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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, August 08, 2022

College 101: Deck the Walls

I love my life here at college, but there’s one thing that I’m not totally satisfied with--my dorm room. I find it kind of bland and a little “college-y,” if that makes sense. My roommate and I have tried to decorate it with posters and photos, but the walls look kind of sloppy. I really like having a relaxing personal space, and I don’t feel that at ease in my own dorm room, so I’m really looking for help here--what can the experts tell me about decorating the walls of my dorm room? I know it sounds like a silly question, but since I’m not allowed to paint them or anything, and since I care so much about the space I live in, I really was hoping for advanced professional advice.

It’s not a silly question at all! It isn’t always easy to know how to customize a space like a dorm room or a rented apartment, where your options are limited by the fact that you don’t have the right to repaint walls or install large hooks.

So we have answers--though they aren’t “professional advice” in the sense that they’re difficult to understand, apply, or execute! These are tips that just about anyone can use to improve their walls.

Let’s start with the walls themselves. You’re not allowed to paint them, but you can make them feel warmer and more colorful with large wall hangings (think fabrics), wall tape, and even temporary wallpaper--all depending, of course, on what your university permits. Your first task will be to ask the right school authorities what you can and can’t do to your walls.

If you can hang hooks, you could hand framed photos, paintings, or pictures--or, suggest the printers at Simple Canvas Prints, customized canvas prints. These sorts of wall hangings should spruce up your space in the way that you’ve tried to do with posters, and the step up in quality should help end your frustration with the “sloppy” look of your walls.

Don’t forget the basics of hanging photos and other types of wall art, either! The traditional rule is “eye level,” but that’s merely a guideline. Keep in mind that “eye level” isn’t the same for everyone, and cater to the typical person who visits your space--or simply to yourself. You can also try things like hanging framed photos and paintings in clusters to create a collage-like effect. And keep in mind how framed wall hangings interact with the various heights of different pieces of furniture that are no doubt arranged against the walls of your dorm room.

Our interior space affects our psychology and mental health, so you’re right to value yours! Good luck with decking out your walls and perfecting your room.

“Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.” -- Nate Berkus

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