CREATIVE INTERIORS: Decorating the dorm room

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann | McClatchy-Tribune Published:

If you are going to college this fall -- or know someone who is -- and need ideas on how to decorate your dorm room, read on.

Those dorms are pretty small, so planning ahead and being creative are both important. Here are some ideas.

• First, arrange and rearrange the furnishings in the room. Sometimes a bed on a different wall will make all the difference in making the room feel right. Try putting two desks back to back rather than each against a wall. The back-to-back desks also can serve as a visual room divider. Consider turning your bed into a day bed by using toss pillows against the wall during the day. This way the bed is a couch during the day and a bed at night. A futon works for this idea also because during the day the side folds up to make a couch, then lays flat for a bed at night.

• Put your own personality into the space with artwork. Hang things on the wall that express who you are. Those walls can be pretty boring, so if artwork isn't what you like, consider using decals. Decals come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and patterns, including words, flowers, geometric patterns, sports teams' logos and many more to choose from. The decals are easy to apply and also come off easily when you are done with them or move to another location. Don't forget that closet doors can be decorated too. Also on the market today is a peel-and-stick wallpaper that comes off easily when needed. Just be sure to double-check to ensure it's the kind that comes off easily, since there are many varieties. The goal is to leave the walls undamaged when you move out so you get your deposit back!

• The first few weeks at school can make you homesick. Bring things from home that are special to you and make you feel a little like you're home. Nothing valuable, just something or some things that make you feel comfortable. Pictures of friends and family also are a great reminder that you are loved, and can help cheer you up when you may be feeling down.

• You know those plastic storage containers? You can pile one on top of each other and they make great storage. Go all the way up to the ceiling with them and you will have lots of storage without taking up much floor space. Oh, and decals work on these storage containers also, so they can be decorative as well as utilitarian.

• Add a small side table that can serve as a nightstand or as an accessory table. Simply get a small wastebasket and spray paint it whatever color works in your dorm. Turn it upside down and there you have it.

• Bring nature in. Little potted plants are attractive, make the place look good, and give you a live thing to talk to when nobody else is around. The good thing is they don't talk back. Just make sure to give it the appropriate amount of light and water (check the plant label before you buy).

OK, that's it. Oh, and don't forget to study!

MCT Information Services

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