A rack of hangers and a standing light

Our college dorm rooms, apartments and living spaces become the backdrop for so many meaningful rituals—laughter with a roommate, late night studying, cozy movie nights with friends and resting after a long week. With the all-too-frequent lack of square footage in these rooms, we get to be creative when making the space our own.  

After a year that challenged us to use our homes in new ways, as many of us adopted a WFH lifestyle and attended online classes, we know just how much of an impact our living arrangements can have on how we feel. As we turn the calendar page and gear up for another semester, here are some easy home decor changes you can make to inspire a fresh start. 

1. Mirrors 

A simple mirror can do wonders for making a space feel bigger. Practical and beautiful, full length mirrors make it easy to check your outfit on the way out the door while hanging mirrors function as pieces of art. I’m excited to add this Darling Decal to my mirror when I return to campus; it’s the perfect reminder to carry kindness into the day.

2. Rugs

Throwing down a new rug can drastically change the mood of a room. Not all dorm floors are created equal, but a rug can bring a tangible layer of comfort and texture to any stark residence hall. Adding a larger rug can make things flow more cohesively while a shorter piece could be the perfect welcome mat inside your door. 

3. Pillows

Updating the selection of throw pillows on your bed or a chair allows for warmth and color to enter your space. Choosing a new pillow cover can be a wallet-friendly way to update your existing collection. I often pull my larger pillows onto the floor when I need extra seating or a new place to relax. 

A close up photo of a pillow4. Plants

A little bit of greenery goes a long way in brightening up a tiny room. Succulents or fresh-cut flowers are great options for dorm rooms because of their hearty, low-stress upkeep. These bursts of natural color make all the difference on grey winter days.

5. Whatever you love

When I moved into my freshman year dorm, I was hesitant to bring special pieces from home. Though I was initially worried about how my favorite things would hold up in a residence hall, I have learned that it is important to make space for the decor I love.

So, that framed picture of you and your best friends? Give it a permanent home on your desk. The vase from your grandmother? Set it on the windowsill. Your favorite sunhat? Hang it on the wall. Having personal touches closeby can transform a dorm from a temporary home to a real home. 

As you step into another semester with anticipation for all the new year will bring, take some time to redefine your intentions for your living space to make it feel like the creative, welcoming home you deserve.

A rack of clothes and a hat hanging on a wall with a Yosemite poster underneathDo you like to remodel to mark a new season or time of your life? What are some of your go-to redecorating tips?

Image via Anne Gorman

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