Experts extol secrets of dorm decor

Posted Sept. 22, 2006
Maria Villalpando
Resident assistants across campus stayed up late to decorate dorms for the new school year. Stu-Han’s decorations followed the theme of the board game Candyland. Along with hall decorations, students have ways to decorate their dorm rooms on a low-cost budget.

Shared small spaces create decorating challenges for dorm dwellers at the University of La Verne.

The key to decorating your home-away-from-home is to be organized – and creative – from closet to desk, say students who’ve been at it for awhile.

“Try to decorate to your personality because you will be living with it for nine months,” said Michelle Ajemian, a junior communications major.

Going on her third year living in the dorms, Ajemian has recycled most of her items to help save money.

To make her room feel like home she used black, white and pink to decorate in a “Paris theme.” To accentuate her colors she bought a picture of Paris from Ikea to display above her bed.

“Be functional and practical because things are expensive,” Ajemian said.

Katie Watkins, a junior dorm dweller, recommends decorating according to color.

“We have these cute hot pink comforters and pictures that match,” Watkins said. “Make it to where you like coming back to it every day.”

Another key to decorating is making it feel like home.

“I put up curtains and have a La-Z-boy to make it more homey,” said Lauren Moon, a senior dorm resident.
When floor space is an issue you can buy blocks that “loft your bed up higher” so that items, such as refrigerators and small bookcases can be stored underneath, students suggest.

Maximizing space can become expensive. So shopping around for storage bins and boxes – as well as decorative items – is key. Many stores have sales for off-to-college items at the end of summer.

Anything collapsible is the way to go: such as collapsible hampers, waste baskets and chairs, veteran dorm residents said.

For those just starting out, or anyone trying to make dorm life a little more comfortable, Target sells a “College Survival Kit.”

For $49.99, the kit includes a shower tote with a sleep mask, ear plugs, book light, first aid kit, mending kit, hamper, laundry instructions and Domino’s gift certificates.

Allison Farole can be reached at

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