Design tips to transform a room

Concert posters and personal artwork can help bring personality to a bland dorm room. Photo by Sagal Hassan.

Kyle Taylor
Contributing Writer

Students moving into on-campus housing are often greeted by bare walls and a skeleton of potential. The question that hits underclassmen should not be what can be done, but instead what should be done first. Individuals trying to transform the blank wall space into something that reflects their personality have scores of options at the fingertips.

Putting up a collage of personal art or work done by friends is a great way to bring a unique spin to a room. For students not on the artsy side, investing in artwork that represents a piece of the soul or a few inspirational posters can bring a glimmer of motivation to the worst procrastinator.

For those looking for something a little different to decorate an apartment or home, vintage album covers, movie posters, memorable quotes or works of graphic design are recommended, according to a press release from the furniture company Goedeker’s.

Music posters and inexpensive albums can be found at Plan 9 Music in Carytown, as well as Steady Sounds on West Broad Street. Wall-coverings come in all shapes and sizes; the fun part is deciding what works best for every personality.

In addition, displaying photos and family portraits in a dorm or apartment can have great sentimental value, as well as bring a little more color into a black-and-white world. Pictures should be displayed in a place where people can see them often. Having images of loved ones close can be comforting for individuals not quite used to life outside of the nest.

Color and lighting are key to setting the mood of a space. Bedding, sheets and pillowcases can easily add some zesty flavor to a bland room. Goedeker’s online recommends choosing bold and bright colors, or designs and patterns to catch people’s eye when they visit. On the other hand, going for a more neutral track with sheets can help make other colors in the room pop. Throw pillows are a small way to add some extra color when placed in plain sight such as a bed, couch, reading area or chair.

Lamps are fun additions to any room, according to Goedeker’s. If a dorm room is dimly lit, having a lamp by the bedside or in the main living area can make all the difference. For those who want to get creative, a do-it-yourself project suggestion is decorating a plain white lampshade with photos.

Bringing personal items adds more individuality into a new room. Little trinkets and knick-knacks, favorite books and movies, figurines, jewelry, dishes, stuffed animals or socks grandma knitted last Christmas are just a few things that portray a student’s unique sense of style.

Whether it is covering up blank walls with pictures and posters or choosing bright colored pillow cases, lamps or souvenirs, VCU students can make their space into something more than just a room with little effort. For more information, check out websites like Goedeker’s Home Life at

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