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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Before you head off to college and start buying a variety of bathroom essentials -- shower curtain, bath mat, accessories for in the shower, and storage options for the bathroom, there are a few things you need to know. 

Women holding toothbrush

First, not all college dorm bathrooms are created equal and the type of bathroom you end up with will depend on your university and living style. Most campuses have single gender and co-ed dorm rooms, and it’s usually your preference as to which one you end up assigned to. 

If you end up living in a single gender dorm room, then you will typically have a communal bathroom -- more on that later. A co-ed dorm usually offers a suite style living arrangement, meaning two rooms with two people in each room share a bathroom in the middle of those rooms -- four to a bathroom. Older dorms also tend to have communal bathrooms, and unfortunately most freshmen end up in older dorm buildings while upperclassmen enjoy apartment style living. Last, but not least, bigger universities sometimes offer single style living for freshman students. In this situation you would have your own room and bathroom, so decorate at your leisure! 

Back to communal bathrooms -- yes, the dreaded communal bathroom. If this is your style of bathroom then you don’t have many options when it comes to decorating. You can buy a bath mat, shower curtain, and furniture for storage, but these bathrooms come furnished. By furnished we mean the bare basics, plain shower curtain, maybe a mat for inside the shower if you’re lucky, and a few basic racks or shelves to place your things. 

Dorm Bath

If you want, then you can buy your own shower curtain and other homey items -- but be aware that others will be using your things, so you run the risk of losing an item or finding it damaged. Bathrooms that are a part of suite style living offer a bit more flexibility when it comes to decorating. You and your roommates can make an agreement on how you want to share and furnish the place, and as long as you all agree to respect each other's property, then it should be smooth sailing from there. 

Having roommates also helps with affordability and not going over budget. If each of you agrees to buy one thing for the bathroom, then you can cover almost everything you need with little cost. But be aware, if you plan to move into an apartment or have your own bathroom the following year, then you may need to buy these things anyway. The choice is yours. 

There are some essential items you’ll need for your bathroom to make your life a little bit easier. 

Keep reading and we will discuss: 

  • Bathroom decorating ideas
  • Bathroom essentials 

Spruce it up With Plants 

Envelope your bathroom in a botanical wonderland and see how your mood improves. Image courtesy of Collective Gen. 

Ok -- hear us out, who doesn’t want to shower and get ready in the morning surrounded by foliage in a tropical, botanical wonderland. It sounds like a scene out of a movie or a luxurious island vacation. But really, it's such an easy way to decorate your bathroom. All you need is a green thumb (well a partial one) and some plants to go along. 

There are a number of high humidity requiring plants that will do well in a bathroom. Many of these plants are also leafy, tropical type plants that look very beautiful and rightly placed in a bathroom. Since bathrooms are constantly changing in temperature and humidity with different levels of light -- it’s best to stick with easy and resilient plants that can tolerate changing conditions. 

Best plants for a bathroom that receives zero sunlight. Image courtesy of Pinterest. 

We would recommend lucky bamboo and aloe vera for their low light requirements. Ivy, pothos, spider plants, peace lilies, and ZZ plants all require low light. A snake plant is a great option for any room because they are extremely resilient -- verging on unkillable. If you’re already an advanced plant parent, then you may consider getting an orchid for your bathroom, they love high humidity and wet conditions. 

If you and your roommates each buy a plant for the bathroom, then you’ll have a thriving jungle in no time. You may be thinking how plants count as decorative elements, but if you look at the image above and remove all of the plants, you’re left with a basic white tile bathroom. A couple plants go a long way! 

Storage options can be a great idea for the bathroom because each person can have their own space for their personal items.

Another idea for your bathroom is to purchase a storage rack. This is a good idea for bathrooms shared between a few people in a dorm or apartment. With a storage rack, each person has a place to keep their items -- and since it’s for the bathroom, you can keep your things in there without having to transport them. 

Since items are mostly wet after using the shower, individual racks can help them air dry naturally. Sometimes, mold and bacteria tends to build up in a shower caddy if it’s not cleaned properly. Also, since your items won’t be taking up all of the floor space, you’ll have more room for other decor items. 

Beautiful blue boho medallion shower curtain will liven up your dorm bathroom. 

If you’re lucky enough to escape the communal bathroom and share with only a few people, or just yourself -- then you may have the luxury of decorating with some personal touches. Changing the shower curtain can do wonders to liven up the bathroom. Usually, the standard shower curtain that will come with your dorm room is white or clear. This doesn’t help to make the space feel like home. 

