College Dorm Life - Decoration Ideas and Tips

I can't believe it has already been over two years since my original post on my freshman year dorm went live [College Dorm Life - Decoration and Ideas]. Since it was posted, it has become one of my most viewed posts ever and pinned quite a few times on Pinterest. I enjoy writing college-type posts so much and have been meaning to write a follow up post. 

This past school year was my Junior Year, which means I only have one more year of living on campus left. As much as I have loved living here, I have grown up so much since then and I'm ready for my own place. Obviously that won't be for a while, but I can only dream. 

Dorm decoration is such a popular topic during the Summer. All incoming freshmen students are curious about college dorm living and blogs like mine are very useful for them to get a feel of what it will be like. Although the following post will be about my third year living on campus, it can still be useful for college dorms.

This school year I had the pleasure of living with 5 other girls. I was no longer living in a freshman dorm building and upgraded (it wasn't much of an upgrade to be honest) to a "6 person apartment". Although the school calls them that, I usually called it a house since it had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 study room, living room, and kitchen. It was different than my previous two years of living on campus since I lived in a freshman building. Here is a layout of the apartment, but imagine it also mirrored to the left , but the other living room would be my room.

Layout of my Junior Year Apartment

Based on the above layout, you might be confused. Essentially, this apartment was meant to look like the one above, but certain modifications were done to accommodate for 6 people. These apartments can fit 2, 4, or groups of 6 people. They all look different depending on the amount of people living in it.

My apartment was obviously a 6 person one, so we had the one whose mirrored living room turns into a bedroom. Now there are pros and cons to having that particular room and I will address some of them.

This is my half of the bedroom that I shared with my roommate, Elise.
My work area.
My side of the room.

My makeup area (left) & desk (right)
As you can see I had the usual furniture you would have in a regular dorm. This includes: a twin bed, closet, desk, chair, bookcase, and extra drawers of some kind. As I'm typing this, I realized that I was the only one with a typical dorm closet. As I mentioned before this room was originally a living room so it already has a closet by the entrance, and the bedrooms already include a closet. So that leaves me with no closet, which is why my side has that one.

Using what you have to make a comfortable and inviting living space is very important. You have to come up with ways to make everything feel yours. Dorms can be boring and small, and you have to find ways to work with what you have.

  • BED: Coming from a room that I could fit a lot under the bed, I found myself in a dilemma. My roommate used some bed risers(I bought mine from Target in white) and I thought that it was a clever way to get more space. I stored my clothing in Space Bags(yes, those ones from commercials). I have had them since freshman year and they have been a lifesaver. To the side of my bed, I also made it "my space". You can barely see how, but I stored different books on the space between the bed and my mattress. I would also keep my extension cord to charge my phone and turn on my Christmas lights.
  • DESK: My desk was the one place that constantly changed how it looked. The shelves were arranged differently depending on what I wanted to display. In this room, unlike previous years, I wanted to put photos and some cards I have acquired. It makes the area feel cozy. I also bought some fake flowers and vase from the dollar store to add some color to the room. 
  • DRAWERS: In all my drawers I had found different ways to make it easier to keep things in there. My clothing drawers were arranged by type of clothing. My roommate used drawer dividers in hers and I loved how easy it was to access intimates.
  • MAKEUP: As always, I keep my makeup stored in plastic drawers. My favorite part of moving into a room is trying to find that space that I can use as my makeshift vanity. I like to make that area cute and girly. Just add a mirror, some makeup brushes, lots of nice smelling perfumes, and your jewelry, and you have your own little corner to get ready. 
  • CLOSET: The closet I had only have to parts to it - a top shelf and the clothing hanging part. This closet is unlike any closet furniture I have seen at my school. They usually have some drawers on it. This made me re-access my whole way of organizing my room. I had so much space inside of it. I decided to store my collapsible laundry bag in there, as well as one of my suitcases in which I stored extra items in. That made for a quick way to get everything out. 
  • SPACE: I added some signature "Isabel" finishing touches to the room to make it feel like my own. My white Christmas lights are a must, and my white rug. That rug is a little high-maintenance since it gets dirty easily, but I cleaned it very regularly.

My beauty section
Living in this space was very different from what I was used to. Having all those extra rooms gives you the freedom to use your  bedroom  for yourself instead of using up space to store silverware, and toiletries. No matter how much space you have, you can always come up with fun ideas to make it yours. Having the other living room as a bedroom, while it may give you slightly more room it can be annoying at times. Overall, I really liked my room, but I'm ready for a regular one. I also didn't like having my things right at the entrance of the bedroom. My white rug would constantly get stepped on even though there was room to walk around it.

It was a good year in terms of living on campus goes. While there was usual problems amongst the roommates, it was probably my favorite year of living on campus. The girls were so much fun and I'm sure we all learned something from living with so many strangers for the first time.

**These photos were taken after all my roommates moved out since I stayed for the Summer to work on campus. I meant to show the whole apartment throughout the year, but things always came up and that idea never happened. **

Like my other college decor post, feel free to leave comments and ask me any questions. I love giving people advice if they need it and I can help. If you still need more ideas, feel free to check my College Dorm Life - Decoration and Ideas post.

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