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Eight Tips for Dorm Room Décor

Your dorm room will be your first home away from home -- and your first project as an interior design student. Most dorm rooms are double occupancy, but singles, triples, and suites may be available depending on where you go to school. Here are some tips to keep in mind when decorating your dorm room.

1. Don’t do damage! - In one respect at least, dorm rooms are exactly like apartment rentals: in most cases you are not allowed to paint, remove window treatments, or modify any existing furniture. If you defy these rules you can be hit with a hefty bill at the end of your residency.

2. Creative solutions - dorm rooms are small, you can’t paint, you’re sharing space -- the list of negatives can be long. But coming up with creative solutions will allow you to make the most of you new home. Fabric panels make rich-looking wallpaper that can easily be tacked up and removed. Or, create a gallery feel with framed posters running the lengths of your walls.

3. Utilize space savers - many dorm rooms include the basic furniture you will need - beds, desks, and dressers - if your dorm comes with loft beds (that can be raised and lowered) consider raising the bed platform and placing your desk and dresser underneath -- this will free up floor space and give you more room to move about.

4. Express yourself - while dorms are a temporary situation, you will be there for one of the most important years of your life - make sure to use your favorite colors, display items that are significant to you, and make it feel like a home.

5. Make it study-friendly - college can be a ton of fun, but you are there to study and learn. Make sure that your dorm is a place that you can concentrate - Proper lighting, music, and a clean and organized workspace will ensure that you feel comfortable in your new living space.

6. Maintain your personal space - if you are sharing with a roommate, think about how important it is to you to have some personal space and privacy. Setting up desks so that they’re not facing each other or installing a privacy drape will ensure that you can study while your roommate sleeps, or vice versa.

7. Collaborate - Communication and collaboration are the most essential parts of the design business -- put heads together with your roommate and think about colors and styles you both like. Maybe you both brought blue comforters from home -- that can be enough to start a design theme.

8. Shop wise - spend money on a few decorative accents that will make your space more homey - whether it’s floor cushions, candles, or plants, accents are the things that pull a space together and create a sense.

Schools to consider: