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Monday December 11th 2017

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Making your dorm feel like home

By Jacquelyn Adams–

Now that the school year is off to a good start and students are beginning to settle into their new class schedule and routine, it is a great time to make your dorm room a comfortable, relaxing place.  For all students, new and returning, making your dorm feel more “home-y” can make your experience living away from home more enjoyable.  After a stop at Pier 1 and talking with the experts, here are some ideas to make your dorm room more like home.

Right away, Shelly at Pier 1 emphasized the importance of color. A good way of incorporating color into your dorm is with pillows. Accent pillows are a great way to spice up a futon and make it more comfortable and appealing.  These pillows have fun, colorful layers, ruffles, embroidering and patterns. It is encouraged to have a few different pillows thrown onto your futon or couch, and they come in so many different shapes, sizes and textures and the more eclectic the combination, the better.  Picking out a few pillows can help you incorporate your own personality into your room.

Something you might miss about home is the familiar, refreshing smells. Pier 1 recognized that candles might not be the best idea for a dorm, but a good substitute is potpourri.  One of the favorites for girls is “island orchard”, and the favorite for the guys is “Asian spice”. You can also get potpourri in seasonal smells that can remind you of home during different times of the year. The potpourri can be put into different vases. These vases can later be reused for flowers and set on top of a shelf or dresser that is already topped with a place mat. This can be a new way to use place mats that can give your room a finished look, while protecting your furniture, and again, add more color. Doing homework sitting at your desk can get old very quickly. You can find alternate seating with a beanbag or a papasan chair that are available in, you guessed it, many different colors and styles.

Another fun way to bring color into your dorm is with a rug. Again, these also come in a vast array of different colors, textures, shapes and sizes. The experts at Pier 1 pointed out a bamboo rug that would add personality to your dorm, while being practical and easy to clean up if spilled on.  From the floors to the walls, you can continue to add personality and flare with curtains.  A unique idea is to add curtains on the walls by or behind your bed to give it a canopy feel. Curtains can also be helpful for their traditional use to help block out window light during the day if you want to take a nap between classes.

Speaking of light, lamps are always nice to have in dorms. Some dorms can have very unfriendly lighting, such as florescent lights on the ceiling. Softer light can have more of the “home-y” feel. You can add a floor, desk or table lamp for decorative, dimmer lighting. Students can put these lamps on an accent table that can add even more color and shape, or on side tables that can also be good for storage.  You can have more decorative storage by using trunks and baskets, instead of just a plastic container.

Another important part of decorating that was emphasized was the “global-feel” that you can give a dorm. There are so many different patterns and designs that give a unique look that was influenced by different cultures and parts of the world. You can take your own taste, personality and preferences and put your own spin on these ideas, and you’ll have a comfortable living space in no time.