8 Ways to Make Your New College Place Feel Like Home

July 17, 2020
Dorm room with desk, computer, and bookcase

No matter where you live in college, from a tiny dorm room to a spacious off-campus apartment, your space should be a place of comfort. Your surroundings can affect how you feel and function, so take the time to customize your new place. Use these eight tips to warm up your space and make you feel right at home. 

Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Many students anticipate their move to college for months or even years! The thought of living on your own is likely both exciting and nerve wracking. No matter how you feel, you will likely miss many of the comforts of home in your new dorm room. Fortunately, with some thoughtful planning you can create a cozy retreat in your dorm that resembles back home. 

  1. Decorated Walls

The empty white walls of your dorm room will not be very welcoming. Luckily, you can quickly cover these with items to fit your personality at an affordable price. A photo collage is a great way to bring memories from home: think family photos and friends from high school. For larger items to take up more wall space, consider a flag of your home state or a poster. Try a DIY project (possibly a time to bond with your room or hall mates) like tie dying a flat sheet to be hung. 

  1. A Cozy Bed

Good sleep is critical to your academic success in college. Be sure to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep with a comfortable bed. Try adding an egg crate foam topper to your mattress for more comfort. Choose bedding (sheets and a comforter) that are soft with a pattern that makes you happy. And don’t forget to bring your favorite pillow and blanket from home to keep you cozy and to fight homesickness. 

  1. Ambient Lighting

The fluorescent lights frequently found in dorm rooms can be off putting. Instead, search for a sleek desk lamp for your study space or a larger floor lamp to brighten the whole room. You may even consider an affordable light timer to automatically turn your lamps on in the evening. Entering an ambiently lit room late at night will be much more welcoming than the pitch black.  

  1. A Warming Area Rug 

An empty floor, whether cold, hard tile or years-old carpet, won’t make your space feel like home. Warm up your floor and overall space with a trendy area rug. Find out the measurements of your space before moving in then search for a rug that livens up the room. We highly suggest choosing a pattern or dark color to mask the appearance of dirt.

College Apartment Decorating Ideas

As soon as you adjust to dorm room living, it will be time for your first off-campus apartment. More space sounds appealing, but if not decorated, can feel unfinished. Utilize some of your dorm decor (lamps, area rug, memorable pictures), but consider investing a little more into your apartment decor since you will likely be staying in the space longer.

  1. Upgraded Wall Art

With any new space, you face the problem of cold, empty walls. Add to your previous wall decor with a few pieces of statement wall art. Upgrade your photo collage by printing pictures on canvases or creating a framed gallery wall. Don’t forget to let your personality and memories shine through with your choices.

  1. A Motivating Study Space

There will be studying involved in your college experience. While many off-campus apartments have study rooms, you may prefer to create a study area within your apartment. Fortunately, the added space of an apartment will allow you to create an inviting work area to hopefully make studying less daunting. Find a quiet spot with few distractions. Then, add a comfortable chair, a great reading lamp and fun office supplies boost your motivation. 

  1. Memorable Scents

Research shows that smells are strongly linked to memory and emotions. Therefore, a scent that reminds you of home can be just what you need in your new space. Without the dorm restriction of candles (check your apartment policies, too!) or a picky roommate, find a scent that reminds you of home. Maybe it’s your mom’s favorite candle or a welcoming oil blend that will give your new place that perfect homey feel. You could also check out this candle company that makes location-based options! 

  1. Mood-Boosting Plants

Adding plants to your new space is a great way to add color and freshen the air. Additionally, studies show that houseplants improve productivity, increase concentration, reduce stress and boost positivity. Utilize the natural light inside or your porch to keep plants healthy. Worried about keeping them alive? Enlist the help of your roommates or opt for notoriously easy to care for succulents.

Make Your College Place Feel Like Home

Despite what you think, your dorm or apartment doesn’t have to be boring. Instead, use these college apartment decorating ideas to to make it warm and cozy, just like home! A thoughtfully decorated space will help fight homesickness and enhance your overall college experience.