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Decorating your dorm room

Erin Kilian is a freelance reporter, often covering entertainment topics.

Dorm decor

Moving into an unfamiliar place can be intimidating and your college dorm is no exception. You'll want to make your dorm room your own right away.

Bring in touches from home

When you're packing, take a look at what you like best about your room at home. Take what you can along with you whether it be your bed quilt, your favorite rug, or a concert poster you have on your wall. You can get creative with your photos of family and friends by getting black and white copies, blowing them up, or getting great frames.

Take what's already there into account

You'll probably be provided with some standard-issue furniture but give some thought to your lifestyle and what extras you might need to round out your decor. A comfy chair, a desk organizer, or a filing cabinet might make your room work better for you.

Keep your roommate in mind

It's probably best not to purchase anything too outlandish or potentially offensive until you meet and get to know your roommate. Hold back on those out-there items and have your parents ship them later. You might find that you and your roommate have the same taste and want to do some shopping and decorating together.

Rearrange things

On the first day, you and your roommate should figure out how you want furniture placed. Make sure that you have equal space on the walls and you agree on what you want to go up on them. From there it's also important to integrate some of your stuff with your roommate's so it doesn't feel like two halves of one room, but one happy home.

Add some color and texture

Dorm rooms are drab by nature. Look for tapestries and wall art, throw blankets and pillows, and other unique design items that will give your surroundings some personality.

Remember that space is at a minimum

Your dorm room probably won't be as big as what you're used to at home. Compensate for that by getting items that will add to the ambiance but also help you stay organized. Closet and under-the-bed organizers for clothes, bookshelves, and bathroom totes will save you space and sanity. Remember that many dorms have beds that can be "lofted" to provide more room for your desk or other furniture underneath.

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