dorm room tips & tricks
HOW to make the most of your dorm room...
hello, friends! if you're getting your dorm room ready and looking for a few interior design tips, look no further!
Writing this post doesn't make me feel old or anything... when I started college, oh, just eleven Augusts ago, you were required to have a land-line phone plugged in to the phone jack so that the college could leave you a voice message at any time. Who in college has a land-line?! (Yes, we had cell phones, I'm not that old. But yes, mine was of the flip-phone variety.) Anyways, here are ideas and tips to get you move-in ready before heading off to school! Oh, and if you're wondering... my land-line phone was a "big purchase" from pottery barn, and I still have it on a shelf as decor because it is just so cute! Who doesn't need a bright red old school style phone?
okay, happy move-in, college peeps! love, courtney
choose your bedding
In this image from uber-popular blogger Lone Star Southern, we see that she chose a neutral bedding. Neutral bedding lets you add bright colors and change up your look with much less expensive items like pillows and throw blankets. And, if you and your roommate don't get the same bedding, neutrals are likely to coordinate instead of clash.
Layer Your Bedding
You never know if your dorm (or sorority house) might be ice cold - or your room might be the warmest on the hall due to old A/C units. Make your base-layer of bedding a fairly light option, so that if it's warm, that's all you need, and then have a few options to add layers - or a throw blanket to grab when you're taking a power nap. (Before a study session, not a late-night date party, of course!)
We just started carrying these fabulous dohar blankets by Mela and Roam - it's a Houston company that uses Indian fabric to make these "Indian summer blankets." They're neutral enough to coordinate with almost any bedding, and they wash and dry beautifully. The twin size is $145 and oh-so-soft! (And something that can grow with your style long after dorm-life.)
Change Up Your Wall Decor
One thing we've learned when working with small spaces is that it's nice to change up your artwork on a regular basis. Choose something like a magnet board, bulletin board, or the frame with clips below. You can swap out the pictures frequently and always have something new to look at in your space!
(More ideas on our Pinterest board.)
Walgreens Photo App - it's Genius!
The Walgreens photo app is super handy - you can install it on your phone and link directly to your instagram account. You simply select which photos you'd like to print, and they're ready in an hour at a Walgreens near you! Cute 4x4 prints ready to be hung or framed, it's so easy. (not endorsed by walgreens, we just love printing pics!)
When space is tight, organization is key to maximizing your space. When my parents moved me in to my first dorm room at TCU, my dad had all kinds of zip-ties and command hooks to get my wires organized. I thought he was going overboard, but then my desk was clutter-free thanks to his help. He set up my desk so that my laptop power cord was always neatly tucked away, and I didn't have millions of wires going everywhere, like lamp cords, phone charger, etc. I highly recommend keeping these on hand - amazon is a great place to find them.
You can be almost 100% certain that no matter where you're going to school and what dorm you're living in, you'll need a lamp. Ikea and Marshall's Home Goods are both great places to find good, stylish, inexpensive lamps. We love the desk below! Lucite/clear lamp bases will continue to go move with you as your style changes over the next years.
make it fun
College is amazing, true. But parts of it are kinda boring, and you slowly get a glimspe of what being an adult feels like. I was lucky to have a mom that did all my laundry growing up, so hauling laundry to the basement was a shock to the system whenever I finally ran out of clean towels or what-have-you. But, like most things in life, you can make it fun. Maybe grab a friend and do your loads at the same time! And, I highly recommend Trader Joe's lavender dryer bags. Who doesn't love clothes and sheets that smell of lavender? And they last for 10 cycles. Go getcha some, quick.
You need a love fern
My mom is a big believer of having real, live plants in the house. She's not like a green-house hoarder or anything, but when I went off to school we got a small potted plant for my desk and I kept it all 4 years. They add interest to your space, but they also legit clean your air. It's scientifically proven! Ikea of all places has a great small plant section and cute pots. Snake plants are easy to care for and don't require much water or sunlight.I left mine for a month over Christmas break and it did just fine. (They're commonly referred to as mother-in-law's tongue because, get this - "you can't kill them." We didn't come up with the name so don't give us a dirty look!)
PS - if you don't know the "love fern" reference you need to see "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days" ASAP.
Y'all, would you believe 5 years ago I didn't know what a weekend-er bag was? It's true. I just thought they were called... bags or duffels or whatever. But one of my besties Caitlin (who I met in college!) taught me that there's a specific term for a bag designed just for traveling on a long weekend. And friends, you need one. (You probably got one as a graduation gift.) Basically, just don't forget you need a bag to load with things just for a long weekend - not a giant suitcase that you might use for moving most of your closet to school. When you're ready for a visit back home (Mom and Dad miss you!) or to go see friends at a different school, you don't want to use a giant roller suitcase. So it's a smart idea to pack something like this...
Good luck to all of our college-bound friends (and the parents helping them move in!) We wish you a fabulous school year! Don't forget to study, call your parents, and keep in mind what my dad always told us ... You can always retake a class. You can never relive a party! But he also said "Do as I say, not as I did" a lot.