Decoding dorm decorations

Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian Lisa Owsley, junior in bakery science, personalized and made her room in Boyd Hall more homey by supplying furnishings form her room back home and covering the walls around her desk with photos of friends and family.

For many students, a dorm room serves as home base; it’s where they cram in study time, where they unwind, where they crash after a long day (or night). With so much activity centered around these living spaces, being creative with its design and layout can make it a more welcoming environment that helps foster a positive residence hall experience.

Get personal

After summer break, coming back to a generic dorm room can be hard to adjust to. Fix this by filling your room with things that make you feel at home.

“I brought stuff from my actual room at home so my room looks homey,” Lisa Owsley, junior in bakery science, said.

Though Owsley decorated her space with several lamps, pillows, books and movies from home, what stands out most is a wall of pictures that line her desk.

“For me, pictures are one of the big things,” Owsley said. “I love pictures; I have all these photo albums at home so I just like those in my room. It’s the people that I’m close to and who mean a lot to me. The others are pictures that have memories that are special for some reason.”

Another way of really personalizing your room is to decorate it in a manner that showcases your unique personality.

“Since I was born in New Zealand, I have two New Zealand flags,” Emily Eilert, sophomore in public relations, said. “What I did was I got command hooks and command strips, and stuck my New Zealand flags on the wall to create more of a decorative space.”

Get crafty

One of the best ways to making your dorm room your own is to break out the arts-and-crafts box. Arts and crafts fit this category perfectly because it gives you freedom to create things that you can identify with. Additionally, the crafts can serve as great gifts for your roommates.

“I live in a suite with two other people,” Keeley George, freshman in anthropology, said. “So, when I was in town, I bought wooden letters that were the first letters of their first names. I painted it purple and hot glued jewels all over them and set them on their desk for a little surprise.”


Getting crafty and bringing stuff from home might take a while. In the meantime, try improvising with what you have on hand to make your room look colorful while you figure out how you want to decorate.

“It took me a while to add stuff to my cork board, so I bought chevron fabrics and put it on my board so it was still cute until I was able to fill it,” Clarissa Weers, sophomore in mass communications, said.

Basic materials like fabrics and card stock cost run pretty inexpensive at Hobby Lobby. These can be great materials to make your corner of the room stand out, like for backgrounds to stick and pin additional items to as the year goes on.

No one likes a barren room, and personalizing it makes it a lot more welcoming. Using some basic, easy-to-do steps can transform them into a means of showcasing your creativity and personality.

Som Kandlur is a junior in mass communications. Please send comments to