Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Guy’s Guide to Dorm Room Decorating


Recently, this message from Madge came in the inbox:

"My best friend is moving to a dorm soon and he wants the room to look good, be functional, all while not making the room appear too feminine. Any tips on how to help a boy decorate his dorm?"

I’ve got to say, what a fantastic question. We get a ton of decorating questions, but mostly all of them are directed toward girls! So let’s explore the slightly hidden art of decorating for dudes.

1.) Function. Madge hit the nail right on the head when she said it needed to be functional. For the most part, us women aren’t incredibly concerned about function. We say we are, but that purple silk flower sitting in the window sill? Yeah it’s just there because it looks pretty.

So, one way to keep your room from getting too “girly” is to use as many functional pieces as possible. Maybe you have a collection of baseball figurines, but do you really need all of them? No, so just bring one out for display. That cool looking lamp that takes up half your desk? Leave it at home! That’s something for the apartment when you have room. Trying to stuff it into your dorm just because it looks cool is only going to come off as contrived.


2.) Storage. A guy typically has more electronic devices than a woman, meaning they have more wires. Nothing makes a room automatically look like a mess than a pile of wires strewn about the place. You’re going to need some kind of storage container or cabinet to keep all those wires from view.

Also, guys are usually just bigger than girls, so your clothes are going to take up more space. It’s just logic; someone who wears a size 13 shoe is going to be able to have less shoes in their closet than someone who wears a size 8 shoe. Plus your coats, jeans, etc are just flat out going to be bigger and heavier. You’re going to want to bring some bins to fit under your bed when you realize the closet is built more for tank-tops and bikinis than it is for your oversized ski-pants.


3.) Color Scheme and Textures. There should be no color that you are afraid of including in your dorm color scheme, and yes, that includes pink. Personally, I find a man who can handle pink can handle a lot of other things…namely me at 2:30 in the morning with a bottle of tequila…but that’s neither here nor there.

That being said; keep it looking masculine. Clean smooth lines and mechanical or natural textures avoid any possible chance of mistaking your room for a girl’s. Think of a heavy, straight lined comforter instead of a light, puffy one, or a strong, solid desk chair instead of an intricately detailed one. In general, the more ornate the detailing, the more feminine it looks.

Another tip? Avoid anything too “matchy-matchy.” You want it to look effortless, not like you spent the last three months pouring over websites to make your room look “just so.”

Large Gear Dorm Wall Clock by Kikkerland


4.)  Artwork. Here’s where you really make it a guy’s room. Provided your favorite artist isn’t Lady Gaga (and if it is, who cares!) put up anything you’re passionate about. Got a favorite sports team? Are a huge Rage Against the Machine fan? Plaster it on your wall. For the most part, anything goes here; except alcohol posters. Trust me, the only people who have alcohol posters on their walls are the ones who just recently discovered it. Lame.

5.) Extras for specific occasions. Let’s face it, your dorm isn’t just for you. Sometime throughout your college career you’re going to want to bring…ahem, a lady, back to your place and when that happens you’re going to want to be prepared. Those special storage boxes I mentioned earlier? Keep one with some essentials, namely some candles, the right music, some um…protection…and have it handy. Not to mention a little emergency kit in case your parents come over; a little bottle of air freshener (c’mon, you know you’ll need it), a family photo, an inspirational Albert Einstein poster and anything religious you keep to avoid any awkward conversations.


So what do you guys think? Anything you’d recommend for a guy’s dorm?


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