A Gonzaga dorm decorated with lights, pictures and a hammock.

A Gonzaga dorm decorated with lights, pictures and a hammock. 

Transforming a dark and dingy dorm room to a place of comfort and individuality is key in making a freshman year living space feel homey after a long school day. 

Caitlyn and Meghan Casey are incoming seniors this fall and twin sisters. Their freshman dorm in Alliance was unique from what most students saw while walking through rooms in residence halls. 

“I would say the part of our room that made it the most unique and our own was the fact that we made our own bedspreads from old T-shirts,” Meghan said. “This brought a bunch of color into our room but also made it feel homier. We were also able to share our memories with friends who came into our space.”

Brainstorming unique ways to incorporate personality into your dorm is important in making the space your own. This can be attained by making a bedspread, covering a wall with memorable pictures, collaging a bulletin board with magazine clippings or stacking your favorite books on your window sill.

“I would say that when it comes to decorating, pick bright colors,” Meghan said. “Lighter colors complement the darker colors while still drawing your eyes toward your design pieces. The lighter colors make the room more inviting and more conducive to studying.”

Bringing special items from home and placing them throughout your dorm room will help make Gonzaga feel like home. It will also showcase personality and originality.

Caitlyn and Meghan also decided to go the extra mile and rearrange the furniture in their room to create flow, space and maximum lighting. It was worth the effort and didn’t take long. 

“Most of our friends had never considered moving the furniture from the configuration that the school staff put it in,” Meghan said. “This also helps to make the room feel like it’s your own.” 

Lofting and raising dorm beds is one of the biggest campus living hacks out there. Space is vital.

With a raised bed, it is easy to store winter clothes, ski gear, luggage and rarely accessed items. Utilizing every nook and cranny under the bed is something freshman will learn quickly after showing up on campus with way too many items and clothes. 

Establishing what you are going do in your room is key for creating the right space and vibe. If it is finding a balance between relaxing and studying, make sure the desk space is open and that there is ample lighting. If it is having your friends over often, make sure there are a lot of seating options. 

The Casey twins put their beds in an ‘L’ shape with one lofted to the highest option and one just slightly raised. This set up created space for having people over but also allowing a productive study space. 

“The L shape also kept the beds and wardrobes from blocking the lights,” Caitlyn said. “Having good lighting is key in making the room feel bigger and less dingy.”

Another tip that freshmen should know about is getting an electric kettle. Without a kitchen, it can be hard to make food and satisfy cravings. An electric kettle allows students to make ramen, coffee, tea or even pasta. This versatile kitchen appliance will save freshman from walking to the COG when they really aren’t feeling like it. 

Beyond all, staying organized is the ultimate dorm hack. Making sure that everything has a place will make it easy to keep your space clean, easy to live in and a place that other people want to be. 

Before stepping foot on campus, freshman should make a list of what they need and what they want to bring to make their room their own.

“Putting a little extra effort in your room makes a huge difference in your entire year,” Meghan said. “This is because you spend more time your room than you think you will.”

Allie Noland is a staff writer.

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