Dorm sweet dorm

Published 7:07 pm Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kate Foxwell, a zone manager at Walmart on North Main Street, arranges colorful trashcans for the store’s dorm room supplies display. She said many college-bound teenagers use fun colors to spruce up their new residences.

Adding fun items can make a dorm into a home

Graduation is over, and as students are readying themselves for college one of the biggest changes they are preparing for is moving out of their parents’ houses and into their dorms.

Dorm rooms aren’t the spacious living areas that some movies and television shows make them out to be.

In fact, most freshmen dorm rooms are about 200 square feet, depending on the college, and are occupied by two to four students.

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The rooms can feel a bit cramped, especially for students who are used to having their own space.

However, it doesn’t have to resemble a jail cell; there are many ways to give a personal touch to the room to make a dorm a home.

Kate Foxwell, a zone manager at the Walmart on North Main Street, said parents and their college-bound students come in looking for things to stock their dorms with even before the dorm room displays are in place.

“People are already starting to look,” she said. “The kids are picking out the color schemes, and the parents are keeping the budget.”

She said the number one thing parents and students are looking for is small electronics, such as mini refrigerators and microwaves, to bring the kitchen to the dorm.

“You’ve got to have a mini fridge,” said Francis Shelton, who also works as a zone manager at the store.

By adding a mini fridge and microwave, students have another means of getting food than just heading to the dining hall.

Another way to make a dorm room more like home is by using other lighting besides what is already in the room.

Foxwell said desk lamps are always in high demand by students shopping for college.

Additionally, rope lights, floor lamps or pendant lamps can add life, color and personality to an otherwise dull room.

The website Apartment Therapy recommends new college students get at least three light sources for their dorms for a good amount of light.

Other things to add to your dorm to make it more comfortable include framed photos and posters (placed on the walls with removable adhesives, of course), mirrors to reflect light and make the room feel bigger, area rugs or carpets for rooms with hardwood or tile floors, and impromptu seating, such as floor cushions, that can be easily stored while not in use.

Foxwell said she thinks the best way to make your dorm a home is by choosing fun items with a color scheme you love.

“Find the right colors that are your favorites,” she said.

Foxwell also said she suggests students pick “noticeable” accent pieces that bring character and life to the room.

“You should pick something that will shine in the room,” she said.