The fall semester is fast approaching, and whether this is your first year or you're a seasoned student, you may have started hunting for dorm decor between barbecues and trips to the beach. Stores often provide helpful checklists for what you'll need, and while they often are on the right track, they tend to steer you toward low-quality designs. Though these items are inexpensive, and it's important to save money for the impending living expenses you'll have during the next year, chances are you'll end up tossing the cheap stuff after graduation. In the long run, investing in well-made home furnishings will be a wise decision. Here are some things you may want to consider buying to make the post-grad interior design transition a breeze.
Custom window treatments will be a welcome departure from the dull shades that come with the dorm, and will better fit in what are frequently uniquely-shaped windows. Not to mention the typical window treatments found at dorm supply stores feature brightly color patterns that you'll soon outgrow. Simple blinds and shades can act as a mature accent to the room, and you can put vibrant patterns elsewhere, such as on a throw blanket or duvet cover - things that are relatively inexpensive to replace. High quality window treatments will impress your friends, and will likely follow you to your first apartment.
Vintage posters, either for food or your favorite black and white movie, make for quirky wall adornments. If you take care of them, these posters can be framed after graduation and hung in a grown-up pad. How adult is that! Trending now in decor are typographical representations of various cities: With the skyline or geographical map constructed with the names of different boroughs. These can be used to show some hometown pride or embrace your new hometown. You could also do both side by side to represent your past and your future, and they'll translate well into life after college.
Dorms always come with the basics: A desk and desk chair, a bed and some sort of bureau. In some cases, you can have facilities store these items and substitute them for your own. A swiveling chair may be a more comfortable option for you, which you'll be grateful for come finals week. That, or you could put a nice seat cover or cushion on top of the existing chair. Depending on the size of the room, you may want to get a second chair. For this furnishing, opt for a comfy circle chair in a relatively subdued color (hot pink won't look so stylish in a few years), and consider steering away from faux suede, and get a model in corduroy or nylon instead.
To store books, electronics, photo frames and other items, you'll need some sort of shelving unit. You may be tempted to purchase a wire version, but think about getting one made of wood instead. If you look for one that's made of a lightweight material, it will make moving in and out a breeze. For a lamp, alarm clock and other bedside stuff, get a small nightstand. Again, wood looks sophisticated, and a less heavy model will have the convenience of plastic.
You won't need much in the form of kitchen supplies, as your dorm will likely have a kitchen on every floor. However, for a healthy breakfast, consider getting a small blender. Bargain hunts will reveal that some models, while effective, are very inexpensive. Berry and fruit smoothies for breakfast in the morning will help you to maintain your health during the freshman transition, and are a fast meal for on the go, for those 8 am classes.