Back-to-school college dorm decorating tips

Home is where the plush blankets and framed photos are. / Digital Vision
Home is where the plush blankets and framed photos are. Credit: Digital Vision

So you’ve left the nest and your childhood bedroom is poised to become a glorified storage closet for your family’s things. Interior designer Tamara Dunner says the best way to make your tiny new dorm room feel like home is to decorate with care and an eye toward color, pattern and style.

What advice do you give to college students who want to make their new home a little brighter?

I think it’s important when you’re moving or relocating to bring some things from home. Bring your picture frames with photos of all your friends. They don’t have to be standard black picture frames; if you’re more traditional, you can do a whitewashed finish.

Any tips on style conflicts between roommates?

Chances are, you and your roommate the first year might not be best friends, so make your own separate area. My daughter was very into neon colors and the girl next to her was into lace and horses. You have a corner, and you pick one area and that’s your space where you can show your personality. Mostly what happens is that you meet your roommate months before, and a lot of students will compromise. Decorating the rooms is putting your own individual style to it, which is important.

What advice do you give to students setting up for the first time?

It’s your first home away from home; it should be a secure place for you to come after school where you feel comfortable. It’s always hard that first year, so you want to emphasize that you want to personalize your own little cave, your own little place. Bring something that reminds you of home, pictures of family or pets, blankets. Bring your favorite pillow and also scents — candles or body lotions — that remind you of the places that you were.

What about the walls?

You can get posters, but I know they [usually] won’t let you stick nails in the walls in the dorm. You can get light picture frames from Ikea or even take postcards and hang them on the wall. You can get Christmas lights to make it a little bit more funky.

Product Spotlight

Privacy tent
Close quarters can be awkward when you want some alone time in the dorm. With this pop-up tent, you can pretend your roommate’s girlfriend drama doesn’t exist, or just escape the distraction-factor of dorm living. The tent is available as part of Fab.com’s back-to-school sales events throughout August and September.

ED_backtoschoolcool_Privacy_0826

(Back)packing neon heat
You can say more than “I care about preserving my spine” with a backpack. Any range of styles and patterns is in stores right now, but if you really don’t want to be missed — or want a real conversation piece — this textured neon orange backpack from Mad Pax will get people talking. And that means you can do what you really came to school to do: Make friends. Check out a whole array of back-to-school must-haves at Umbra.com.

Orange madpax backpack


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.