Dorm Room Lighting Options You’re Guaranteed to Love


Dorm Room Lighting

Is there anything worse than living with ugly, unflattering, migraine-inducing industrial lighting in your dorm room? While we love living in residence halls, it’s the one thing we cannot stand. Luckily, there are tons of lighting options that will bring back a calm, homey feel to your space without costing a fortune or requiring an electrician to do the work. These are just 8 dorm lighting options you’re guaranteed to love.

8 Dorm Lighting Options You’re Guaranteed to Love

1. DIY Canopy Lighting

One of our favorite lighting trends in the past few years is the DIY canopy featuring string lighting. Simply hang the string lighting in diagonal lines over your bed, and then cover with lightweight fabric (like materials made of muslin) that lets the light shines through. It’s romantic and dreamy but still leaves enough light for late night reading.

2. Feminine Fairy Lights

Speaking of dreamy: fairy lights are always popular with dorm rooms. These are those twinkling strands of lights you see during the holidays, but you can jazz them up to make them all-seasons. For one, use clothespins to hang photos from them, use fabric scraps to decorate them like a long wreath, or purchase a set with accents like jewels and butterflies.

3. Rope Lighting Writing

Want to really wow your guests? Use rope lighting to spell out words, initials, or even your sorority letters on a main wall. It takes a little creativity and some patience, but it’s such a huge focal point that really lights everything up.

4. Marquee Signs

If you’re not patient enough to DIY your writing, spend a little bit more and purchase large sized marquee letters and then hang throughout your rooms. Many are battery operated so they take up less outlets, and you can get them in a variety of phrases, letters, or symbols. We love the ampersand for shared dorm rooms!

5. Clip-On Lamps

The clip-on lamp is a must-pack item when you move in this year. It’s classic, simple, and won’t keep your roommate up. And if nothing else, it will keep you from having to turn on the lights to find your missing phone or safely get down your bed’s ladder.

6. Paper Ball Lanterns

Paper ball lanterns are super-cheap, but they are also super-stylish! Grab a ton of them in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors and bunch together in the center of the room for a chandelier look or hang over your bed for a more personal feel. To add lighting, use string lights or Edison lights (the larger-bulb varieties), and space the lanterns out so that they cover a bulb.

7. Art Deco Desk Uplighting

The number one desk trend this year is the art deco look. We’re talking golds and bronze with clean white and tan shades. Add geometric lines and decorations to the lamp and you’ve got lighting that is both functional and a work of art.

8. Color Changing Light Strips

Techies will absolutely love light strips that can be placed almost anywhere in a dorm. Stick them under your desk and bed, inside a shelf, or above a window. Then, set them at different colors or program them to switch throughout the night. Some of the more advanced ones even sync to your music! It’s like having a lighting show in your own bedroom.


How to Use the Kaleidoscope Aqua Pattern in Your Dorm

Kaleidoscope Aqua
Looking for a style that conveys cool while still being as unique and as fresh as possible? You’ll love OCM’s Kaleidoscope Aqua print. A steely blue color on a white base with a mandala-esque pattern, you’ll absolutely love how versatile this look can be. Ready to unleash the kaleidoscope on your bed or dorm room? Here’s our top tips on how to decorate and coordinate with our new favorite print.


How to Use the Kaleidoscope Aqua Pattern to Decorate Your Dorm Room


1. The Color Scheme

If you are big on keeping the colors all in line, the kaleidoscope gives you tons to work with. Of course, there’s the base color of aqua. Unlike the trend of going more green with the shade, this one is very squarely blue at heart. Think clear blue ocean with the sky’s reflection. The second base color is the more vibrant aquamarine that does cover the green scale. It’s also outlined in a deep navy for emphasis.
Picking any of these colors is a great starting point on coordinating the rest of your room. For example, go with the aqua for window dressings, table lamps, and poster colors. You can also mix it up with a variety of each for a more diverse, less-focused look.


