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Dorm decor ideas: Planning and creating a beautiful college abode

Begin by drawing some floor plans
Begin by drawing some floor plans
Carol Ruth Weber

It is that time of year when many move from the comfy parental nest and into the taste of living in their own abode; the college dorm. Whether a first year student or a seasoned collegiate this is an emotional time for both parents and the college young adults. Along with planning for maneuvering through an obstacle of new studies it is also necessary to be well prepared to move into the new college home. Having a well appointed and organized decor will also assist one in keeping up with class work. Come along with my daughter, Hannah, and see how we turned the ordinary into the extraordinary.

turning an ugly dorm room into a beautiful abode
Carol Ruth Weber

A plan of action is the first step to achieving a perfected dorm room decor.

Whether sharing with a roommate or nestling into a single it is vital to have plans and supplies ready for action to move in. Understand that other than a bed, dresser, desk, chair and basic window coverings one will be responsible for turning the bare dorm cell into a delightful living space.

  • Make a dorm room supply list of needs and wants that are necessary for being comfortable and organized. Roommates should coordinate what each will be bringing to contribute to the dorm room's needs and decor.
  • Most college sites provide floor plans. Play with the floor plan, drawing it out on graph paper, using correct dimensions to know how you want the furnishings to be arranged once you arrive.

Instead of a boring area rug FLOR module carpet squares will instantly add warmth to any room.

FLOR carpet squares are perfect for covering the room's complete floor space if desired or to make an area rug to fit a custom size without causing any damage. With so many designs and ideas to create one will enjoy planning the floor's FLOR decor.

  • With FLOR tiles an entire room can be carpeted DIY quickly without hassle.
  • FLOR offers free design services to assist in making the dorm room spectacular.
  • The carpet tiles are assembled together using FLOR's special dot system for easy installation and removal to store away for the following year.

· Order extra tiles so if a stain or experiment messes up a spot a carpet tile can simply be swapped out.

Before moving anything into the room have your plan perfected and set for the FLOR design and installation.

For Hannah's single room at the University of Miami we chose to create an area rug with a pretty stripe design and a border inserted within a background of a plain color that will be easily maintained and not show everyday dirt.

  • We ordered all of the tiles and installation items needed and were organized to install first thing before any other items entered her room.
  • The carpet tiles are marked on the back with arrows to insure that we install them in the correct direction. Of course we played around with different rug looks before we settled on the perfect one to fit the decor.
  • For any trimming around corners and at walls we marked the back of the carpet square and used a stainless straightedge and a sharp carpet knife to easily cut the tile to fit properly.
  • The job was complete within a half hour.

With a wall of windows it is important to have black out window coverings.

Although the college provided blinds in Hannah's room they were not blackout and with an entire wall of windows this was certainly a necessity. Oh-oh issue... the room was equipped with an air conditioner that blocked a portion of a window. This is when it is fun to think creatively to turn the very prominent wall into beautiful decor.

  • We purchased 84 inch long drapes at an outlet store for an amazing bargain. With two long tension rods the drapes could easily be hung straight across the windows at the height below the AC unit.
  • To rectify the still open window glare at the top AC unit height we purchased striped drapery at another outlet in a 63 inch length. These were hung with two more tension rods above the unit at ceiling height. No curtain was needed for where the AC unit took up space.
  • Easily we created a Roman valance look by using an interesting ribbon to pull up the striped curtains on each panel's side. Beautiful!

Bedding is important for a good night's sleep and to keep up the grades.

Unfortunately when shopping for dorm bedding to fit extra long twin beds most sheets come in an uncomfortable polyester. Shopbedding.com is the place to go to find quality dorm size cotton bedding at a reasonable price.

  • Great color choices can be found, ordered and ready to move in, in XL sheet sets, as well as duvet covers, pillow shams, throws and toss pillows.
  • Do not forget the bed pillows, mattress pads, and a protection set for the dreaded bedbugs.
  • Setting this Shopbedding far above the other dorm bedding sites is the elusive bed skirt that they sell specifically made to fit an XL twin dorm bed. Adding the icing on the cake is that the skirt is available in three lengths to compensate for a raised bed hiding storage underneath.

Hannah's room is well appointed in a beautiful gold colored duvet with the 21 inch high gold bed skirt to hide the bed risers (Her scuba gear needs to be stored somewhere).

Way Basics is perfect for much needed additional dorm room storage.

One dresser and a closet is never enough storage space, especially for the females. Waybasics.com comes to the rescue with wonderful cubes and boxes. To decorate Hannah's dorm room we utilized the beautiful assortment of extremely lightweight Way Basics decor. The items can instantly be put together without any tools for an easy move in. Then use the boxes to pack for an easy move out at the end of the year.

  • We chose two white door boxes to put together and stack using Scotch square fasteners to hold them together. With casters added to the bottom the boxes became the perfect bedside night table.
  • For a bit of a more grown up look befitting a college student we chose four cubes in a natural wood tone to arrange together using the Scotch fasteners. We then purchased bins that fit perfectly inside the lightweight cubes to use like drawers to hide additional clothing items.

Way Basics are USA made, sustainable and eco-friendly too, making them a guiltless purchase.

Command Brand hooks, picture hangers and more will complete any dorm abode's decor.

The Command Brand product line keeps growing and with new organizing, storage and decor possibilities. Colleges do not look kindly into students putting holes in walls with nails, hooks and picture hangers. Command products can be used to decorate the ugly bare dorm walls without any damage whatsoever. At the end of the year simply hold and pull the tape down for the hooks to release leaving no hint that they were ever there.

  • Command picture hangers will hang lovely framed artwork.
  • Be creative and use the Command hooks for a dual purpose of hanging jewelry, hats and pocket books to display as colorful art and also to grab on the go.
  • Command cord organizers keep cables and cords from becoming a tangled monster.
  • Use the hooks for towels, coats, bathrobes and towels.

Make your room a statement of your own with some easy decorating.

Other than the usual extra items such as lamps, hangers, bedding and towels to make the dorm room your own home, one will want to add some individual decor touches. Many rooms consist of cold tiled floors and concrete block walls. Before moving in have fun collecting ideas and supplies ready to magically turn a boring hole into your own delightful and beautiful bedroom and living space.

Most important is to have fun as you plan and then move in to your new home. Play some music to keep the energy up while decorating. Never be afraid to dance.

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