Starting a new semester of college is scary. Living in a San Francisco dorm room? Even scarier. The transition from having your own space in your family home to a small cramped student housing space shared with 1-3 other roommates in San Francisco is a huge jump, and can be difficult to navigate. Lucky for you, we’ve got San Francisco dorm room design inspo by the dozen, and we want to help you make your San Francisco dorm room feel like home. So whether you are already living in San Francisco student housing or a student about to move into one of our SF student rooms, we are here to help you make your shared housing in San Francisco feel like home, from the moment you move in through the rest of the year.
Tip 1: Take the Time.
Before we even get started, lets talk about your intention going into this project. Take the time to really decorate and settle in. This is the place you will be living for the next year, your first year away from home! Take your time, spend some money, really make an effort to make the place feel like a home. The more you invest in your space, the most it will become YOUR space. We all get a little homesick down the line, and being able to come home to a clean, personal, warm, inviting, and organized space will make you feel settled.
Tip 2: Pick a Color Scheme or Theme
Before you start shopping, figure out what you want your room to look like. Browse a few interior decorating magazines, check out dorm room inspo on Pinterest, make a mood board with colors and styles you like. Is yellow your happy color? Or are you more of a black and white kinda gal? Girly and frilly or modern and sleek? Pick your poison. Here are a few color matching inspiration ideas.
Tip 3: Make it Personal.
If you feel lonely or homesick, rolling over to see your favorite pic of your dog, your family, or your BFF is an instant pick-me-up. Nothing cheers you up like cuddling with your childhood stuffed animal. And lets be real, having a stash of your favorite candy on hand will make even the worst day a little better.
Even if you are trying to start fresh and reinvent yourself in college, it isn’t ‘cool’ to leave everything that makes you you behind when you leave for school. Take a little piece of your past with you. That way, on a day when your new environment feels extra foreign, you have something familiar and comforting to rely on to get you through.
Tip 4: Lighting. Is. Everything.
Two words: Twinkle. Lights. The kind that make your heart feel extra cozy and remind you of winter time by the fireplace at home. Nothing can damper a mood like dingy or fluorescent lighting, and nothing brightens or warms a room quite like twinkle lights. If your dorm doesn’t allow the plug in kind, there are a number of battery-powered fairy lights that will make your ceiling twinkle. Other options? Glow-in-the-dark star stickers, fake candles, and color-changing ‘mood’ lamps are all dorm rule friendly and will do wonders towards your room’s lighting vibe.
Tip 5: And Plants. Plants are Also Everything.
So are pillows, poofs, and (weirdly enough) a ton of regular household objects. There are a number of reasonably priced things you can use to spice up your room and make it look like home, including indoor plants, dried flowers, decorative pillows, printed photographs, and more. But we have already covered all of that! You can check out our other interior decorating blog posts for more info on these topics.
Tip 6: Get Organized. Like, super organized.
Because trust me, you won’t have time once your semester picks up. The last thing you will want to do in between two essays, a pop quiz, three labs, and a midterm is color-coordinate your paper clips. So do it now, while you have time! Here is a little checklist for you:
- Wall calendar with important dates (taken from club calendars, syllabi, and your class schedule) and goals (fitness, mental health, etc!) already penciled in.
- Desk essentials, divided and organized: Pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, calculator, printer paper, notebooks, planner, binders, etc!
- Under bed storage: Trust us, there is no way your whole wardrobe will fit in that tiny little shared closet. You will need this more than you think.
- Containers for nail polishes, first aid kit (advil, cold medicine, bandaids, etc), skin care stuff, socks, sports bras, snacks, etc!
- A shower caddy with important toiletries.
- Clothing organization things: velvet hangers (thinner and hold clothes better), small dividers (for socks, underwear, bras, sports bras, etc), command hooks (to hang belts, purses, hats, etc), a shoe rack.
- If you want a few more important student organizational tips, check out our blog on back to school tips for students.
Tip 7: Consider Making a Statement.
We are not talking about your basic Urban Outfitter tie dye tapestry. Nothing makes a space look rad like a statement wall. Wallpaper can be purchased from any home decorating store or online, and can be temporarily stuck on to the wall (without damaging your dorm paint!) with removable mounting products like tack or sticky strips. Or, if you are going for a tapestry, look for landscape scenes or patters, the kind of thing that will open up the room and make the wall look professionally done.
Tip 8: Make Seasonal Adjustments
A few little touches can go a long way to making your dorm room feel like home year round. Think about it – your mom most likely puts out pumpkins for Halloween or twinkle lights for the holidays, so why shouldn’t you? Those little seasonal touches will do the most to keep your dorm feeling like a home away from home, no matter what time of year it is.
Also, consider a DIY! We have a great one up on autumnal wreath making– the perfect home decor piece to make your dorm feel like fall.
Using these tips, your dorm space is sure to feel like home!
To check out more small space decorating tips and articles like this one, click here.