7 Tenants of Dorm Decor

Moving into a dorm will mean you'll be faced with a lot of challenges in dealing with this new kind of living space. How do you handle a small, shared space? How do you maximize your space? What do or don't you need? Decorating and having a functional space can be a challenge when it's as small as a dorm room. Luckily I've got some tips on how to handle this situation. These can also work for apartment living or your own room so don't feel like I've never helped out those of you living off-campus. This post was sponsored by Residence Hall Linens but all content is my own.

1 - Utilize your vertical space. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Using everything from shelving to command hooks to shower organizers on your walls will really make your space work. You probably don't have much square footage to spare, so finding ways to use your vertical space is critical. You should also work that under-bed storage area with bins!

2 - You can almost never have too many pillows. Coordinating decorative pillows are just always perfect for every space. I don't know why, but pillows just always work.

3 - The same cannot be said of stuffed animals. Seriously, it gets old real fast when they keep falling off your bed and into the dusty depths of that crevice between your bed and the wall where they emerge covered in dust and hair. Limit yourself. Really. Not to mention how weird it is when you have people over and your seating is all taken by your teddies and tiggers.

4 - Color coordinate with your roommate. At least try. Pick one main color or 2-3 colors that go together well. After colors it's pretty easy to throw in neutrals. 

5 - If you can't agree, pull out the old sitcom solution. You have your half, your roommate has theirs. Maybe you have to deal with their entire troll doll collection staring at you in the night, but at the same time, at least you have your own space that the trolls have not invaded.

6 - Experiment with lighting. Lighting is a great way to add flavor and dimension to a space, and let's be real, most of us don't enjoy only being able to go from fluorescent lighting to pitch blackness. Try adding in some floor lamps, christmas/fairy lights, or even just tinting your overhead lighting with cellophane. 

7 - Remind yourself that this is something you have to maintain. Although you may want to have expensive sheets, remember that dorm life isn't exactly the cleanest experience you will ever have. You will probably ruin that thing by spilling Red Bull all over it during finals week. Go for something affordable (like maybe a cute set from RHL) and save your nicest sheets for when your room isn't also your study room, dining room, and living area. 

This post was sponsored by RHL, but all the content and ideas were my own-- they just inspired the topic! If you're looking for some dorm essentials to cross off your shopping list, they might be a good place to start. 

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Books for Ambitious Young Women : My Summer Reading List 2013

I am on a quest to better myself this summer. Eat better, manage money more responsibly, grow professionally, and just generally focus on being the best possible me. I put together a book list for that very purpose so that I could read on the topics I found important to me and worth putting time into this summer.

Many are dedicated to professional development, but others are dedicated to finding personal direction, finding yourself, becoming financially literate and savvy, and the state of women and girls, since that is a cause near and dear to my heart.

People Who Eat Darkness, a forensic re-telling of the real-life murder of a British woman in Japan is a bit of a wild card, but it goes into many cultural and gender dynamics I find fascinating. Gender Studies and Cultural Studies are a strong interest area of mine.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What's on your summer reading list this summer?

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