Making the space yours
Students use lighting, furniture, art to transform rooms
Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 23:08
You're moving into your new dorm room. As you're bringing in your necessities like clothes and bedding, you start to take a good look at your new home.
At first glance, the white brick walls and cold, tile floor of Shiple Hall don't seem too inviting. It's completely bare and probably smaller than you expected.
How do you make this tiny space warm and inviting? How do you make this a place you enjoy staying in?
This process can be either really easy or a little more time consuming. It really depends on you. Some might begin by just bringing in a TV, fridge and a futon, and immediately feel right at home. But if you're a student who needs more to feel at home, other UDM students have some ideas.
"If you are in a room with tile, you 100 percent need big thick and fluffy rugs," said architecture student Corissa Leveille. "You can fit way more people on the floor than on a futon that just holds junk! So make sure the rug is comfy."
She also suggests adding posters and pictures of friends and family to the walls. Also, if you like color, you shouldn't be afraid the use it, she said. There's also a chance that your room will get really cold, so bringing extra blankets helps.
Arrangement is also key, according to Leveille.
"Try sectioning it off by creating a study area, a fun/TV area and a sleeping area," she said. "It makes it a lot easier to get work done when you designate these spaces and also a lot easier to go to sleep if you aren't working in bed."
Another thing you will want to fool around with is lighting. The lights in the rooms aren't the greatest and might make your room feel dull.
"When you're studying, the lights need to be just such that your reading materials are well lit, and you aren't driven to fall asleep," said architecture student Andrew Laszczyk. "You don't want the entire room lit up like a parking lot because your attention will be directed all over the room.
"Let the light help you focus on what's important."
Laszczyk suggests a desk lamp with a diffuse ambient light somewhere else in the room – "just to provide enough glow to get around."
So what exactly can't you do?
Resident advisor Andrew Diefenbach said that you cannot write on the walls and windows, drill holes in anything, put stickers on windows (although window clings and window markers are ok) and you cannot have alcohol-related items visible through the window. (If you're under 21, you can't have alcohol in the room at all.)
If you are unsure whether or not something in your room is allowed, ask your RA or consult the Residence Life guide. You can find the guide for 2011-12 online at www.udmercy.edu/reslife/pdf/guide_1112.pdf.
And if you need any help with designing your room, Leveille says to ask an architect.