2. Hippy-Chic

When we first saw this pattern, our minds instantly floated to the summer boho styles we are loving this year. Aqua and aquamarine are making huge comebacks, especially in boho jewelry. You can get equally as funky with your accents by going for items that speak to your laid-back vibes. We especially love motivational posters or throw pillows with beading and tassels.
You can also add ample pillow-style seating options to your room, such as bean bag chairs or even mats. The room’s natural, earth toned colors center the room and make it a space for thinking and dreaming. Creating an area, such as a reading nook out of hanging drapes, low lighting, and extra blankets can bring a little peace and tranquility into your life without sacrificing style.


3. A New Kind of Minimal

On the other hand, a bold pattern such as the kaleidoscope can also need pieces and accessories that detract rather than draw attention. With your bedding being the main focal piece here, go for white and other earth tone shades (such as lighter browns, tans, and creams). They will keep your guest’s eyes where they need to be.
We love the look of white furniture with the aqua. But if you’re not allowed to bring in your own pieces, go for white dry erase or memo boards, white area rugs, and white desk accessories. Tan window dressings and bath linens also coordinate well for a look that will having you saying “ahhh” whenever you walk through the door.


4. Sunny Accents

Finally, the kaleidoscope aqua should also give you courage to be a bit bold with your choices! A bright yellow, distressed gold, or even a glittering silver can all work when you consider your dorm room must-haves. You can DIY a side table using a lavender spray paint and bronze drawer pulls or choose a storage solution in a transparent rainbow color. It all works!
With the kaleidoscope aqua, you have the freedom to decorate and create a room that is totally an expression of your taste and style. Whether it be minimal or loud and proud, this is a look you won’t want to miss out on this fall.


The Most Common Items to Coordinate with Your Dorm Bedding

The Most Common Items to Coordinate with Your Dorm Bedding
When you’re planning out next year’s dorm room (or your first space away from your parents), it can be hard to think through all that you need. That’s why we recommend that you start with finding the perfect bedding. It’s your main focal point in a small space, and with most bedding choices featuring a bold color or pattern, you’ll want to be conscious of how you mix and match the rest of your decor with it. That’s why we came up with a must-have list of all the most common items you’ll need to coordinate with your bedding. Shopping has never been this easy!

10 Most Common Items to Coordinate with Your Dorm Bedding

1. Rug

Outside your bedding, your floor is the next major space you can spruce up. Having a rug on a cement floor is not only important for keeping your space warm and cozy, but also for showing off your design talents. We recommend going with a vice versa policy when matching with bedding. When your bedding is bright or dark, pair with a neutral colored rug; if it’s solid, find a rug with a pattern.

2. Window Coverings

Then there are windows. They can make a huge difference in how your look comes together. You may want to consider buying two different versions depending on your needs. For example, while we love the look of an ethereal, translucent white window drape on almost every dorm design, you may want to consider a solid colored light blocking version if you’re more concerned about sleep style.

3. Towels and Linens

Do towels and linens have to match your bedding? Oh no! But if you plan on having them out on display (for example on a towel rack), you may want to consider keeping it all in the same color scheme. Don’t forget to buy multiples though — you’ll need an extra set every once in a while.

4. Lighting

There are so many options when it comes to lighting up your dorm room. We love simplicity, such as lighting that clips onto the side of the bed or desk. These little lights are a perfect extension to your bedding style, so be sure to pick one that compliments your bed design.

5. Desk Supplies

We’re not for matching everything, but you can keep a look flowing with little elements, such as floral bedding accentuated by a floral patterned pin board above your desk, or a few supplies holders in red or pink. It’s a simple way of tying it all together without going too overboard.

6. Pillows and Throws

You’ll almost certainly have guests over at some point. But where will they sit? Extra seating made by a few throw pillows for the floor, a dorm-sized sofa, or a throw blanket to curl up under can extend your sitting space from the bed to wherever needed. That’s why we pick pillows and throws that compliment a style or theme, such as Southwestern inspired pillows with Southwestern inspired bedding.

7. Clocks and Wall Hangings

Finally, when space is limited (like it always is in a dorm or small apartment), you must look up, over and around for ideas. Wall art can be anything from Art Deco clocks, horseshoes from home, or a favorite movie poster print. Get creative in how you display your items, such as hanging pictures above your favorite bedding on a clothes wire or creating a canopy of funky fabrics from your ceiling.

