There are lots of ways to decorate a dorm room, cottage, apartment or house. When it comes to making it your own, everybody has their own idea of what feels like home. Whether it be including
mementos from your childhood or starting new traditions, there are lots of ways to jazz up a dorm room or other living space. Living with the right people – people you like – also seems to be a common theme when asking students around campus how they like to set up their homes.
Students around campus comment on how they make their living space feel like home. These were some responses: Joey Dawson (‘20) says, “It’s best to fill your room with things you like.” For example, Joey hung up a pirate flag, along with rigging, lights and a Hope College flag. Mercedes Rede (‘20) mentioned setting up her apartment with plants such as succulents, aloe plants and cacti. She commented, “I like to open windows and let the light in.” Aidan Piwnicki (‘21) likes to set up his own lights in his dorm in order to avoid the fluorescents. He also has a couch and an American flag in his room to make it feel more like home.
Dorm rooms can be stuffy, and being cooped up all day studying is never good. One way that students combat this is by bringing plants into their living space. Succulents are a great option for students because they are easy to take care of and don’t take up a lot of space. They’re inexpensive as well. Holland’s Farmer’s Market (open Wednesdays and Saturdays) has a wide selection of succulents along with other plants. It can be fun to pick out different pots to set up around your desk or windowsill. Just don’t forget to take care of them!
Keeping things in you’re room that you are used to having easily accessible at home is also a good way to feel comfortable in your living space. Examples of this include coffee, tea, snacks, your favorite books, a TV and other things to do. Having a guitar or even knitting materials can make all the difference when you get bored (or need to
procrastinate). Make sure your room is organized! Having a place for all of your belongings – rather than keeping things in a suitcase or all of the floor – will make you feel more at home. Might as well unpack and stay for a while.
This will also help to make for a more efficient study space if you chose to do your work in your room. The more organized you feel in your space, the better you will be able to focus. Throwing up pictures of your best friends and family on the wall is a great way to make your space feel more like home. This can easily be done with command strips, a bulletin board and some thumb tacks, or a string and some wooden clothespins. Making a collage is another cheap and efficient way to hang up multiple pictures, rather than purchasing frames for each one. Then, when you create new memories at school, you can simply add pictures to your canvas.
Finally, making the space comfortable is an important aspect of home. Having extra pillows, seating (bean bag chairs or futons), curtains and/or rugs are just a few ways to do this. Having a color scheme – possibly coordinated with a roommate – may also help to bring the room together. It is possible to create a home
in any type of space. It’s all about being creative and making the most of what you have. When all else fails, surround yourself with friends that make you feel at home.