Ah the college dorm, the dreaded small dingy confined space barely large enough to fit that twin XL bed, let alone a girl’s wardrobe. Decorating a dorm proves to be an oddly exiting challenge that students look forward to, including myself, at the beginning of each year. There is something strangely satisfying about figuring out how to fit everything and “hacking” the space you are given. Thankfully, this year as a sophomore, I was able to get a single room that, while still small, gave me ample space to decorate and customize to my heart’s content. Last year, I was cramped into a room with two other girls and, although hard, it helped me figure out how to make the most of my space. I swear by companies like Pottery Barn (PB teen has a specific dorm brand), Bed Bath and Beyond, and Etsy to find solutions for storage that are cute and minimize the clutter because, as you probably can tell by this blog, I love clothes (and shoes and jewelry and accessories). So how do I manage this year? Read below to see how I transformed my space to be comfortable, personal and practical! 🙂
To stay organized, I separated by dorm into different sections based on purpose. I have my mini fridge (and freezer!) near the entrance in the little foyer on top of a storage unit for my snacks and kitchen ware. My kettle, cups and mugs are all on top of the fridge making what I like to call my “vertical kitchen”. Further inside the room, I have my wardrobe across from my “little sitting area”, my bed area with storage underneath, and then my desk area where I store all of my toiletries, jewelry, makeup, and school supplies.
I tried to keep the decor neat around my bed and stuck with a constant color scheme throughout my room. The base is all light soft pink, and then I have a lot of navy, gold (including rose gold), black and white which all come together to contrast each other. The floral lights are from PB Teen. The little pinup board and monogram are customized from Etsy which is the place to go for custom decor at a decent price. The dog painting is actually my dog and she’s right below an art piece representing my state, letting me have a little piece of home on display. I got the The Breakfast at Tiffany’s picture from Art.com which is a fabulous place to get art at a reasonable price. I know it’s super cliché but I love Andrey Hepburn and classic movies, plus the picture goes well with my overall theme. The rose gold dots are from Umbra, a company that specializes in sleek modern home decor all at a very cheap price.
You can never have enough pillows, especially in college when your bed doesn’t have a headboard. I have yet another monogram on a pillow from Etsy (I love the cursive look and the personalization of them). Two of the other pillows are from Lily Home, another from Kate Spade (it’s a Jane Austen quote since I love classic english lit), and a fun sequined pillow that is more for my own entertainment than practicality. My bedspread is called Whimsical Waves from PB Teen. I made sure to have a neutral solid spread, so I could go all out with pillows and other fun patterned accessories.
As a storage hack, I have a special rail (PB Teen) that hangs under my bed to store my vests and light jackets. It also shields the junk that I have under my bed such as my suitcases and boxes, so nobody has to see the cluttered mess underneath. The little ottoman is from Bed Bath and Beyond and it also stores clothes. It doubles as both a seat and a step stole making it absolutely awesome.
My sitting area:
My favorite part of the room is the little make shift seating area I created. The tapestry, which takes up the majority of the wall, is from Society 6, a great site specializing in funky affordable decor specifically for young people. Tapestries are great since they transform a space with little to no effort on your part. I honestly couldn’t resist having a pink and purple Prada Marfa sign in my room! The seat and lamp are both from target, while the truck is from PB Teen. The truck was a bit of an investment, but is multi-purposeful as both stylish storage and furniture for my room.
I admit that my desk is a bit cluttered, but that’s partly because it serves so many functions. The acrylic makeup container stores all of my hair and makeup supplies, along with lotions and perfumes. I separate that with my jewelry which I have stored with a hanger from The Container Store and a small pottery and wire earring holder. I use my desk as a vanity, so I have a nice foldable mirror from PB Teen that takes up limited space. I’m a total Harry Potter nerd, so yes I have all of the books lined on the shelf, and as extra decor, I have the leather-bound version of two of my favorite classic books which mount my piggy bank. Yes, I have a Chanel inspired piggy bank, judge away. I taped up perfume campaign ads that Sephora sent me to add a little something to the area’s wall, and because I honestly had no idea what to do with them…
Over my window, I put up a white and gold curtain that hides the ugly vent and window sill. To make my bed look a little cozier, and honestly more bed-like because dorm beds are so basic, I draped layered curtains behind and above the bed with hooks. The drapery creates a canopy illusion and makes the room much more colorful while serving as decor for the overall bed space.
So there, my little cozy temporary home…