The first things that come to mind when people talk about dorm rooms are usually random movie posters taped to the walls, mix-and-matched furniture and bedding, a fuzzy throw rug and maybe a fathead sticker or two.
There is nothing wrong with any of these classic dorm room decorations, but there are students around Mercer’s campus who have drifted away from these classics and moved into a whole new ream. The realm of Interior Design: College Edition.
Everyone knows that college students are on a budget. Tuition can get pretty expensive, and not to mention those prices of the ‘required’ books that we never even open.
Ridiculous, right? As a result, decorating your dorm room can get kind of tricky. After finding a few well-decorated rooms and interviewing the tenants, creating a well-decorated dorm room is actually surprisingly easy.
The first step in decorating any room is deciding what inspires you. Alex Preston, a junior Media Studies and Theater double major, got inspired by his obsessions: “dance, Broadway musicals, and all those corny trivial things.” He was also inspired by functionality. Preston lives in a studio apartment, so he has to take floor space into consideration.
Sophia Rivera, a sophomore Math major, was inspired by her plans for the future and the memories she created last year here at Mercer, using elements of both to fill her room.
Lyndssey Autrey, also a sophomore Math major, decided to use her roommates for inspiration when decorating her living room. The chosen spokesperson for her entire room, she says, “we wanted to represent each of our personalities within the room. We also wanted our living room to be a place we could feel at home in, rather than in just a typical ‘dorm room.’ We wanted pieces that were calm and comforting instead of an off-the-wall combination of posters.”
The general consensus from Preston, Rivera, and Autrey for decorating each of their rooms on a budget was that with a little ingenuity, anything is possible.
Preston decorated his room with things he has obtained over the years: posters he has collected, hand-crafted art pieces and various newspaper articles. He claims, with a laugh, “My style is like scrappy chic.”
Like Preston, Rivera spent little to no money on decorations by using things she created—mostly arts and craft projects—to decorate her room.
Decorating was a little more expensive but reasonable for Autrey and her roommates, all of whom were on a budget. They each split the cost three ways by buying one or two elements to complete the room. Aside from those minimal costs, they each brought their own stuff into the living room. She says, “We used throws and lamps to accent the purchased pillows and curtains and then placed our extra chairs in a way that allowed everyone to feel included when they came over.”
Preston, Rivera, and Autrey were asked what kind of tips they could offer to other Mercerians decorating on a budget, and each gave a different (but helpful) response.
Rivera suggested inviting friends over for a crafts party. She said, “Buy some 99-cent paint and you are good to go.”
When it comes to shopping for new things, Autrey offered, “Go to places like Wal-Mart or Ross. They have things at a much cheaper price, but are still able to look like a college student’s apartment.” Pillows and blankets allow for a comfortable, homey environment while remaining relatively cheap, especially if being split between multiple people.
Preston’s prized advice is to “Not rule out digging through your garage or attic.” Even hitting up the local Salvation Army can prove to be very fruitful. He says, “Find something old and crappy and make it yours!”
Like the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Find your inspiration and run with it!