By Amanda Ferrara, Student at New York University
As the end of the semester gets closer and closer, you might find yourself getting sick and tired of your old dorm or apartment decor. Whether you are in need of a total revamp or if you just want to make a few changes to spice up your living space, here are some useful and creative suggestions!
1. Changing your bedding or just adding accessories to your bed is the quickest way to shake up the theme of your room. This time of year, stores often have really good sales on bed sheets thanks to the leftover items from back-to-school shopping, and you should take full advantage of this! There are also sales on throw blankets and pillows; change up your color scheme by adding a few new colors to your bed and boost your comfort and warmth with fluffy blankets and oversized pillows.
2. Another way to change up your sleeping area is by hanging a tapestry behind your bed such as this one from Urban Outfitters. Most dorm rooms have beds with a very low headboard or do not have one altogether so this can be a fun alternative.
3. Display your favorite memories with friends from home, your family, and your new friends from school on your walls. Most students enter college with a stack of photos to be taped up or mixed into a wall collage, but why not make your photo wall look a little bit more sophisticated and decorative? Try these sticker frames or this picture window. They are a great substitute to just taping pictures onto the walls and they are not damaging like real frames would be. Also, print some of your favorite pictures with different effects and in different sizes (try making one poster sized) so they stick out, highlight your originality and make an artistic statement.
4. Make a quote wall to personalize your living space. My suitemates and I just decorated a boring wall in our apartment to display handwritten quotes; we decorated colorful paper with inside jokes and images to remind us of all the fun memories we have had so far this year. You can also add in some inspirational quotes to keep you motivated or lines from your favorite movies and television shows! Buy a white board or cork board or just colorful paper and markers, and let the decorating (and the roommate bonding) begin!
5. Speaking of walls, you can also create a custom bulletin board! Get a plain corkboard and lay it upside down over some fabric (you can use an old T-shirt or get fabric swatches at a craft store). Staple the fabric to the back of the board securely. Next, arrange ribbons in a pattern on the surface (you can do checkers, diagonal lines, etc.) and use tacks to secure them. Voila! You now have a one-of-a-kind bulletin board!
6. Comfy items will make your room complete. Try something like this giant bean bag chair or opt for the cheaper choice and get my personal favorite: a pillow pet! On long nights of studying, movie watching with friends or crashing on a Sunday night, you will definitely not regret buying something like these!
7. Bring some nature into your living space to make your new home feel extra welcoming. I suggest getting low-maintenance and slow-growing plants like Lucky Bamboo or a Bonsai Tree; they are fairly cheap and can come in cute and fun pots to add some more color to your space!
8. Curtains are a great way to make your room get that warm and comfortable feel but they do not have to only be on the windows! My sophomore year roommate and I separated our room with layers of sheer curtains we found at Walmart by looping a rope through them and attaching the rope to the tops of our wardrobes. This setup was perfect because it separated our areas while also adding color and giving our room a more whimsical feel. If you have your own bedroom, you can put the curtains over the entrance door, over an open closet, around your bed or against a wall as a substitute for paint.
9. If you are in an apartment, indoor holiday lights are fun, calming and festive. You can use them to surround your window, the perimeter of your ceiling or wrap them around any kind of beam or pole. Shut off the main lights and turn on the holiday lights to transform your room into total tranquility!
10. Area rugs are a cheap and perfect way to add color and character to your room. You can scour stores or the Internet for rugs that suit your personality and they will also be a treat to your feet on these upcoming winter months!
[Picture from BootyBeanbags.com]