Dorm Accessories to Pair with “Catalina Coral” Pattern


Catalina Coral

The “it” color of 2016 is coral. It’s bright and fun but still an earth-tone at heart. We especially love it when it’s in the Catalina mandala pattern found in our popular bedding paks. If you’re digging this boho style, we’ve got plenty ideas on what to match it up with. Here are our 7 favorite accessories to pair with Catalina Coral!

1. Shag Rugs

Coral pink-orange isn’t the first color you might think of when you picture the ‘60s and ‘70s, but when put in the mandala theme, you’ve got an updated look perfect for dorm rooms. Why not pair it with another throwback favorite, the shag rug? It’s an added texture that, when done in a subtle color like white or tan, adds a new focal piece to the room.

2. Nautical Touches

Coral wouldn’t be coral without the sea-themed name. And while we usually think nautical in blue, white, and red, you can still add your love of the beach with sand jars, bookends shaped as starfish, and wall decor that looks like it came straight from the boat.

3. Funky Accent Pillows

The mandala is already funky so why not take it over the top? Looking at the mandala pattern, you can see a ton of colors to work with including navy, teal, yellow, and orange. Scatter pillows in various patterns within this color scheme around your room to highlight your more adventurous design side.

4. Blue and Brown Wall Art

We love how navy looks when it’s paired with dainty coral. Create your own inspirational posters or prints of nautical images with navy and white. Add it to a brown, old school style frame and you’ve got a look that is straight out of a magazine.

5. Vintage or Upcycled Mirrors

Keep the “old school” theme going with vintage mirrors. You can DIY this by reusing an unused frame (or one found at a garage sale). Spray paint it in the colors we’ve already mentioned and then add a mirror to complete. Multiple mirrors around the room brighten the space up so don’t hold back on just one!

6. Gold Desk Supplies

It seems like coral should clash with gold and mandala patterns. However, the sophisticated jewel tone actually blends in well with the softened look. We recommend an art deco style gold lamp with a white lampshade or gold-toned supply holders. You can make your own by using a glass or a jar, taping a pattern, and then spray painting it in gold.

7. Neutral and Modern Pairings

If you’re not a fan of bold and loud, Catalina Coral is still for you! The trick is to pair it with neutrals instead of bold tones. Go for linen curtains or white accent furniture. Add in touches of gray, such as in your storage solutions (under the bed, hanging in your closet, or even in crates). Simple items like cream colored hand towels or a clean and crisp white board all make the room feel bigger, brighter, and more centered. Who would have known you could do so much with the Catalina Coral pattern!

To shop for twin XL bedding supplies in Catalina Coral and other brand new patterns exclusive to OCM, visit our website!

Avengers Themed Dorm Room


Getting its start from combining popular characters from Marvel Comics, Marvel’s The Avengers tells the story of what happens when the most beloved superheroes join forces to fight against evil. As a worldwide phenomenon comic book and movie series, love for The Avengers has taken over. You too can “assemble” with these three super decorating tricks.


1.   Comic Book DIY

Dubbed in the original Avengers Initiative comic as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” the team includes Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. That alone should give you tons of inspiration to build a dorm room that shows your comic book and superhero devotion. However, why stick with just one Avengers character when you can highlight them all with a retro comic book tribute!

Think “Ka-Pow!” “Bam!” and “Zam!” when adding wall art with flashes of red, blue, and green. You can take your theme to the next level with old furniture, lampshades, or storage pieces in rough condition and use decoupage to cover in vintage comics, typically found at thrift stores and garage sales. Use the same decoupage glue and comics to make accents such as coasters, magnets for a dry erase board, or hanging pendants to string above your bed.


2.   Pop Art Colored Linen

Colors featured in The Avengers films range from purple and gray to red and yellow — not exactly complimentary colors when designing a sophisticated and put together dorm bedroom look. Because of that, it is best to stick to one look. If you are going for the vintage comic look, try mixing the boldness of red and yellow (which also happens to be Iron Man’s colors). It is best to keep red as the base (think comforters or seating areas) and use yellow sparingly in items such as towels or window dressings.

You can also select a color scheme with your favorite superhero in mind. Black Widow and Thor’s red and black/dark gray scheme is masculine and daring—making them great for accent pillows. Hawkeye’s purple and black looks fabulous when done in a sheet set with pillow shams. The Hulk and his green are best suited for towel sets or area rugs.

