How to Make Your Dorm Room Your Home Away From Home

We are thrilled to be welcoming back our Residential Life students this weekend! They'll be facing the daunting task of moving in and setting up their rooms, but we have some expert advice for them and anyone interested in making a home away from home. Originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, senior Kaylee Chu has had three years to perfect the art of turning an empty dorm room into an inviting, relaxing atmosphere. Here she shares her favorite tips for easy interior design.

It might seem obvious, but unpacking your bags and boxes and storing them out of sight is the first step to transforming a dorm room into your room. Use the furniture provided, and find a place for everything so that you don’t end up with a bunch of piles on the floor.

Decorate with personal possessions
You’ll have photographs and special decorative items that have personal meaning, and displaying them will no doubt make you smile when you see them. Who doesn’t like to smile?! Your desk and dresser in particular will be useful for displays.

Set up your work station
More than any other area of the dorm OR the School, your desk is all your own. Make sure you have room for all of your study supplies, your books, and your technology so that you have no excuses when it comes time to get to work.

Don’t forget the lighting
Overhead lights can be really harsh, so if it’s okay with your Residential Life rules look into string lights and/or lamps to make your room cozy. These can be especially helpful if one roommate wants to nap, you can turn on a small lamp rather than keep him or her awake with the bright light. Just remember, there can be no candles because of the fire hazard.

Take advantage of shared space
Your dorm room will be your home away from home, but shared spaces like the beanbag chairs in our hallways can be part of your living space as well. Don’t forget how comfortable they can be when your roommate is on the phone but you want to study, or you feel like chatting with your hall-mates. 


Kayle’s top stores for dorm room organization include Bed, Bath and Beyond at the Barracks Road Shopping Center, Walmart on Route 29/Seminole Trail, or online retailer She also noted that the Residential Life program will transport students to Target at the start of the year for needed dorm room shopping as well. 

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