How to Make Your College Living Space Look More Pulled Together

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

One of my favorite parts about college is designing my living space each year. I moved each year of college and think it is so fun to take a blank canvas and transform it into a gorgeous space for you to spend your time in. Of course, I am a bit extra and take pride in how my room looks so I always try to make it look super cute and put-together each year so I decided to share with y'all how to create your own space that looks more pulled together in today's post!

Decide on a color scheme

The key to having a space the looks pulled together? A color scheme. It doesn't have to be super crazy but picking a few key colors and working from there helps to make a cohesive space.  For my sophomore dorm, for instance, my roommate had mostly navy and white stuff while mine was a lighter blue and light. Neither of us bought new bedding but since the other accents in the room tied those colors together, it worked really well and looked cohesive. This past year in our living room, we chose pinks and oranges for a fun, girly vibe.

Use neutrals as your base and then add it pops of color

I think this is a practical way to help avoid the space being too overwhelming with color (and coming from someone who loves color haha!). For any of your basics like a futon or furniture, chose neutrals like white and then build in your color. For instance, every year I had a couch/futon, the couch/futon was neutral and then we added in color with pillows. I think pops of color on furniture can be really cute but personally I find neutrals work better and can be used in different spaces in the future.

Add seating that doubles as storage

I love adding extra seating to living spaces so whenever you have friends over, the only place to sit isn't the floor, your desk, or your bed. This was something I didn't do my freshman year and while it wasn't a huge deal, I knew I wanted more seating in my sophomore room. I had a futon in our room that year but also added two storage cubes in front of it that doubled as seating. This was helpful as it held all sorts of stuff (like extra water bottles and jewelry) but it also provided more seats for when we had friends over!

Add curtains

Curtains are a small detail that make the space feel more like home. They make the space look more grown up and don't necessarily have to be super expensive. In my living room this year, I used two command hooks and a tension rod to hang them, which was such an easy and inexpensive way to do it without putting holes in the wall!

My sophomore year the closet didn't have a door, so we used a curtain to hide the closet a little!

Have plenty of blankets & throw pillows

I love having friends over so having plenty of blankets and pillows is a must for cozy movie nights. Whenever we're watching a show, my friends know to help themselves to a blanket in the basket and to get comfy! This also is a great way to tie into your color scheme!

Add personal pictures

I love using picture frames to decorate. It definitely makes any space feel more like home with pictures of your favorite people and places! It fills the space and adds a personal touch plus you don't have to spend a ton of money on frames and pictures!

Light a candle (if allowed)

Candles are such a small detail that can go a long ways. Most dorms don't allow candles since they are a fire risk, but if you are living in an apartment, they can be a great way to add "something" to the space since they make the room feel cozier.

Add a rug

Another way to make the room cozier? Add a rug! Dorm floors usually aren't the prettiest (my sophomore room had tiles that were a brownish-orangish color) so a rug helps to cover them up a little and can tie the space together depending on the color that you chose! Pro tip- avoid white, it may look cute initially but not practical for the amount of people who will walk on it and it's hard to get stains out!

Tuck away the mess

When you're living in a dorm, you don't exactly have a lot of space to work with and even though apartments tend to be roomier, messes aren't exactly very inviting. Coming up with storage solutions that tuck away the mess is key. In my freshman and sophomore rooms, I used an extra-long bedskirt from Room 422 that was amazing as it added some color and pattern to the space while also hiding all the random stuff I kept under my bed! Coming up with a space for each item in your room or apartment is really helpful for keeping it clean and making the space look more pulled together.

What are your favorite decorating tips? Let me know in the comments!

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