Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dorm Shopping!

One of my lovely readers, Sophia, emailed me and asked for some advice on shopping for college, decorating a dorm room, etc, and since I know that a lot of y'all are in high school or getting ready for college now, I thought I'd share with you guys what I told her.  Hope it helps!


  • I think 99% of schools have twin xl beds, so most people buy comforters/duvets in that size.  However, college beds are generally really high off the ground to give you extra storage space, and that twin xl comforter will look teensy when your bed is almost 4 feet in the air.  Get a queen sized comforter, because it's the same length as a twin xl comforter, but it will reach much closer to the ground and hide all the storage under your bed much more efficiently.
  • Get a duvet cover and insert instead of a comforter.  Comforters are just one solid unit--you have to wash the whole thing, and the filling takes forever to dry, and will take up an entire washer/dryer (and trust me, when you're in college that's a pathetically big deal).  If you have a duvet, you can just take the cover off the duvet insert, and wash that.  It's much easier and faster to wash, and it gives you a lot more options, because you can get duvet covers for pretty cheap, and change them out as you get tired of them.  A comforter is much more of a commitment.
  • Get at least two mattress pads.  College mattress are like slabs of concert.  No bueno.  I'd recommend getting a memory foam pad and then a down/fluffy pad, and turning them around every once in a while so they don't wear unevenly.
  • Get a duvet cover that's not white!  You'll probably end up eating, doing homework, and basically living on your bed, and stains are inevitable.  Choose a duvet cover with a fun pattern, which will not only hid stains but liven up your room.  It sounds silly, but I really like Delia's for these.  They have some really cute prints and good quality for the price. 
  • If you like to study in bed, get a boyfriend pillow (basically pillows with sturdy arms).  They'll keep evil neck cramps at bay.
Delia's Victorian Comforter Cover, PB Teen Boyfriend Pillow: How cute is that duvet cover?  It's neutral enough to work with a lot of color schemes, but it still has a fun pop of color and a very, very cute pattern, AND it's reversible.  This is a boyfriend pillow.  Looks weird, makes doing homework in bed so, so much easier, I swear.

 General decor:

  • Christmas/twinkle lights are your best friend.  The lighting in dorm rooms is stark and unflattering and just plain depressing.  What my roommate and I did was get two or three strands of white twinkle lights and string them around the ceiling on hooks.  They'll provide enough light to do homework and read and all that, but they're much cuter and more flattering than fluorescent lights (and they set a much more relaxing ambience).
  • Area rugs!  They're a great way to add color to your room, and they warm up the cold linoleum/tile floor you'll probably have.
  • Lots and lots of storage units/boxes/cartons.  In order to take advantage of your closet and under-bed storage space, you'll need boxes to organize all your stuff efficiently.  Target is a fab option.
  • A vanity mirror.  Some dorm rooms don't have mirrors, and some will have a floor length mirror, but nowhere to do your makeup.  Get a little standing mirror that you can put on your desk to do your makeup with, and you won't have to stand in the dingy communal bathroom every morning struggling to get close enough to the mirror to blend your shadow (been there, not pretty).
  • Bring posters!  I know it's a duh idea, but having stuff on the walls will instantly make your room seem more personal and homey.  I just stuck magazine ripouts all over my wall, and it basically grew throughout the year based on what I was feeling.  Also fab: wall decals.  Target has a really cute chandelier decal that I just grabbed, very glam.
  • Shower: showering becomes a bit of an ordeal in college.  First off, shower flip flops are a MUST.  So is a shower caddy.  Trying to hold up a towel and carry four or five bottles of product down a hallway to the bathroom is a recipe for disaster.  A bathrobe also helps to prevent said towel incidents.  I lived literally right next to the bathroom last year, and let me tell you, five feet is still far enough to have something ridiculous happen that could lead to indecent exposure.  Like impromptu games of hallway frisbee.
  • Appliances: You're probably not supposed to bring a lot of appliances, but to be honest, no RA is going to really care if you have an illegal microwave or toaster if you make a half-hearted attempt to hide them during inspections.  A microwave is essential, especially if you're going to school in a cold climate, and so is a microfridge.  A TV is always fun, and a toaster is also great if you struggle to make it to breakfast in the morning.  
  • Fan!  Most dorms have heating, but not central cooling, which means your room can get sooo hot with no means of cooling down.  Bring multiple fans!
  • If your dorm doesn't have WIFI, buy a device (like an Airport) to plugs into your internet jack and creates a little password protected WIFI network in your room.  Plugging your computer into the way with cords that wind all around the room is a recipe for disaster.
Target Peel and Stick Rhinestone Chandelier Wall Decal, Hello Kitty Toaster: I got this wall decal a few months ago, and it has been SO hard resisting the urge to put it up in my room at home.  It's a very glam chandelier, and it comes with rhinestones that you can stick on to it to make it look like a crystal chandelier.  Def going right behind my bed.  Please don't judge me, but I really want this Hello Kitty toaster.  I need a toaster, it's cheap, and it's kind of adorable, and it toasts Hello Kitty's onto your toast!  What else do you want from a toaster?

Image Sources:
Delia's duvet cover:, PB Teen pillow:, Target decal:, Toaster:

1 comment:

  1. The pillow and blanket set you have pictured is actually the one my roommate has! :o



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