Dorm Decor: Dress up your dorm (without damage!)

Written by Milan Jara on 14th Oct 2014

It can be safely said that college dorm rooms look more like hospital rooms than home bedrooms. Asking college students to live in a white box with no character is almost cruel. Well, it isn’t really cruel, but it just seems unnecessary. Most dorms have rules about decorating the rooms that prevent really creative things, such as painting the walls or hanging a very attractive set of ceiling tiles. But that does not mean that college students are without options. There are plenty of fun ways to dress up a dorm room without violating the dorm’s building codes and without getting hit with a big maintenance charge after you move out.

Dorm Room

Photo By Daniel Foster (Flickr)

Start With Your Stuff

In many dorms, you cannot put up wood paneling to add a little character to your dorm room. But you can pretty much do whatever you want with your bed coverings and other personal stuff. Bring a colorful set of bed coverings to your room and you are off to a great start. How about a colorful covering for your desk chair? What about some colorful desk items, such as a pen holder and stapler? Take a look around your dorm room and start adding colors to the areas that do not require permanent alterations and you will start to see plenty of color.

Floor and Ceiling Color

A colorful throw rug on your dorm room floor is a very easy an inexpensive way to add comfort and color to your room. You may not be able to bring in your favorite ceiling tile professionals to add character to your ceiling, but you can still do it yourself. You can affix colorful scarves and large, lightweight cloths to the ceiling of your dorm room by using push pins in each of the four corners of the cloth. Push pins leave only a small hole in your ceiling, which may not even be noticeable if you have one of those classy popcorn ceilings, and you would be surprised at how much weight push pins can hold.

Break Up the White Walls

No, don’t literally break up the walls! Remember, these are ideas that inflict almost no damage on the walls and floors of your dorm room. Lightweight posters are always great ways to break up the white walls in your dorm room, and the clay-like substance sold for hanging posters leaves no mark at all. But you can get creative with your posters and your walls to really make your room interesting. How about some streamers along the top of your walls to act as colorful wall borders? Instead of posters of musicians or movie stars, have pictures of your pets or best friends blown up into poster-size images. Now you are able to break up the monotony of your white walls with images that really mean something to you.

When you bring all of these ideas together, you have a colorful and fun dorm room that inflicts absolutely no damage on the walls or floors. Bringing some color and character into your dorm room is critical in helping you to make it feel a little more like home. It is a lot easier to study for the big exam when you make your room feel like home, as opposed to feeling like you live in a hospital room.

- Milan Jara