It is important to love the space you’re living in, but creating a new home away from home after moving to college can be tricky on a student budget and limited space. Many college students have to make the adjustment of sharing a dorm room or small apartment with others. So how do you make a space your own with these ugly, limiting circumstances?
1. Start with one item that you really love. If you get homesick pick something that comforts you or reminds you of home. Picking out one particular item and working around it makes for a simple project. May it be a piece of art, a pillow from home, a lamp, or a bedspread, a color scheme will come naturally when you focus on that one thing.
2. Surround yourself with colors that express you and flatter your skin tone. Color theory dictates that different colors can inspire different moods and energies in people. Cool colors, on the left side of the color wheel, provide a sense of relaxation. Avoid loud bright colors that could prevent you from sleeping well. Can’t paint? Hang fabric or tapestry to create a mood without the painting mess. Remember to keep the theme of your room under 5 colors, going over 5 can make your room appear smaller and more cluttered.
3. Dorm rooms and apartments are notorious for bad lighting. Sunlight gives the body vitamin D, which helps perk up your mood. Fluorescent lighting can cause moodiness, migraines, depression, sleep/wake cycles and overall stress because the cool white light it gives off does not match the sun light’s color spectrum.
4. Hanging a mobile in your room is a decorative, spacious, way to add movement and energy to your room. Collect small things that appeal to you like cards, beads, paper flowers, and pictures and string them together with fishing wire. Attach the stings to a disk or piece of decorative cardboard. If you use glass beads your mobile will look great attached to a light or in front of a window.
5. Closet space can be limiting in a small apartment or bedroom. Utility shelves are a cheap easy solution. They come in all sizes and can hold plenty of weight. They can be used for decorative purpose, organization, or for holding foldable clothes that won’t fit in a dresser.
6. Rugs are not only a way to complete your room, but also a way to preserve the carpet or floor of your space. Sometimes carpet stores will sell extra carpet or carpet they’ve already cut for a cheap cost. Try to stay within your simple color scheme and keep it neutral to help accent your tranquil space.
7. Accessories are key to decorating a room. Don’t be afraid to express your creativity. Decorate lamp shades, make personalized wall art, craft your own pencil holders, find a throw or decorative tapestry. These are all fun, inexpensive details that will turn your room into your own unique space.