How to turn a dorm room into a home

Nov. 1, 2016, 11:57 a.m.

Walking into a bare dorm room in September makes some overjoyed with the decorating possibilities, while others sink under the overwhelming question of what to do with all that blank white space. Whether you start the year off with a Tumblr-worthy decorating scheme, or you continue to add as the year progresses, here are some tips for creating your own personal corner at Stanford.

  1. Think about your vibe

What kind of home would you like to return to after a long day of lectures, meetings, and other commitments? Some people need a dedicated period of peace and quiet before starting in on the night’s assignments, while others prefer a more vibrant atmosphere in order to get pumped up for all those p-sets. Either way, it’s important to recognize the vibe that fits your personality and preferences. Artsy, loud, soft, minimalistic, comfy… the choice is yours!


  1. Add some reminders from your other home

“Home” means something different to us all. Perhaps pictures of your hometown will be a nice greeting every morning, or old birthday cards from friends and family will be a kind reminder of the memories that brought you to this place. If nature is an essential component of your notion of home, consider adding plants to your room, and if the culture at Stanford seems completely foreign to you, display some signs of the art, music, clothes, or food that you appreciated as a child.

(MAXIMILIANA BOGAN/The Stanford Daily)
(MAXIMILIANA BOGAN/The Stanford Daily)
  1. Decorate with the essential parts of yourself

Movie posters, album covers, maps, and artwork are just some of the popular items students will use to express themselves. Additionally, displaying your own creative works, like photographs, paintings, poems, or cartoons, will remind you of your own potential whenever you need a pep talk, as well as become a conversation starter for anyone who visits your room. Anything from sheet music to glow-in-the-dark word displays can liven up the bright white box that you’re inhabiting.


  1. Never forget comfort food

Rarely will a home cooked meal fail to make a bad situation a little better. Although you might not have immediate access to such miracle meals — or to a regular kitchen, for that matter — dedicating one of your preciously limited drawers to indulgent snacks that you’re used to eating can make all the difference during dead week.


  1. Think about what you want out of a home

At the end of the day, many aspects of your college living situation are out of your control, but adding a few personal touches can help you achieve whatever environment you wish to obtain.

A student's dorm room. (MAXIMILIANA BOGAN/The Stanford Daily)
A student’s dorm room. (MAXIMILIANA BOGAN/The Stanford Daily)

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