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How to make your dorm a cozy home away from home

When entering a dorm room, you typically see plain brick walls, a tile floor, and two closets, dressers, desks and beds. It doesn't look like a place in which you would want to live for eight months a year.

Photo credit: Elisabeth Schwab

Instead of dreading living in such a plain room, think about how you can decorate it and make it your own space. You’ll feel more “at home” and be more comfortable.

Here are eight tips to make that happen:

1. Get a mattress topper so that your bed is more comfortable.

The mattresses in the dorms are thin and uncomfortable, so falling asleep can be difficult. Using a mattress topper makes your bed softer and more supportive, which will help you fall asleep faster.

2. Use items from your room at home.

Don't be afraid to bring your favorite stuffed animals, blankets and posters with you. Having some things that you see every day at home can be a great comfort for when you feel homesick. Lily Cochenour, a junior majoring in elementary education, said she uses items from her home to make her dorm room more comfortable.

3. Bring scented diffusers.

Diffusers give out a scent throughout the day. This can be comforting and make your room smell more pleasant with scents like sage and citrus.

4. Use rugs and slippers.

The dorm floors can be cold, especially in the winter. Use throw rugs and make sure to wear your favorite pair of slippers.

5. Cover the walls.

Photo credit: Elisabeth Schwab

Put up posters, paintings and motivational phrases on your walls. Use posters from movie, TV and video game franchises you like. If you make art yourself, put up your own works. This can also reduce echoes in your room, and make it more cheerful.

6. Do something different from your room at home.

Take advantage of having two rooms and try to decorate the dorm room differently from your room at home. Some students enjoy the challenge of decorating their dorm rooms. Marlena Booth, a community leader in Ferndale residence hall, said decorating her dorm room is one of her favorite things to do when the fall semester begins. She said she likes to make her dorm unique, and she said her turtle pillows were the most comfortable part of her room. Booth used the opportunity of decorating her room to express herself in a different way and made her room more comfortable for her.

7. Use decorative lights.

Lights like salt rock lamps and lava lamps can have a soothing effect on the room. Also string lights can help brighten up the place.

8. Bring your favorite books.

Having some of your personal library in the dorms can be great for when you need to escape, and making your dorm room comfortable for reading will make it comfortable overall. Some best selling books are; "The Girl Who Lived" by Christopher Greyson, "The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, "Sold on a Monday" by Kristina McMorris and "The Best Friend" by Shalini Boland.

Hopefully with these tips, you’ll be able to find new ways to decorate your dorm room into a more comfortable place. Don’t worry if you can’t add everything to your room at first either. Decorating dorms can be a semester-long project. Finding items can also be an enjoyable experience, adding to the comfort whenever you look at them. As long as you make the room your own, it should start to feel like home.



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