Dorm Room Decorating: The Walls Are Your Canvas

You are finally off to college and finally out of mom and dad's house. The walls in your new dorm are your canvas and you have no restrictions, (except perhaps financial). Most dorm rooms are not very spacious and are fairly bland. And, at the end of your stay, more than likely you'll have to paint the walls back to the condition they were when you moved in. Keep this in mind when you consider darker paint colors.

Color and Mood

Cool colors like blues and greens are calming and relaxing, while natural colors such as beige, grey and taupe are popular because they are easy to match bedding with, while bright colors such as yellows and reds have a warm effect, which is great for cold locations. On the other side of traditional colors, many teens also love the color black, which is fun if you're into rock n' roll and want posters all over the walls. It makes for a great cave effect. Hot pink is also a fun, lively color that works really well with white and black bedding and furniture. However, if you're sharing the dorm room with someone you don't know, you may want to tone it down a bit to something you both will enjoy living and studying in.

Color and Budget

More than likely, you'll be on a budget, both with time and finances, so you'll only want to paint once. If you're on a really tight budget, consider getting a pint of paint and only painting one wall; make it count with a really bold color. It's very popular in London to paint just the ceiling of a room in a bright yellow, red or blue. This changes the appearance of the entire room, though it is more challenging to paint the ceiling than the walls. And, again, you'll more than likely have to paint twice, including when you leave. Another alternative, if you just want a splash of color, just paint the door.

Once your walls are painted, consider a wallpaper border or stenciling a pattern on the wall. Borders are easy to apply; wet them down and use a rag as you apply pressure to push the border paper against the wall. Even if you only paint one wall, you can border the entire room. To stencil, you can purchase a ready-made stencil or either draw something directly onto the wall and paint it in, or take a simple pre-existing pattern and enlarge it by photocopying it, smear a chalk color that will show up on the wall all over the back of the photocopy, tape it to the wall and with a pencil outline the pattern onto the wall. Fill this in with paint, and you'll have a masterpiece to study next to.

When you prepare to repaint your walls, if you have chosen a dark color, there are prime coats that will help you easily return it to white. They are pricey, but save loads of time.