Dorm room decor revamped for Fall 2015 semester

Most acceptance letters have been sent, and dorm-shopping season is just about to kick off.

You know what I’m talking about. From one day to the next department stores put out all their dorm necessities and storage containers trying to attract soon-to-be college freshman.

Most years it seems like there is a lot of the same stuff though.

I’ve scoured the Internet and found three unique items you might want to sport in the fall.

1. Scrabble Pillow Covers

Etsy is a great website to find unique, handmade decor that is perfect for your dorm. These pillow covers are really creative, and you could even spell your name out with them.

2. Terry Fan For DENY Reincarnate Duvet Cover

This duvet cover from Urban Outfitters, although cute, can be a little pricey for some people.

3. Hamburger Beanbag Chair

A hamburger beanbag chair might just be the weirdest thing included on this list, but having one might make your room the most popular in the hall.

A new semester is a great time to amp up your decor or start all over from your room in your parents’ house. Just don’t fall into the trap of dorm-shopping season. Take your time finding stuff you really like and can afford, whether that be from a local department store or online.

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Roommates share dorm room, not same taste

I sat down with Kathleen Johnston, a first-year exploratory major at the University of Florida, to hear her perspective on roommates matching dorm decor with each other. Some roommates coordinate everything from bedding to what desk lamp they’ll buy, but Johnston says she doesn’t think it’s important to have matching decorations.

For more of Johnston’s take on matching with roommates, here are excerpts from our conversation.

Did you ever talk to your roommate to decide on a color scheme or what decorations you were going to have? 

We didn’t know each other before we were roommates, so I contacted her to get to know her a little better. But we decided to not coordinate because we had most of the things we were going to need for our rooms and had decided what we wanted our side to look like already.

Once you moved in did your roommate have any influence on how you decorated?

Actually yeah, she used scrapbook paper to hang up her pictures, and I was going to do something similar. Then one of my friends told me about Washi tape, and I decided to do that instead.

There are a lot of pictures of dorms where roommates have matched their entire room. Do you ever wish you had coordinated with yours?

Not really. We’re two different people, and I don’t think we ever would have been able to agree on one theme.

For students who will be sharing a dorm room next semester do you think trying to coordinate with a roommate is a good idea?

They should definitely ask their roommate about their plans, but it’s not necessary to design everything around them. Your room is supposed to be reflective of you and what you like.

kathleenrm

The left half of the dorm room pictured belongs to Johnston, and the right side is her roommate’s.

This is a perfect example of why you don’t have to coordinate with your future roommate. Both Johnston and her roommate have separate designs, but their room is cute anyway. You may share a room, but you probably won’t have the same taste.

Students try different options to hang pictures in dorm rooms

For most people, going to college means leaving their hometowns. The best way to have friends and family tag along is through pictures.

I’ve had a small collage of my best memories hung up on my wall since move-in day.

I put no thought into how I would put them up, and, now, after seeing that there are so many creative ways to do it, I regret being so hasty.

Here is one of my favorite ideas that I’ve seen.

Printstagram Project No.1

I, like most people nowadays, have my pictures either saved to my laptop, or posted on social media sites. I printed out my pictures at a local CVS, but, as this blogger shared, there’s a company that allows you to print pictures directly from Instagram. An at-home printer can work just as well too.

No matter how you acquire your photos, the next thing you want to consider is how you’ll put them up.

If they are Polaroids, you might want to skip this, but if not Washi tape could be a cute way to create makeshift picture frames. The decorative tape actually serves as a means to hang your pictures on the wall too. There’s an example in the link below.

Washi Tape Wall Art

This next blogger shares the classic, yet popular, clothespin line that many of my friends have used to hang their pictures up.

DIY Clothespin Photo Wall

There are also different arrangements you could try.

DIY Photo Heart

Once you decided exactly how you want our pictures to look, all that’s left is actually executing your vision. Most of the things I’ve mentioned are cheap and easy to do yourself.

Here is one last look that I could never pull off. Good luck trying your favorite.

Our Instax Wall

UF students make the most of living in a triple dorm room

So, your dorm assignment comes around and it says the dreaded words: triple. What’s next? My interview with roommates Natalia Fonseca and Cesia Salan, who live in a triple at the University of Florida, reveals the truth.

“I didn’t choose to live in triple. It was random,” said Cesia Salan, first-year Microbiology major.

Most students who end up living in a triple, like Salan, didn’t necessarily put it as their first choice when submitting their room preferences. Dealing with an extra roommate or having less space and privacy are some drawbacks most people don’t want to deal with, but having two roommates isn’t all bad.

“If you hate one, you can talk to the other,” joked Natalia Fonseca, first-year Psychology major.

Let’s say you happen to like both of your roommates, or at least you tolerate them, it can still be particularly challenging to make the space your own when three people are sharing a room.

Fonseca said that she uses vinyl wall decals and pictures to personalize her space in the room.

BEST wall decal

With decorative tape and personal memorabilia on her fridge, Salan has managed to do the same.

fridge

Both girls proudly paraded around the room showing off their personal touches. These included Fonseca’s Mason jar flower vases given to her by a friend and Salan’s jewlery organizer near her closet.

flower pots

closet

Living in a triple is probably not ideal for most people, but it is also not the end of the world. If nothing else, it is an experience that you can take with you on move-out day.

For students who will be living in a triple in the future, it’s all about respect for your roommates and personalizing, even in small ways.

“Don’t be afraid to claim your own space,” Fonseca said.

Thank you to Cesia Salan and Natalia Fonseca for letting me invade your space today.

ces & nat