It’s important to have a sanctuary where you can retreat to when life gets hectic. Here are some tips on how to decorate the dorm room of your dreams (on the cheap).
Mood Lighting is Key: The fluorescent lights in the residence halls can be a little harsh at times. Let in some good old natural light by keeping the blinds open during the day. For nighttime, set up a cute floor lamp or snag some string lights. You can even grab some LED candles for a calming ambiance while still complying with dorm rules.
Hit the Thrift Store: Thrift and secondhand stores are a great place to find awesome decorations on the cheap. St. Alban’s opportunity shop is close to campus and usually has a good selection of posters, wall art, lamps, baskets, and tapestries available for sale at really inexpensive prices! Further from campus but just as great is the Georgia Avenue Thrift Store, which has a broad selection of furniture as well as home décor for sale. Shopping for secondhand items is great for the environment and also guarantees that your decorations will be unique and eclectic – no IKEA uniformity here!
Double Seating and Storage: Ottomans or storage cubes are versatile in that you can use them to store your stuff, then whip them out for seating when you’re entertaining. Check out this one from amazon that come in a variety of colors. If you’d rather save your money for Cava, DIY your own subsitutue by covering a produce crate with a cute blanket or tapestry.
Go Green: Nothing livens up the dismal uniformity of the dorms like a few well-placed houseplants. Go for low-maintenance, air purifying plants like philodendron, snake plants, and succulents. Check out Johnsons Florist and Garden Center in Tenleytown for all your plant-related needs. They have a huge variety of indoor plants for sale, a great selection of planters to match your decor, and a staff that can help with any questions you have!
If you managed to snag the window side of the room, you can try your hand at growing some herbs from scratch. Check out this inexpensive herb garden starter from amazon and you’ll be adding herbal flair to your dorm-room ramen in no time.
Quiet Quilts: Everyone knows the dorm walls are paper-thin. If you’re worried about your neighbors hearing what’s going on in your room (or vice-versa), try hanging up a piece of fabric to double as both decor and a noise insulator. Many students hang tapestries or flags, but an ornamental rug or pretty quilt can work just as well!
Side Note – The walls in the residence halls are made of concrete and can sometimes be difficult to hang stuff on. We would recommend using these command strips for the best hold.