For an all-encompassing look, go with S.H.I.E.L.D’s neutral and ultramodern color combination of black and white. Black sheets over a white comforter or quilt with modern, thick black lines is chic and dangerous. It fits in perfectly for a more minimalist look that doesn’t require the pop art colors.


3.   An Avengers Touch of Accessories

Once you have your bedding selected, start adding little touches of the Avengers around your dorm room. A favorite lighting accessory includes creating your own Tesseract using a photo cube, blue paint, and decoupage glue and a lighting component. This glowing blue light looks perfect on a desk or as a low light reading light.

You can also purchase fan favorite items such as the masks of the Avengers to create a hanging display from your ceiling or capes to canopy over your bed. Don’t forget Thor’s hammer or Captain America’s shield, all which looks great when displayed above a door. Plus, don’t forget, OCM carries an Iron Man dorm poster!

Assembling all of the world’s greatest superheroes into one dorm room may seem like a feat of strength and creativity. But when done minimally using tasteful wall decor, carefully planned color schemes, and bold accessories, it’s a look that will make an enemy think twice before entering your dorm room.

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Black and White + A Splash of Color


They may be at opposite ends of the light spectrum, but there is no doubt that, when bold blacks and whites are brought together, they are a force to be reckoned with. Recently, the fashion world has revitalized this timeless color duo by using them as a backdrop to bring other more vibrant colors to life. Black and white with a pop of color is a modern trend that is both simplistic and edgy. Unlike more subdued tints of gray or brown, these pigments have the ability to awaken normally passive hues like pastels or cooler colors like blue or green.

For your dorm, consider having the major pieces, like your bed comforter, dressers, and chairs to be black and white. Ununiformed prints like this zebra comforter or rug will be particularly engaging to the eyes and add a contemporary edge to the environment. Plus, everyone knows the masterful impact black-and-white photography has on viewers; browse our many college wall canvases to find topnotch shots of New York City, sandy beaches and more.

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Colorful accent pieces will really pop when contrasted against the neutral tones, so make sure the decor details you’re emphasizing are purposeful and attractive. For inspiration, check out our college room decor supplies and college frames. Be mindful that the eye will naturally be drawn to these colorful bursts of life, so make sure items like the trash can or laundry caddy aren’t the items that will stand out.

While you are not restricted to utilizing a single bright hue, limit yourself to no more than three or four pops of color in order to maintain a clean, chic aesthetic.


Summer Before College Series 21: “The Three Truths” About Your Bed


Welcome back!

Today, I would like to talk about your dorm room bed. The first thing that you must realize about your bed at school is that it will never be the same as your bed at home, simply because they are different beds. So while you are shopping, I would like for you to consider a few things.

I like to call them “The Three Truths” about your bed.

First, dorm room beds can be small and uncomfortable. Every bed that I have had at school has been comprised of an extremely hard twin XL mattress and a small wooden frame to go around it.

Secondly, your bed comes as it is. The school will not supply you with anything to make your bed more comfortable. Some schools, however, do have a “sheets program” where you can buy sheets from your school’s housing administrators.

And thirdly, most dorm room beds are stackable and adjustable. This allows students to have plenty of storage room underneath their beds and to potentially have bunk beds as well.

Now, shopping for your bed can be quite the process. In the sections below, I have taken “The Three Truths” and created lists of items that are necessary to improve the quality of your school bed.

For the uncomfortable factor:

  1. Egg Crate. This wonderful foam invention is designed to shape perfectly to your body to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. Put this item underneath your mattress sheet and on top of your mattress, and you will never wake up with back or neck pains!
  2. Feather/Fiber Mattress. This bed accessory, similar to the egg crate, fits to your body to ensure comfort while sleeping. I like to combine this accessory with the egg crate (by placing it on top of the egg crate) for extra comfort and support. After placing this item on your bed, you do not even feel the original mattress anymore!
  3. Foam Pillows (or the equivalent). These pillows were a lifesaver for me at college. They kept me from waking up with neck pains, the worst thing that could ever happen to you on a test day, and they helped me to sleep through the night.

