Today: Apr 21, 2024

Dorm Room Nirvana

Mackenzie HurlbertCopy Editor

You’ve survived moving into the dorm, meeting new people, and the first week of school, but have the whitewashed walls of your dorm room haunted your mental stability? Double-sided tape and wall hooks may fail to adhere and adorn your walls, but there are many other ways to decorate your space. Utilize the principles of feng shui, and create a warm and welcoming dorm room.

First of all, if you have posters or pictures to hang up, I highly recommend wall tack. It’s blue or yellow putty that adheres to the walls in Southern dorms firmly. The best part is that at the end of the year when you’re packing for home, the poster and tack will come cleanly off the wall, leaving no trace that it was ever there. You can find the tack at stores such as Wal-Mart and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Another method of filling up the empty, white wall space is with these removable stickers called Fatheads. You can get a Fathead of your favorite NFL or NBA star, Star Wars character, or Hunger Games character, along with many other options. These include customizable Fatheads which turn a special photo or artwork into a removable sticker. Fatheads are a unique decoration for the dorm, and they won’t tear or wrinkle like a poster would. If you are interested in Fatheads, you can visit their website at to peruse their diverse collection.

Now that we’ve covered up some of that empty wall space, there are many more touches we can add to make your room less of a jail cell and more like home. A funky rug could bring some color and warmth to the room. You can decorate the wooden rungs of your bed by wrapping them with ribbons or scarves. Also, if your wall hooks work, you can drape fabric across the walls to form a decorative tapestry.

The air vent and refrigerator in your room are magnetic surfaces so getting some funny or decorative magnets would help add more pizzazz to your space. Michael’s Craft Store sells adhesive magnetic strips which you can attach to a favorite photo or drawing. Just peel the adhesive covering off, stick it to the back of the photo and voila! You have made your own magnet!

Another fun do-it-yourself project is the vinyl record storage bowl. For this DIY project you will need a couple vinyl records which you can find at Goodwill, a large metal bowl with a diameter slightly less than that of the records’ and an oven. The basic steps and various designs can be found online at I recommend that you do this at home and NOT in the dorm’s community kitchen; however, it is a very fun project and creates a unique and stylish catchall.

While talking to students around campus, I discovered some other neat ways to spice up your space without breaking the rules or the bank. While some students seemed not to mind the white walls and blandness of the room, others, like myself, were deeply distressed with this asylum-like environment.

“I don’t like dorms generally,” said Georgia Russell, a theatre major. “I personally feel like it’s so uniform, and it just kind of makes me feel like I’m in a jail cell.” Russell does her best to decorate her space using duct tape, masking tape, and putty. “If I was to hang ribbons and stuff, I use those command hooks,” she said. When it comes to the decorations, Russell uses a variety of materials and often does many do-it-yourself projects. “I like to use scraps—meaning paper scraps, ribbon scraps, lace scraps… I like collages and any artwork I think is interesting.”

Junior Jennifer-Rose Hebert, a library science major, also decorates her dorm room in Brownell with self-made creations. She likes to use “cheap stuff” such as paper, construction paper, crayons and markers. When asked what works best when adhering something to the wall, Hebert said, “Nothing! Extreme amounts of tape… I usually avoid sticking stuff to the walls and try to get it on some kind of wood surface in the room. “ Hebert is also a do-it-yourself-er when it comes to making creative decorations. “I made a paper lantern,” she said, and explained how one can string a chain of them across the room. “It’s easy once you read the directions.”

Of course not everyone has the aspirations or creativity as these students, but most people probably would prefer to decorate their room in order to feel more at home on campus. Hopefully these suggestions, tips, and ideas can help you to achieve your dorm room nirvana—and hopefully those wicked white walls will seem less harsh, even if it means just getting a poster and some putty.

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