Originally published here and in print at The Triangle on March 7th, 2014.
The first sacrifice I made when I came to college was my slight Panera addiction. The second was my beloved bedroom. I traded my room for walls that I can’t paint or put holes in and furniture that I didn’t choose. I suffered for a year in the quintessential college dorm room. Between the poster-filled walls and cold, tiled floors, the coziest decor in my room was a “couch” my roommate and I created using our drawers, a carpet and some mismatched pillows. This year, I returned to campus with a battle plan to transform my urban matchbox into a suitable home. Whether you live in a residence hall or apartment, try these three methods to maximize your living space.
- Be creative with your headboard. Because headboards are so large, the right one can bring a lot of personality to your small bedroom. After several nights surfing Pinterest, I became hooked on the idea of a wicker headboard. Because the damage to my wallet would have ranged in the hundreds had I bought one new, I scoured craigslist, where I snagged a wicker room divider for a mere $25. With a simple adjustable wrench, I removed the headboard from my bedframe and sandwiched this beauty between the wall and the bed. Other do-it-yourself headboard ideas include fabric covered canvases or several large photo frames.
- Introduce the luxury of curtains. Curtains are much more than sheets of fabric used for privacy and for shielding our tired morning eyes from the sunshine. It can alter the entire feel of a room. Can’t drill holes in the wall? No problem. I simply used three Command hooks to hold up my thin curtain rod. I gathered and secured my curtain panel in the center in order to conceal the unappealing blinds and allow some sunlight to stream in.
- Embrace the temporary. Let’s face it; as students, most of us probably can’t install grand lighting fixtures or hang our favorite paintings. Embrace your more capricious decorating side, and use wall decals that you can easily peel, stick and remove as your whimsical heart desires. My personal favorites are picture frame wall decals that showcase your photographs without the unnecessary bulk of a frame.