patterns and cuddly feels. Find a blanket one you LOVE! And that gives you that hug back.
Last but certainly not least, the bed skirt. This serves a double purpose – a. style – adds color/pattern b. function – hides the storage. Make sure you determine the drop needed (are you using risers?) and how it will be situated as maybe you only need a 1-sided bed skirt panel and not a foot panel depending on the furniture configuration.
Be as organized as possible in such tight quarters. Use under the bed bins with rollers. Stackable crates. Large pack-rat totes. Invest in these as they will make your life so much easier.
8. Dorm Chair Slipcovers
These are really popular now. Avoid the clash of the designer dorm and dull old dorm chair. Add a slipcover to jazz it up and make you want to sit in that desk chair and STUDY
Hope these thoughts get your creative juices flowing! If you need assistance, contact Décor 2 Ur Door. Years of designing and two daughter’s dorms and sorority houses qualifies me as “Dorm Diva”! Enjoy decorating your dorm room and your college dorm experience.