Your new home at college is no longer in a dorm. Odds are, you are sharing an apartment or sorority house with friends and classmates. This means that you still have shared or common areas, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, but you may finally have a room all your own. It’s time to go all out in expressing who you are. Theater majors, be dramatic with big sweeping stage curtains instead of a door; science majors, be as nerdy as you please with glow-in-the-dark stickers correctly set in the constellations on your ceiling. This space is all your own.
One of the problems with having your own space is that you have to supply the furniture. You will probably need a bed, dresser, and desk. Look for used furniture at second-hand stores. Don’t worry if there are dings or knicks in the wood because shabby chic is fashionable, you can paint over them to camouflage them, and if you make your own dents you won’t feel so bad as if it were new. Another option for furniture is to buy simple, unfinished pieces that you can paint and stylize yourself. Ikea is a great store for finding inexpensive pieces that have a clean, sleek look. Then paint the furniture to your liking. White adds a crisp cleanness, black adds drama, and a mix of colors makes it funky and fun for the art-lover. Don’t forget special treatment for the knobs: New metal knobs can be pricey, so try painting the wood ones to contrast with the main color of the dresser or desk. Bright flowers or 60s yellow and black smiley faces or even computer-style smileys are all cute choices.
Painting the walls is often an option in an apartment if you can prove to your landlord that it will enhance the property or that you will paint it back before you move out. But if you want your paint to coordinate with your fabric, it’s usually easiest to pick the fabrics first and have the paint mixed to match. Check out beddings sets in stores and online for the one that most speaks to you and looks like the retreat you want to come home to after all-day lectures.
One option to simplify your shopping is the bedding and decor sets created by Robin McDonald. Owner and creator of Decor 2 Ur Door, Robin sells bedding and accessories packages with vivid colors and fabulous style. When Robin is designing she likes to let her imagination run wild. “I am very partial to cozy/comfy fabrics to cuddle with,” she says. She also looks for fabrics with durability. Robin understands the need to be budget conscious when designing for college students. “You can do a lot with paint and wall stickers,” she adds. For advice in decorating your windows, Robin says to “mount the curtain near the ceiling to give additional light and height above the window. Select fabrics that add a color burst … or select a simple panel and jazz up with silk flower finials or tassels.”
There will be no interior decorating pop quiz, so feel free to break the rules a little bit and just remember to have fun!