By Jessica Ward
Maybe you’ve just been accepted to college, or maybe you’ve just begun thinking about the next step in your life. Daunting yet exciting, this stage is filled with firsts. For many, it’s the first time they’ll be independent. And fantasizing about that freedom can actually be surprisingly helpful in your planning; namely the DORM ROOM! The dorm room has become synonymous with the college experience and is tangible proof of newfound freedom.
So, how does fantasizing about your dream dorm translate to planning? The answer is simple: a Pinterest board.
This is the time to make your space what you want. With the low square footage of a dorm being your only real limitation, it’s easy to pick a theme for your room and bring it to life. If you’re bringing a guitar to school, plastering your walls with posters of your idols is a natural next step; not to mention a great conversation piece when making new friends. But why stop there? With all of Pinterest’s many functions and savvy algorithms, you can tailor your dorm room to be the perfect fit for you.
Picking A Theme
Pinterest is a great source for theme inspiration. You can search virtually any interest you may have and follow it with “dorm decor,” yielding an infinite number of ideas. The same can be said for any kind of aesthetic that interests you. If you consider yourself the hippie type, “hippie dorm decor” has thousands of pins just waiting to make their way to your Dorm Inspiration board. This is the best way to hone in on a grander idea for your space, then you can get to the details that make it a reality. If you’re unsure what does it for you, ask yourself- what do you want your new home to feel like? What makes you comfortable? What makes you happy? Even vague searches like “pretty dorm rooms” or “cozy dorm rooms” have proven to be effective and are a great starting point if you’re stuck.
TIP: Pinterest has an advanced search function that lets you upload a photo to see similar products and themes— this is incredibly useful if you see something you like but can’t find the words to describe it. All you have to do is take a picture of your inspiration, click the camera button on Pinterest’s search bar, and upload your photo. Pinterest will do all the heavy lifting for you, sifting through millions of images in its database in a matter of seconds, delivering exactly what you want to see. If you’re having trouble finding what you like, this is for you!
Searching for DIY dorm ideas will take your theme to another level and encourage an even more personal touch to your room. The honest truth is that some things that are considered essential can be made at home, and you can have fun doing it! Searching “DIY Dorm Decor” will give you creative projects like headboards, decorative mirrors, and unique wall pieces you can’t find at any store. The best part is, no artistic eye is needed for these projects— most DIY pins include step-by-step instructions so you can get working with ease and confidence, and end up with a budget-friendly piece only you have. There’s no better way to guarantee you’ll have the theme you envisioned than making it yourself!
TIP: Did you know you can take notes on Pinterest? Yep! When you go to your board, you’ll see a button at the top called “Notes.” There, you’re able to write down any thoughts you have about a pin; for example, you can make notes on a DIY pin outlining everything you need for the project. As you shop for your dorm supplies, the Notes section can also be a great place for you to keep track of what you bought and what you still need to get.
It’s no secret— dorm rooms are small, especially for freshmen. Searching Pinterest for dorm room hacks is a sure way to help maximize the space you do have. You may see some overlap here with DIY, as many projects also include ways to save space and stay organized, but you’ll also find clever ideas for reducing clutter and even lofting your bed to create a work or hangout space underneath. This may not seem like the most glamorous aspect of creating your dream dorm, but just imagine the possibilities with all that extra space you’ll have!
TIP: Speaking of organization, Pinterest makes keeping your board neat and tidy simple. At the top of your board sits an “Organize” button that will automatically move every pin into a predetermined folder like “Decor,” “Color Scheme,” and so on. You can move your pins around as you see fit and rename each folder as needed. Shopping for your dorm room will be so much easier when you can track down your pins in no time (and your parents will thank you)!
Dorm Room on a Budget
The best part about Pinterest is it’s the place everyone keeps their best-kept secrets— and that usually involves saving money. Searching “dorm room on a budget” gives you an endless stream of ways to save money when shopping for your dorm room, like where to get the cheapest mattress covers, coupons for instant coffee makers, and other fun tips you didn’t know you needed. Your dream dorm doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny!
TIP: If you know who you’re living with next semester, consider working on your dream dorm with them! Collaborating on a board with your roommate is an easy way to get to know them, as well as plan who’s bringing what— they’ll bring the mini fridge if you bring the TV! Collaborating is easy: open your Pinterest board, click the three buttons on the top right of the screen, click “Edit Board,” and then scroll down to where it says “Collaborators.” Once you’re there, click the plus (+) sign and share the board with your roomie. Have fun with it!
Exploring the “More Ideas” Tab
When you feel like you’ve exhausted every search and compiled a healthy amount of pins on your board, it’s time to check the “More Ideas” tab. It’s a tab with an algorithm specific to your board based on everything you’ve pinned. You’ll see more ideas pertaining to your theme, more DIY ideas, and more hacks that you may have missed in your initial searches, but this time, with everything you’ve pinned kept in mind. You may just stumble upon the idea that ties everything together perfectly.