Fall is almost here- which for many of us means move-in day! As a freshman, I found the empty dorm room to be slightly intimidating. The first time you open your door, you are greeted by bare, painters-white walls, dusty closets and desks, matching bed-springs, mattresses, and a sense of overwhelming anxiety. What have I gotten myself into? Luckily, I have a few key pieces that will turn your room from drab to fab!

First, your bedding is the focal point of a room. It is the largest piece, and therefore should reflect your taste in some way. It can be through the use of color, texture or pattern on your comforter; or it can be through the facet of pillows and accessories that accent the bedding selection. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold- but also keep in mind that trendy this year may be “out” the next. Simple staples can be used year-to-year (such as sheets, pillow cases, etc) that will keep down the budget for years to come.


Secondly, add pizazz to the walls! Check with your school on regulations, but at Penn State we can use self-adhesive as long as it is removable and doesn’t leave marks or holes. My suggestion would be posters, pictures, decals that are fun, inviting and can be an interest to the eye. This year I am hanging a canvas that someone had made for me as a make-shift, yet personal, poster. Alongside the canvas I am hanging Dormify Photo Strips to accent the sides like a frame.

Third, let the accessories shine. Find a few main accessories that go with your bedding and wallart- but are also a reflection of you. These items can be fun- such as a picture frame and a vase of flowers, to practical such as pencil holders and wireless mouse. There will not be a lot of extra space, so be careful that you do not add too many accessories that can pretty quickly accumulate the clutter.

Lastly, I found lighting to be essential. My roommate and I last year added simple string lights around the exterior of the ceiling, and classier ones under our lofts. It added such great mood lighting when we had guests- but it also was nice when we didn’t need the intensity of the provided over-head lighting. In the beginning, it is also quite the conversation starter- so bonus you can meet new people also!

Basically, I hope to remind you that your original, boring dorm room can look amazing, and feel like home if you want it to! Remember it’s the little things! Good luck, and as always, I’m here if you need anything! :)