The other day I received this picture in an email from my little sister. It is the view at sunset off the deck at my parent’s house in New Jersey. I find myself homesick for the first time in a while. It’s the little things like this picture that make home feel so close yet so far away. Isn’t it strange how the idea of home changes so much once you go off to college? I’ve moved a record 5 times since I came to Drexel 3 years ago. (Twice my freshman year due to the fact that my dorm was being renovated and twice this year but once it was only a move down the hall.) There are always a few stray boxes that remain unpacked, and I feel like I can never be completely settled because I know the impending doom of another move can’t be far away. I try and combat these feelings by decorating and redecorating and filling the place I live with décor I love.
Home away from Home
So, here are some tips to make your apartment or dorm room feel more “homey” even if it is only temporary.
1. Lighting and mirrors are key to making any small room seem larger. Free standing lamps provide lighting that is less harsh than florescent, and is also better for reading. Mirrors add depth to a room but be sure to hang them opposite a nice view, otherwise you’ll be staring at that crack in the wall two times over. Try three floor-length ones hung side by side.
2. Paint will instantly warm up a room. Most apartments rented to college students come with white walls. Why not chose a color for your walls to liven up the space? Check with landlords before breaking out the rollers.
3. Picture frames with photos of friends and family will remind you of home. Try an arrangement of frame decals that stick to your wall for a fun look.
4. “Throw items” Throw pillow. Throw blanket. Throw rug. All of these items add a personal touch. If your floors are tiled or old, ugly carpeting a throw rug can cover that up. Try making your own from recycled plastic bags. If your couch is from your parents’ basement and looking a little shabby, a quilt tucked over the edge will add a punch of color. If your bed is lacking in comfort, toss a few throw pillows with cool graphics on there to add comfort and style at the same time.
5. Shop thrift and second-hand stores as well as flea markets for unique home goods. I’ve found some of my favorite pieces of art as well as cheap kitchenware at thrift stores. They are a great place to find one-of-a-kind items.
My living room. (circa apartment #4)
I hope these tips help you feel more settled in your space, or at least liven up your walls. Happy (Re)decorating!