Adding something as simple as a shower curtain can help make the place feel more like your own. When we have a plain white shower curtain, we feel distant from our environment. Other simple touches like a bath mat will go a long way too. 

College bathroom floors are typically tile, so one thing to note is that they are slippery! Even in shower shoes with tread, you have to be careful when you come out of the shower. A bath mat can help eliminate the possibility of any accidents or slipping. 

Bathroom Essentials 

A shower robe will ease the stress of communal bathrooms by keeping your privacy and making showering easier. 

There are a few bathroom essential items that you absolutely need to have in college! Remember, now that you’re sharing a space with someone, you can’t wander around at your leisure. One of the downsides to college is that privacy becomes limited, and showering can be some of the only moments when you’re truly alone -- if you’re lucky. 

However, despite the lack of privacy, there are a few ways to share a bathroom with ease. The first is a bathrobe. Sure you can trek to the bathroom in your clothes, bring new ones, and change immediately after showering, but that can get complicated, especially if you’re in a rush. A bathrobe makes things easy because all you need to do is slip into it and away you go. 

Having a bathrobe can also help you avoid some uncomfortable situations. Imagine, you leave for the bathroom when your roommate is out, but you return to find your roommate there with a few friends. This situation would be uncomfortable if you were just wrapped in a towel, but with a bathrobe, at least you are mostly covered. It also gives you a little more peace of mind when walking to and from the bathroom. 

Shower pack fit with a shower caddy, flip flops, and a set of towels. 

For an organized countertop, opt for a set of bathroom accessories that match and provide ease and functionality into your space. This 4-Piece Bath Accessory Set from OCM is a fantastic and affordable option for college students. Image courtesy of OCM.

The next major item is a shower caddy. This is an organizational tool that keeps all of your products and other bathroom items in one place -- all you do is carry it to and from the bathroom. This is almost a requirement for communal bathrooms. If you share a bathroom with four people, this still may come in handy because you all can’t keep your products in the shower at one time. 

Since you can carry it, it also gives you peace of mind that your shower items are safe -- this is if you want to keep it in your room. At some colleges, students will keep their caddies in the bathroom, but be sure to get to know everyone on your floor first, or see an RA to make a bathroom agreement. 

The last necessary item we recommend is a good pair of shower shoes. Athlete’s foot is a real thing and you can’t trust others to wear shower shoes or keep track of who is using the shower. So, the best option is to suck it up and wear a pair of shoes. This will probably be an adjustment since you likely didn’t wear shoes while living at home. There are many stylish options out there made from  antimicrobial material. 

We’ve also gathered a few helpful hints to make surviving communal bathrooms a bit easier. First, don’t shower when everyone else is showering. If you hope to have any privacy at all, be sure to shower during the off times. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to shower at 2 or 3 am. After a few weeks of being on campus, you’ll start to learn the popular shower times and you can plan accordingly around those times. Most of the time, students will shower in the morning and avoid the nights, so this is your best bet. 

A robe, while definitely not an essential item, will make you feel a bit classier and give you some coverage for anyone living with roommates. This terry cotton bath robe from Martex is simple with no frills, perfect for anyone looking for a functional and minimal robe. Image courtesy of OCM.

Another helpful tip is keep the bathroom clean! Yes, you will have a maintenance staff responsible for cleaning the bathroom, but be nice to them and keep it relatively clean. Sometimes students will leave food in the bathroom, wrappers, or even get sick without cleaning it up or telling anyone. Don’t be like these people. You will not be responsible for cleaning the bathroom all by yourself, but if you and your hallmates make it a habit of cleaning up after you use the bathroom, then you’ll have no problems. 

With a few decorative touches you can upgrade your bathroom from cold and uninviting to warm and comfortable. Just as you would personalize your dorm bed room, you should bring your style into the bathroom as well! Plants are a great way to boost mood and bring a positive energy to the space. Decorating with a bold shower curtain and matching bath mat can go a long way and do more for your comfort than you think. 

With a few decorative elements and essential items for the bathroom, getting through your first time sharing a bathroom with multiple people will be a breeze. If you end up sharing a communal bathroom, then there’s not much you can do in terms of decorating, unless you’re willing to run the risk of losing an item. If you share with only a few people and your roommates want to buy your decor together then you're in luck when it comes to saving a few dollars. Just make sure you can all agree on some pieces! Happy shopping and good luck as you begin sharing a bathroom.