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Bwog’s Guide To Dorm Decor

Bwog helps you make a room you won’t hate living in!

Let’s be honest, dorm rooms are ugly. They’re small, the walls are often holey or peeling, and all the furniture looks the same. You can’t actually change those things, but you sure can change just about everything else. Here are some ideas to make your dorm room a little more “you”.

Walls

  • allposters.com is going to be your best friend – it’s got cheap prints of just about anything you want.
  • Print pictures at Walgreens! At only about 20 cents per photo, this is the most cost-effective way to fill up your walls
    • Tip! You can print pictures of anything – family, friends, pretty landscapes, pictures you find on Pinterest, anything! Pick an aesthetic and roll with it.
  • Calendars are easy ways to add art to your room, and the picture changes every month!
  • Tapestries and flags are an easy way to fill up an entire wall. If you have a particularly peeling bit of paint, a tapestry will easily cover it.
    • Tip! Redbubble has a huge assortment of tapestries, and all the designs are made by independednt artists!
  • Hanging lights. Whether it’s twinkling curtains of LEDs or those color changing TikTok lights, lighting that isn’t the overhead flourescents will make your room a hundred times better.
  • If ~DIY~ is your thing, make collages. You can glue any piece of paper to a piece of cardstock, so get creative!
  • TIPS
    • Double sided tape, command strips, and command hooks are your friends here.
    • Make sure everything you hang is straight. You will eventually notice, and eventually it will bug you.
    • In the summer, it gets humid and posters tend to unstick. Make sure you’re using command strips or good quality tape to hang them up to avoid middle-of-the-night panic.

Windows & Sills

  • Get curtains and a tension-mounted curtain rod. If you match the color to your bedspread or carpet, it immediately pulls the whole room together.
    • Tip! You can hang a flag up as a curtain. It’s a fun way to show country pride out your window.
  • Your window frame is likely magnetic. Get some magnets and snazz up the space around your window.
  • If your view is ugly but you still want sunlight, get some fun decals (such as these stained glass ones).
    • Bonus points if you get seasonal decals and change them for each season.
  • TIP
    • Leave your window as open as possible, natural light is the best light.

Doors & Other Vertical Surfaces

  • Your door is an underutilized space for hanging stuff. Use it!
  • This can be utilitarian: get some command hooks, and hang all your bags or coats there.
  • Or, start a shrine to something on the back of your door. Examples: quotes, polaroids, bad drawings, old tickets, basically anything that is ~aesthetic~ but doesn’t really belong somewhere else.
  • Use contact paper (for example this fake marble) on the sides of your furniture to give them a fun look.
    • You can do this on your chest of drawers, the drawers in your table, or honestly any flat vertical surface.

Tabletop Decor

  • In general, less is more for your table. Nothing beats a nice clean table.
  • If you’re going to get anything, get a good LED lamp, preferably one with changing brightness settings. You’re going to want it for late-night studying.
  • If you do want a few decorative trinkets, here are some ideas:
    • a rock from your hometown
    • a small statue
    • a card from your graduation/birthday
    • a vase of fake or dried flowers
  • Live plants! They make everything better!
    • These can live on your table, or on your windowsill if you have one.
  • Empty wine/liquor bottles aren’t the classiest decoration, but it is pretty common. A nice expensive wine bottle does make a nice vase.
  • TIPS
    • Make sure your ~paraphenelia~ is easy to hide in case of inspections/RAs.

Bedding 

  • Get a nice dark colored comforter. A solid color you like is a safe bet – you might get sick of a pattern.
  • The only thing that matters about your bed is comfort, so pick a nicer fabric rather than a prettier design.
  • Don’t go crazy with throw pillows, but do get a throw blanket. When folded nicely at the foot of the bed, it adds a nice touch.
  • TIPS
    • Linen or cotton > polyester.
    • Dark colors don’t show stains….so host all the pregames you want without fear.

Floor

  • Carpet changes everything. Whether it’s soft and pillowy (perfect for naps) or bold and patterned, you can find something that suits your style.
  • Get a shoe rack or bin. Nobody wants to trip over shoes when they walk in.
  • Get plastic containers for all your stuff, and hide anything you don’t need under your bed.
    • Tip! Hide your bulky seasonal items (sweaters, boots, coats) under your bed until it gets cold out.
  • Get a pretty laundry bag that isn’t an eyesore. Yeah, white mesh will do the trick, but a nice fabric bag looks so much better.
  • TIPS
    • A clean floor is better than any decor. Please just sweep once in a while.

Extras

  • Get a diffuser! You can’t use candles, but you can use water or rod diffusers. If you get a pretty diffuser, it looks just like any other decorative vase. Hide that musty dorm smell with some fresh lavender!
  • Hang stuff from the ceiling. You have a huge amount of space to put whatever you want, so use it!
    • Make sure the fire inspectors do not see this.
  • Alternative lighting is key. Whether it’s floor lamps, TikTok lights, string LEDs, or anything else. The dorm fluorescents automatically make everything uglier.
  • Furniture is a toss-up. Think about your own lifestyle and if you would actually use the stuff you are bringing.
    • You might want a nightstand by your bed, or you can just get one of these clip-on ones.
    • You might want alternative seating, such as a beanbag chair, but be honest, how often are you going to be using it? If you think you’re just going to hang out in your bed, all it does is take up space.
    • Basically anything else (shelves, tables, couches, etc) will not fit in your room, so don’t bring them!

Some final thoughts: Your dorm room doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. This is just a list of ideas, and there is in no way an expectation that your room should have close to all of these things. But living in a space that you have put some thought into, whether it’s just by adding a poster of your favorite movie or doing a full floor-to-ceiling coordinated ~aesthetic~, automatically makes your dorm feel less like a dorm and just like your room. Happy decorating!

Header via Bwarchives.

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