For the fashionable factor:

  1. Bedding. I discussed bedding back in my “Preliminary List” blog, so go and check it out if you have not already done so. To recap, get the bedding that jumps out at you the most. You want it to scream “you” so that it is sure to match your personality and the overall vibe in your dorm room. Your bedding will surely make any plain old bed look fantastic!
  2. Decorative Pillows. Dress up your bed by buying some extra pillows to match your bed!
  3. Throw Blanket. Not only will this accessory keep you warm in the colder months, but it will also provide another pop of color to your bed!

Hopefully you will now be able to transform your old dorm room bed into a wonderful and comfortable paradise!

What do you think you will put on your bed?

Summer Before College Series 9: DIY #1


Good Afternoon!

Today I would like to introduce something new to the blog series. To spice things up, I thought that I would add a DIY mini-series to the bigger “Summer Before College Series”. For those of you who do not already know, DIY simply means Do It Yourself. This mini-series, which will run throughout the duration of the summer, will give step-by-step instructions for easy-to-do, crafty ideas to spice up your dorm room at college. Most of the crafts will be decorative, fun, and useful!

After talking to a friend, I got the idea to do my first DIY post on making a blanket. The blanket process itself is very simple. Best part? No sewing! Anyone on any artistic level could pull off a fantastic blanket. The instructions below were given to me by a friend who has made several blankets throughout her life. She not only uses them for herself, but for gifts for others as well. I have modified the instructions to make them easier to use! Enjoy!

Step 1: Go to your local fabric store. I tend to use Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. They have a wonderful assortment of fabrics in a variety of patterns and colors.

Step 2: Pick out your fabric. For this blanket, you will need a type of fabric called fleece. This will allow your blanket to be warm and cozy! After finding your store’s selection of this particular fabric, you will have a decision to make. You can make a blanket consisting of only one color/pattern or one with two. After you make this decision, choose your fabric. Make sure it matches your personality as well as your room’s theme!

Step 3: Pick your size. The original instructions that I have followed recommend using 6’0″x 4’0″ pieces of fabric. This is very similar to the average blanket size. I tend to modify the size based on the height of the person. If you are 6′ or taller, then make it longer!

Step 4: After you have gathered all of your materials, lay everything out. Put your two pieces of fabric on top of each other, matching each corner and side as perfectly as you can so that they form one thick piece.

Step 5: Take a pair of scissors and cut an approximate 3″ x 3″ square out of all four corners, making sure to cut into both pieces of fabric.

Step 6: Take the scissors and, starting at one of the corners, cut 3″ slits in the fabric approximately 1-2″ apart until you reach the next corner. Again, make sure that you are cutting through both pieces of fabric! You will use these slits to connect the fabrics! Repeat this step until there are slits on all sides.

Step 7: Tie the two fabric pieces together, using the rectangles made by the slits you just cut. In my experience it is best to double-knot the ties to secure them! Do not tie the four corner pieces (the pieces that surround the corners) yet!

Step 8: Now, to finish it off, start at one corner and instead of tying the fabrics together, tie the two slits (into one knot) that form the corner together. This will help to further secure the two pieces together.

Congratulations! You have just successfully made a comfortable blanket out of two pieces of fabric! What a fun and easy way to spice up your room!

Have any DIY crafts that you would like to share? Tweet them at us!

Summer Before College Series 6: Adding Touches of “You”


Good morning, blog community!

Starting in the fall, your dorm room will be your home away from home-your sanctuary when things get rough. You will be spending a ton of time in your room. It is important to make your room as comfortable and fun as it can be. The best way to do this is by bringing touches of “you” to your room. You want your room to scream “you” when you walk into it; it should be a reflection of your personality.

Below, I have listed five ways to bring more of “you” into your room.

