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Nov 6, 2019
Dorm Decor

h, senior year—with three years of college down and only one (give or take a few semesters!) to go, you’re preparing for the final stretch of undergrad and experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You might not be too sure of what’s in store for you after graduation, but there’s one thing that you have complete control over this oncoming year . . .  how you decorate where you’ll be living!

Whether you’ve chosen to stay on-campus or have found somewhere off-campus, you’re going to be tasked with one homework assignment that’s actually fun—decorating your room! Looking for some inspiration? Check out this list of decorating ideas for college students that will fit your senior-year vibes.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before we get started on actually decorating, there are some prerequisite reminders that are important to remember. (Sure, it’s not a matter of life and death, but it’s nearly just as critical—a matter of avoiding unnecessary fines!) If you’re living in a dorm or renting a house or apartment, you need to be careful of what you hang on your walls and how you hang it. Otherwise, you might not get back your security deposit or could be fined for damage.

A student holds  piece of cardboard up to the wall to prevent damage while decorating
Not sure what the best practices are when it comes to damage-free decorating? Check out this blog post on how to safely decorate your dorm! Image courtesy of WonderHowTo.

Our Tips for Getting an “A” in Decorating

As a senior, this probably isn’t your first time decorating your college living space, so you might already have an idea of what you want your room to look like, and you might even have most of the supplies that you need to get started! That being said, you might also be doing some brainstorming to switch things up or step up your interior design game. These are our best tips for making your senior-year room your favorite one yet.

1. Apply this piece of advice from Marie Kondo.

When it comes down to it, creating an area that you enjoy being in really only means following one rule: fill it with things that make you happy! Lifestyle consultant and best-selling author Marie Kondo achieved international fame with her hit Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a television series about decluttering your home. In the show, she advises clients (and viewers) to only keep items that “spark joy.”

Marie Kondo holds a box standing beside a poster with the word KonMari on it.
Marie Kondo’s approach to cleaning up and organizing is called the “KonMari” method, and millions of viewers and readers swear by it. Image courtesy of Forbes.

While Kondo using her sparking-joy concept as a tidying tool, we think it works just as well as decorating advice! Can’t decide which piece of decor to buy, or trying to narrow your existing selection? Follow your internal pull and go with whatever makes you happiest. This also means choosing what you like over what’s trendy—because when you’re having a bad day, seeing fashionable (but personally irrelevant) items won’t put you in a better mood.

2. Don’t be afraid to DIY.

DIY-decor is a fun way to channel your creative side while also (usually, at least) saving a bit of money. Framing photos or paintings that you have will brighten up your room without costing you a ton of money. Plus, these kinds of personal items are usually associated with good memories that will be a source of comfort during the stressful times of the school year.

A series of photographs of rockstars hanging on a white wall
You don’t need expensive frames, either! Find some cheap frames and decorate them to be more colorful or eye-catching. Image courtesy of That Creative Design Point.

You’ll be surprised by how many different kinds of decor you can make yourself! And most don’t require costly tools and materials. When you’re shopping for decorations, try to consider whether or not you can recreate the idea yourself for less money. From throw pillows to wall-hangings, you can find instructions for DIY accent pieces and other common household decorations that you can put together by yourself for a much lower price.

3. Maximize your space.

Are you living in a room that’s a little smaller than you’d prefer? You might not be able to increase the square footage, but you can maximize the amount of space that you have by being strategic with where you place your furniture!

Storage drawers hallway pulled out from under a wooden dorm bed frame
Take advantage of unoccupied space with storage drawers and other compactly-designed furniture. Image courtesy of Shelterness.

Putting your bed in the corner of the room, investing in a minimalist bed frame, and utilizing space-savers like under-the-bed-storage are all effective but easy ways to make your small room feel bigger! And if you’re moving into an unfurnished house or apartment, coordinate with your roommates so that you aren’t bringing doubles of household items that you’ll have to store in your room. A small room doesn’t have to be a huge setback—as long as you know how to use the space!

4. Add some green.

Plants are a quick way to bring any room to life—even if they’re fake! Succulents, cactuses, and bonsai trees are small plants that aren’t too difficult to take care of and will make your room lively and a splash of color. Plus, planters and pots are a cute way to accessorize without taking up a lot of space.

Colorful crocheted cacti decorations for a senior dorm room
These crocheted succulents are the perfect, low-maintenance way to brighten up your room without adding any responsibility. Image courtesy of Plant Lady Wannabe.

Fake plants also work, too, if you don’t feel like caring for real ones or if your room doesn’t get much sunlight. Plastic flowers and other types of mock plants are just as beautiful as real ones but won’t take up any time and don’t require any effort!

Decorate to Your Heart’s Desire

Remember, the secret to decorating is to do what makes you happy—even if that means not doing much decorating at all. And you don’t have to have to do all your decorating at once, either. In the end, you’re the one who will be spending time in your room, so decorate the way you want!

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