Starting to Shop for Your On-Campus Room? Check Out These Decorating Tips!

Posted on 7/1/2019 3:54:26 PM

Katherin Tonelli Katherin Tonelli, the winner of last year’s Best Dressed Room Contest, has provided some of her cost-saving tips for creating a residence hall room that is on point. Katherine spent about $200 to form her prize-winning room’s decor. 

Here is how she did it:

  • Have a spending limit on what you buy. Her limit is $12 or $15 depending on what she’s buying. If she knows there isn’t a way to pay for something in that limit, it is understandable to go above. Really try to stay within that price range for each item. Bedding, decorations, and dishes should not cost an arm and a leg.
  • Shop for the future. Avoid plastic at all costs. Not only is it better for the environment, but it will last longer. Try buying things made of cloth, wood, and metal. Buy dish sets, storage holders, baskets, and anything else that you know you will be able to use during and after college when you get a place of your own.
  • Look for discounts. Go to the sale area of the store before you look anywhere else.
  • Shop at cheaper and secondhand stores. Thrift shops and goodwill are great places to find decorations for your residence hall room. Shop at Walmart and Target before you go to bigger and more expensive stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Reuse and re-purpose. Find things around your house to use as decorations, such as vases and jars. It’s free, and you can paint them solid colors to match your room.

Katherine has a simple set of guidelines for decorating, too:

  • Pick a color scheme of four colors max. You can work around those colors using different shades to create an aesthetically pleasing environment. Use these colors for everything (binders, pens, sheets, pillows, dishes, decorations). She recommends choosing neutral colors in case your style changes. Neutrals match everything.
  • Use what you already have. Display your jewelry/watches on trays or in bowls. Set out magazines or books that match the aesthetic/color scheme of your room. Perfume/Cologne bottles as decorations are a great way to make your room look more luxurious.
  • Plants are a great way to not only bring life to a place, but helps you as a person. Plants can reduce stress, purify the air, and improve your well-being. She tends to buy plants at the end of summer when they are on clearance.
  • Less is more. Try not to clutter your room with mementos and pictures. Designate a small area in your residence hall room to display a few items from high school or from your family. Having a large cluster of photos on your wall tends to make a small room look cramped and messy.
  • Most important, decorate with what makes you happy. If you are walking into your room and you do not feel at home, that is not good for your well-being. Make it cozy and personal with a favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, or whatever will help you relax.

We hope these tips help you as you are preparing to move to IUP.  We are very excited to have you, and keep your eyes open to enter this year’s Best Dressed Room Contest. Special thanks and shoutout to Katherine!

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