Getting ready to head off to college? Be prepared for a decorator’s worst nightmare when you open your dorm room door. Cinder block walls, concrete floors or industrial style tiling, nondescript windows that let in little light, and furniture that has seen better days all await your arrival. Do not get excited about the room’s lighting either, as dorm rooms are notoriously under or over-lit with harsh florescent lights. While you may be stuck with the furniture and can do nothing about the window itself, you can add additional lighting to make your dorm room shine.
If you are not looking for anything fancy, invest in a few sturdy desk lamps. They can be color coordinated to match with your bedding or a throw rug that you will be bringing along. Place one or two on the desk depending on how much light you actually need to complete your homework. Another lamp can be placed on the dresser to add additional lighting there. A clip-on bed lamp is also a great idea, as it can be attached to the bed frame to provide reading light. While this type of lighting may not win any fashion forward design awards, it is practical and inexpensive while also doing its job.
Photo by LOLren
Outdoor lighting has a whole host of options that should not be overlooked when thinking about designing the dorm room’s lighting. Small spotlights are fun to focus on ceilings or walls and can provide some much needed mood lighting. Remember the tiny white lights that were strung around the metal tree art on the patio? Bring them indoors and arrange them around your television or the room’s window for a fun and funky look; or hang them behind your headboard. While solar lights may not work the best for a dark dorm room, keep a solar flashlight on the windowsill to soak up any available rays and you’ll always be ready for a power outage.
Wild and Crazy
There is something to be said about wild and crazy dorm room decor. College is a time to let loose, and where else can you get away with decorating with a lighted, singing fish wall sculpture or a neon soda bottle? Embrace funky lighting in the form of LEDs and neon wall sculptures, for example, to make your dorm room stand out from the crowd. Place decorative lights on shelves and use tube lighting to outline your bed or the door frame. While hanging anything from the ceiling is usually not permitted according to fire marshal rules, you can usually use tube lighting to create lighted wall art by bending it to form different shapes and designs.
Photo by jared
Don’t be disappointed when you see your dorm room for the first time. With some additional lighting, you will be able to quickly transform the feel of the room from cold and florescent to funky and fun while expressing your unique personality at the same time.