It’s no secret that the entirety of Gen Z is not doing well with the Coronavirus quarantine. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO grateful for my health and the ability to stay home. It is a privilege.

HOWEVER, it feels like all I’ve done since being back is daydream about being back in my cramped little college dorm and I’m sure a lot of you guys feel the same way. If you’re going to put a lot of effort into anything before your college, I really recommend figuring out what your dorm is going to be like. Your dorm in college is not just your bedroom, it’s your living room, kitchen, dining room, and occasional movie theatre. College can be stressful, so its important you have somewhere you can come home at the end a long day and feel completely relaxed.

Cover up as much cinderblock as possible

image/dorm credits: chance the rapper and stars, Dalmatian wallpaper, sunflower tapestry, matching K beds, faux antlers, tapestry and texture

Whoever was the architect who decided to start making college dorms look like prisons, I just want to talk. Seriously, there’s noting more depressing than waking up in a room that looks like a cell. This can be as simple as having a headboard for your bed, but pretty much anywhere you go the way most people accomplish this is with tapestries. This can be super cute, but if you’re like me and they aren’t really your style or if they aren’t permitted at your school, consider removable wallpaper. I’ve started to started to see this a little bit more and it always makes the room feel less like a dorm.

some of my favorites

Don’t decorate it like a dorm

image/dorm credits: orange and blue boho, kappa keys and mirrors, b&b boho bedding, yellow balloons, flower wall

Ok when I say that you’re probably like, “Kelly what do you mean of course I’m going to decorate it like its a dorm it IS a dorm.” To that I say, you’re right, it is a dorm, but here’s the problem. You want this place to feel like a home, not a cinderblock hell.

If you’re the get-it-all-done-at-once kind of gal, the classic dorm sites like dormify, roomify, and society 6 pretty much have you covered. That said, I would forewarn anyone with an individuality complex like myself that this is essentially like buying your prom dress from Macy’s. Its convenient and you know what you’re going to get, but the chances of someone else having the same dress is really high.

To make it a little more personalized, consider combining stuff from a bunch of different stores like Home Goods, Target, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, etc that you would use to decorate an actual bedroom. I also love going to thrift stores/ buying on facebook marketplace and flipping items into new pieces. Its a great quarantine pass-time.

check this out

Play with texture

image/dorm credits: patterns on patterns, Tennessee and tigers, under bed seating, pink rebels, bulletin mood board, netflix and naps,

Whether or not it is your particular style, we can all take a page from the way they decorate dorms down south. One of the easiest ways to make your dorm feel home-y is to incorporate texture into your design. Textured fabrics can bring a sense of warmth into what is naturally a cold and frankly germy space. Simple switches like putting in new curtains or adding a couple throw pillows can make your dorm feel so much less desolate.

Food for thought

Get creative with lighting

image/dorm credits: curtain lights, star neon lights, canopy lights, double H’s, overhead lights, fairy lights on gallery wall

I make no secret of my depression, and if there’s one thing I wish I did earlier to help my mental health at school, its abandoning the usage of my school ordinated overhead lighting. Nothing is worse than coming home to an absolutely sterile feeling room on one of you really bad days. In whatever ways you can, incorporate soft lighting into your dorm. This could be lamps, twinkly lights, tiktok led lights, neon lights, etc. Very few things are as essential as feeling safe in your space, and hospital lighting has no place in your home.

some options

Everything has a double purpose

image/dorm credits: warm neutrals room, 3 tier cart, grey and white dorm, matching white hutches, flags and maps,

I’m not about to win any journalism awards for saying that dorms are really small, but as an incoming freshman you truly do not understand how little space there is until you actually move in. For the vast majority of college dorms, you’re not going to have space/ be allowed things like futons or other big furniture pieces.

As a result of this conundrum, literally everything has a second purpose, even empty airspace (see the desk hutches above). This is not to say that your dorm has to be ugly, but more-so that you have to be creative.

Hacks and hideaways

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