The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

14 Aug 2015

That first glorious year of university can be the most exciting time in the lives of many students. It’s a chance to live in a new city, to embrace a new cultural shift; it’s a chance to meet othe

That first glorious year of university can be the most exciting time in the lives of many students. It’s a chance to live in a new city, to embrace a new cultural shift; it’s a chance to meet other likeminded young people who share your passion and excitement, and who, with luck, will become longtime friends in the years to come.

It’s also the first time you’ll live on your own —away from the influence (and tastes) of your parents. You’ll finally have a large space all your own — a blank canvass on which to brush, spread, and splatter your unique stylistic choices!

DIY Design Tips by RentSeeker for Your Apartment or Dorm Room
You will build and cultivate a large network of friends and classmates in your first year, and your dormitory or residence room will become the base of operations from which you launch adventures you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Your experience in residence will be unique — so why not cultivate a unique decorative style to go along with it? You’ll be spending most of your money on tuition, books, and nights out, so cultivating a decorative style as individual as you are — while also watching your budget — doesn’t have to be difficult.

In order to stand out, avoid boring or clichéd design choices — steer clear of the ubiquitous movie and beer posters that line the walls of traditional dorm rooms. Instead, follow a few of these simple DIY design recommendations and you’ll be able to have the slickest, smartest dorm room without breaking the bank.

One of the biggest challenges will be covering up all the empty wall space in your new dorm. Try hanging an inexpensive tapestry on a large wall to cover up that boring blank space. A tapestry is better than a poster because it adds accenting texture and colour, and it also demonstrates cultural savvy. If you’re studying history or political science, what better way to start up a conversation than by pointing to the Japanese Jacquard or the Bavarian Bauhaus hanging on your wall? Add simple rope supports or even a classy frame, and you suddenly have a cheap and easy conversation piece hanging in your residence room.

Another great way to customize your dorm room is to hang a custom-made calendar. Be provocative and organized with this art piece that serves a dual function — sprucing up your wall space and allowing you to stay on top of classes, deadlines, and social obligations. All you need to do is place cheap and easy-to-find paint chips in any colour coordination you like inside a simple black frame, and suddenly you have quirky, functional, and full-sized wall art.

One last tip that will help you customize your dorm room: utilize inexpensive, everyday items to jazz up your living space. Some dorm rooms will be cozier than you might anticipate, so what better way to combine space-saving and style than with simple yet trendy wooden crates. Line your crates with fabric or paint them in a bright pastel, then mount them on the wall to create unique and eye-catching storage units. Don’t have the cash for a proper bookshelf? Just stack your crates against a large wall and fill them with your books and vinyl collection. Now you can show off your books and your bookshelf!
Whether you employ metal hangers, old throw-away art prints, or even simple wooden storage containers in your design choices, you will be adding a fun and functional element to your dorm room décor by following our simple DIY advice.

Remember that at RentSeeker, finding rental apartments for students is just the first step. We’re also here to help you make the most of your space. Remember to check in with the RentSeeker blog for more style suggestions to help you spruce up your living space.