Making Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

If you're about to move into your first campus dorm room (or shared accommodations) as you begin your post-secondary education, now is the time to explore personalizing your space so that it feels like 'Home'. 

Dorm rooms are often compact, utilitarian and, well, devoid of personality. If you're moving out for the first time this can be a huge culture shock in comparison to the comforts of your family home. For myself, when I think of home the first thing that comes to mind is calm, comfortable and relaxed; the way you'll want your dorm room to feel. Take it from me: the way you decorate your room can have a huge impact on your college/university experience. Since you're usually limited to altering your space in a way that's permanent, here's a few ways to create optimum comfort this coming school year:



Photo courtesy of Structube.



Between the work load of classes, projects and tests, it can be a challenge to keep things organized. Since dorm rooms are either small or shared, it can quickly become cluttered. Having your own desk and a comfortable chair is a great way to keep your school work organized and separated from where you sleep.

Structube is a Montreal-based furniture store that makes living in small spaces a little easier with perfectly sized pieces. They work passionately to achieve a perfect balance between affordable, functional and stylish products. Their products are suitable for dorm rooms that are in need of functional and affordable furniture. Staying organized is good for your mental health and can allow you to feel more relaxed and at home. You can also make your desk area feel a little closer to home by adding comforting quotes and pictures of the family at your workspace.



Photo courtesy of Homesense.



When I think of home and comfort, the first place that comes to mind is my bed. After studying and having classes all day it's nice to have a plush soft bed to retreat to. Comfort is key when it comes to the bedroom and sleep has never been more critical when it comes to post-secondary education. I cannot stress enough how important it is to create a space for yourself that is relaxing and cosy. A comfortable pillow, blanket and mattress can make a huge difference in your sleep habits and school performance.

Homesense is a great place to find reasonably priced and quality comforters and bed attire. Their website even has a Back to Campus Look-book to inspire your dorm room style. In my first year of college I made the mistake of cheaping out on a comforter and pillow; never has my neck been sorer or my body been colder. Duvet blankets are perfect for combating the cold winters and harsh summers. The Spruce has a Duvet Buying Guide that goes through what you should be looking for in a comforter in order to suit your needs. 



Photo courtesy of Simons.



For me, this is the fun part! There's something liberating about being on your own for the first time and decorating your space as you wish. Because most dorm rooms feature bland neutral coloured walls- and there are restrictions on painting - consider using mirrors, rugs, tapestries and art to add colour to your space. These little details can be highly effective in making you feel more at home in your new space.

Simons is one of my favourite finds for decorative items and housing products. They offer everything from area rugs to accent pieces. 



Photo courtesy of EQ3.



More than often dorm rooms are not properly lit. This can make studying even more challenging. Adding lighting will allow you to see better and also make it feel more warm and pleasant. For example, string lights and nifty lamps are a good way to have fun with your room.

EQ3 is a Winnipeg-based company known for their simple and clean home furnishings. They have an array of lighting options that are both stylish and functional. As well, adding small plants can make your room feel more fresh and airy if you're stuck in an isolated dorm. 



Photo courtesy of Gurl.



Finally, the most important part of decorating your dorm is personalization. When you're far away from your family home, you definitely don't want your dorm room to feel transient. It should be your oasis, the place you come to when you want to feel at home.

Walls are the best way to claim your space through posters, photos and art work. Washi tape is an inexpensive and trendy way to frame pictures to your wall with the option to easily remove later. As well, string lights can serve as a dual purpose by using clothes pins to hang photos off of them.It can be easy to miss home when you're so far away, that's why pictures of family members and friends can be very comforting. Even if you're broke, you can infuse your personality by incorporating items you cherish, or that you've collected during your adventures. Thrift stores, garage sales and DIY projects are an awesome way to add some personality to your newly acquired space.



Photo courtesy of Texas Tech.



Post secondary education can be a stressful time, which is why it's so important to make your room your sanctuary. Even if you're limited by budget, be creative by adding decorative touches and personal objects. When you spread your energy in a space, whether that's by adding furniture, hanging pictures and curating personal items, even the blandest of dorm rooms can become a home. So get creative, and have fun with your dorm room this September!



Want to see some more decor options? Check out these other houseporn articles:

Colour Coding Canadians

Urban Fabric By Toronto Designers Four O Nine

Pewter Picture Holders By Amos Pewter, Nova Scotia



Researched and Written by Syrina Gatta, Interior Design student at Sheridan College

Posted In: Canada

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