Though living on campus at NYU means we’re fortunate enough to have a swanky downtown address, it doesn’t mean that the dorms behind closed doors match that address.
Upon move-in, dorms can feel pretty gray and nondescript. Though christmas lights are a classic, there are a few other easy elements that you can add to your dorm to make it more homey.
Work from the bottom up: invest in a carpet. K-Mart and Ikea have fun colored, cost-friendly options and one shag rug will make all the difference. Having a fuzzy area rug is inviting — the less linoleum tile you can see, the better. Don’t forget to pay your Resource Center a visit and borrow their vaccuum, though, because there is actually nothing worse than a carpet full of hair and dust.
Pillows: full body pillows, throw pillows, you name it — they’re all comfortable. Line them along the side of your bed that is adjacent to the wall so your bed can double as a couch when you have company. Also a good accent on couches, if you’re fortunate enough to have one.
But, before you decide to put those pillows on the couch, cover it. We’re not talking about a fancy slipcover or anything though. If you are so lucky that NYU provides you with one of those pine frame, itchy upholstered couches, buy a twin or queen size sheet to cover it. Pick a solid color, or if you’re feeling ambitious tye-dye one.
Tye-dye works not only for couch covers, but also makes for great wall art. Tye-dye a bedsheet for a custom tapestry, or purchase your own to hang up. The key to covering up those plaster walls is fabric. Flags are also a good way to remind everyone of your cultural or sport allegiances while taking up a ton of wall space.
The concept of hanging up photos in your dorm is certainly not a new one. Investing in a pack of photo paper, though, will make printing out pictures of your family and friends a breeze. You can even go wild and print out old concert posters, artwork, whatever you can think of, and it will look classy because the paper is glossy.
Decorate for the holidays. Decorate for the sake of decorating. Print out screencaps from your favorite shows, memes and remember that you can find a holiday for every month. Don’t be afraid to get in the celebrating spirit.
If you find that you have a long stretch of wall space, take a full length mirror and turn it landscape. Mount it at shoulder height with command strips and hang some command hooks underneath for a convenient place to check your hair on your way out or hang your keys, hat, etc. on your way in.
Other fun extras: glow in the dark stars — if you can get them to stick to your popcorn ceiling — plants, if you have the natural light to keep them alive, dish towels — if you have a kitchen, they really class up your act and make you look like an adult — whiteboards (you can never have too many places to write a note to self).
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 25 Housing Issue. Email Grace Halio at [email protected]