Having two children go through college has given me a little insight into how to decorate a college dorm room. First and foremost, you need to start with the necessities. Usually, there is little room for extras, as the typical dorm room just isn’t large enough, so it’s important to be as creative as possible.
Walls- If the college allows them, wall coverings from home help to make the college student more comfortable and help to brighten up what can be an otherwise dreary room. Use common sense in wall coverings so as not to alienate the roommate, although most students like sports or people posters.
Bed- Two sets of sheets is always a good idea. Both my students needed twin size extra long sheets, so make sure to look for them enough ahead of time, as they are difficult to find. Even if you find them, they don’t come in many colors, so you may need to spend some time looking for these. Adding a blanket, or even a sports related comforter, usually adds color to the room.
Desk- Most college students if not all, will probably have either a desk top or lap top computer. This will probably take up a great deal of space on their desk. Make sure to leave room for a small desk calendar, a desk lamp and a small container in which they can put pens, pencils and markers.
Chairs- Most rooms have space for a small bean bag chair or something like it.
Clothes Hamper- A clothes hamper/bag is a definite necessity so your student can keep their dirty clothes away form their clean ones.
Rugs- A small rug can brighten up a dorm room and also give it a warmer feeling.
Storage Containers- Both my students used storage containers, not only for extra things that they felt they needed, but also for storing non-perishable foods that they were allowed to have.
Refrigerator- A refrigerator (the college puts restraints on the size) is also a good idea particularly if you have a student athlete. Storing water is a good idea whether you have an athlete or not, and a refrigerator can come in handy when the weather is cold/snowy and the student doesn’t wish to go out into the bad weather for a snack.
Anything else of a personal nature that doesn’t take up a lot of space is also a good idea for a college dorm room. Such items as family/friend pictures or a favorite book can help the student adjust to the changes of college particularly if they are a good distance away from home.
Knick knacks are nice as are flower stands, book shelves and pillows, the more colorful the better. Even your trash can can have color, and depending on what’s allowed, you can find inexpensive colorful lights.
Finally, just make sure that you have comfortable study space, because you are there to learn, and a comfortable room can help put your college student at ease.