Most dorm rooms have fluorescent lighting. It’s very bright, but not warm at all (not temperature, color.) A lot of people get headaches from being under fluorescent lighting for too long. It personally reminds me of high school too much. Getting a few lamps for your dorm room offers some incandescent light, which is warmer and, for most people, is similar to the light they’ve had in their house. It is just more pleasing to the eye. Additionally, it gives you more control of the lighting in your room. Most of the time there is one or two overhead fluorescent fixture in a dorm room so it’s either really bright or dark. With lamps, you can have dim light, or a mixture of fluorescent and incandescent lighting.
Rugs offer a personal touch to otherwise boring carpet in a dorm room. Also, carpet in dorm rooms is short and very rough on your feet. Putting down your own rugs makes the room seem warmer, makes it easier to walk around, and they can also cover up nasty stains that are there from whoever lived in your room last year. Depending on the shape of your room, a bigger area carpet would work too. The point is- carpet in dorm rooms is really rough and not welcoming. Rugs make a huge difference.
Posters / Wall Decorations
Nothing is worse than coming home from a long day of class to a dorm room with (if you haven’t already done the first two) fluorescent lighting, plain grey carpet, and empty, off-white walls. It feels like a prison, trust me. What helps is doing the first two tips that are listed above and then putting up some posters or some sort of decorations on your plain walls! Most likely, you’ll have to use sticky tack instead of thumb tacks or nails. Regardless, put up movie posters, vinyl record covers, flags, etc. If you have 3M hooks, try draping things like christmas lights or other stranded objects along the walls. It may not seem like it’d matter that much, but you’d be amazed!
Have Music Playing
Of course studying probably requires music to be turned off, but if you can stand it and your roommate is OK with it, have music playing as often as possible. Even if it’s just out of your built-in laptop speakers, the white noise makes your room more comforting. Otherwise, you’ll hear nothing but what your hall mates are doing, the hum of your conditioner, mini fridge, etc. “Quiet” is (fortunately or unfortunately) not often an option for your dorm room’s atmosphere, so put on some tunes to cover up the natural sound your walls let in.
What do YOU do to make your dorm room more homey feeling? Leave me a comment!