Tiger Tips: Dorm Decorating

Dorm room decorated with RIT blankets and pillows

A new school year is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to start thinking about moving into your dorm. Whether you’re knee-deep into your shopping lists or have yet to even think about buying a comforter, BTB rounded up our top 8 dorm decorating tips to help you move into the RIT residence halls.

1. Prioritize the Textiles

It might seem like a no brainer, but the textiles (think pillows, comforters, blankets) will be the main focus of the room and can make the difference between a cold dorm and a warm, inviting cozy space. Plus, it’s Rochester - so an extra blanket or two wouldn’t hurt. Before you start dreaming up of all the small decor details, take a moment and think about your biggest impact pieces. If you were wondering about the sizes - go for the Twin XL, that’s what all the residence halls at RIT have.

College and Careers. Room with a view, sample dorm room setup by Target

2. Multifunctional Pieces Are a Must

When you’re living in a small space, you need to get creative. Think about rolling carts or storage ottomans, which can act as a side table, a place to store all your winter socks and scarves, or can even provide additional seating when you have friends over. It’s a win all around!

3. Take Advantage of Vertical Space

Not only will this tip come in handy when decorating, but it will also be a lifesaver in terms of storage. Look for over the door shoe racks, towel racks, or jewelry storage. Just be sure to secure these things with 3M Command strip mounts. Don’t use tacks or other painting stripping tapes that could damage the walls or doors in any way. Putting things on walls will help draw your eyes up and make space look bigger, but be careful to not cover too much of your walls. This being said, flags and tapestries are not allowed!

4. Maximize Under Bed Storage

At RIT, you can’t loft your bed, but that means that you gain a bunch of under bed storage space. You can bring bed risers if you’re looking for that extra bit of storage. If you’re worried about clutter, look for a bed skirt that will not only cover what’s under your bed but give the whole space a more put-together look. If you are planning on buying storage containers for underneath, we advise that you wait until after move-in day, because the furniture and storage space does vary slightly between rooms.

College and Careers. Room with a view, sample dorm room setup by Good-bye, Good-buy!

5. Look for Functional Desk Accessories

After your bed, your desk is probably the second most important thing in your room. Heed our wisdom: whatever you do, don’t clutter it. If you want your desk to look nicely put together, look for functional storage solutions. Try hanging wire caddies for your school supplies next to your desk to keep all those pens and pencils off. Make sure you bring a good desk lamp so that you can continue studying even if your roommate has gone to bed.

6. Look for Clip Lights or Lamps

Speaking of lights: yes, we all know about the string lights and the wonders they do for us, but have you considered clip lights? They can easily be moved around and they don’t wake up your roommate. Plus, you don’t have to get out of bed to turn them off. Whatever lights you do end up buying, make sure they are compact fluorescent or LED.

7. Get Some Greenery

Green does wonders to a space. No really, we promise. Not only do plants liven up your room visually, but they also bring in some extra oxygen that can help you focus while studying. If you don’t feel quite like you’ve got the green thumb for it, check out our article on some of the easiest plants for your dorm here

8. Make it Your Own

At the end of the day, it’s your space, so do whatever you want to make it inviting and a place of rest (of course without breaking any fire codes). You will have countless opportunities to personalize your room, whether it’s painting the door with your RA, decorating a brick doorstop, or throwing up a dad-joke of the day on the whiteboard outside your door.

And lastly, remember that it’s just your dorm, not the be all end all.  The world won’t end if you don’t coordinate your comforter perfectly with your roommate - it can actually become a fun way to show your different personalities and passions. In the end, make it a place you like spending time in because it’ll become your new home for the next nine months.

Tagged: campus life, dorm decoring, RIT housing, student life