  1. Pictures of family and friends. Nothing screams “you” more than the people who helped to make you who you are. Your friends and family are a part of your everyday life. If you cannot have them with you while away at college, why not have pictures of them hung on your wall? They not only add the most important touch of you, but also allow you to keep your friends and family on your mind. Curing homesickness and showing people where you came from are some added benefits of hanging pictures of family and friends.
  2. Accent with your favorite color. Colors are a great way to brighten up the room. Once you find the main theme in your room (typically sports, European, flowers, or animal print), add hints of your favorite color to make your room more like you. Adding the color will make your room better reflect your personality. You can accent a few different items. You can make your rug, hangers, laptop cover, bed pillows, sheets, or furniture decked out in your favorite color.
  3. Add posters of your favorite celebrities/musicians/movies/t.v. shows. You want to make sure that your room showcases your favorite things. This can include your favorite movies, celebrities, t.v. shows, musicians, etc. A really good way to do this is through posters. Posters are allowed in most dorm rooms as long as you do not use tape to secure them to the wall. Many companies make adhesive stickers that do not damage the wall, so try to use these if at all possible. These posters do not have to match your room, but they should include all of your favorite things that make you feel comfortable.
  4. Bring some home decor. The home decor can reflect your overall theme or just be pieces that remind you of home. I tend to gravitate towards the decor that reminds me of home. I buy pieces that match my mom and dad’s themes. My dad has an outdoor theme, while my mom has a home and garden theme. I bought a Native American dream catcher and a sign that reads “home is where the heart is” to represent both households. These pieces also remind me of home when I am homesick.
  5. Add a hint of your style. The last thing that I like to do with my room to make it more like me is to add hints of my style. I have a very floral style-if something has flowers on it, I love it! I have several floral items in my room at school, including floral picture frames and floral desk accessories. You could do the same with a different theme or add hints to other areas of your room, such as on decor items and decorative pillows.

Making your room reflect your personality is easier than you think! If you follow these tips, you will be a step closer to making your room into your own perfect paradise!

Make sure to check out the various decor items that OCM has to offer! You may find something that adds just the right touch to show off your personality!

Summer Decor Styles: OCM


Ready to turn that winter-time drab dorm room into Spring-time Fab? We’re giving you a sneak peak at a few of our new items coming soon to OCM, and showing you how to pair them up with existing items you may already have to create an adorably themed room for the Spring and Summer. Regardless of your taste, the way you pair items and colors together can really show a lot about your personality and fashion sense. Here’s a few ways to get that drab room ready for Summer!

Bamboo Cube

1) Go Green – I’d like to call this set “Citrus Blend” because it marries the prettiest hues of Green and Yellow to create the perfect lemon-lime twist. With Green already being my favorite color, this set is a win-win for my taste. Lime Green and Yellow are perfect hues for brightening up any space. Add some fresh flowers and your own pictures to make your room lively and fun! Peep the brand new beanbag chair and poufs! Love them as much as I do? They’ll be available on very soon!Black Reading Pillow

 2) Modern and Chic– This is what I call the “Fashionista” because it pairs the season’s hottest prints with the brightest pops of colors! The black and white Chevron reading pillow coupled with a mix-matching thick stripe ottoman is a chic way to add some diversity to your space while still keeping a modern appeal. Since black goes with everything, you can pick one bright statement color, or mix and match all of your favorites! The best thing about black and white accessories is that ultimately, you make the decorating rules. There’s so many different combinations you can create with these colors that will be sure to make your room pop!

Chocolate Lounger

3) Chocolate hues mixed with fruity tones– If you want to make your room feel bright and cheery but don’t really go for the bright pinks and purples, you can always take more toned-down hues and mix them with what I like to call, “fruity hues”. Since Mango is my favorite fruit there’s no way I can pass up this color palette. The deep chocolate brown mixes perfectly with the bright and rich Mango hue, complimenting any shades of green that may be tied in. These colors are pretty season-neutral too, as you can swap items out for different prints and accessories depending on the season. Again, we’re spotlighting our new beanbag chairs and ottomans soon to be for sale on!

Red ottoman4)Easy Breezy – By far one of my favorite decor styles for the warm weather, Nautical accessories seem to win me over every time! The thick vertical stripes in a burnt-red are one of the season’s hottest trends paired with both navy and light blues to create a summer feel. The pops of deep red give you the classic ‘sailor’ feel and get you amped up and ready to hit the beach. The nautical trend has been in style even through the winter, showing up on manicures, outfit trends, purses and more. If you’re looking for a way to create a cute, bright and clean look, this is perfect!