Your dorm room is your first home away from home. A first glimpse into apartment life, dorm life can be full of independence, cool roommates, and more. On the other hand, it can also come with a lot of restrictions. If you’re stuck in a white dorm room (maybe even with cinderblock walls) you’re probably dying for some color. You can’t paint, but you can bring some “pop” into your space.

There are quite a few clever tricks you can use to enhance your dorm room. Each one is RA-approved, so you won’t have to haggle over any of them. Even if your roommates are as bland as they come, your half of the room will be a festival of color. Ready to get started? Here are a few easy tips for #dormlife color.

Your Bed

If you have a small dorm room, there won’t be much vertical space you can call your own. There’s a huge patch of horizontal space that’s all yours, though– your bed. If you can cover your bed with a great splash of color, it will fill the whole room. Look into custom bedding for the perfect way to bring your colors into the room. You can also spruce up your bed with fun pillows, beautiful throw blankets, and stuffed animals. You should keep the floor clear for your roommate, and keep your desk clear for your homework, but your bed is totally yours. Go nuts!

Your Wall Space

If your dorm is small, a poster or two will cover most of the visible wall space. A bigger room, however, will start looking empty in just a few days, unless you have something hanging on the walls. Consider investing in a wall tapestry, or hang a beautiful blanket from the walls. (Remember, whatever you hang has to stay up with 3M hooks or putty, since you can’t use nails.) You can utilize companies such as  Simple Canvas Prints and make canvas art out of your photography, since a big piece of art can cover a lot of wall space well. Your dorm room will start looking cozy in no time, as long as you don’t leave bare patches on the walls. You live here now, and it’s time the room started looking like home!

Your Lighting

You’ll have room for a few lighting fixtures in your dorm. The overhead lights are probably fluorescent, but you’ll bring in desk lamps and more to liven up your space, and that gives you another chance to bring in color. Instead of using a standard floor or desk lamp, consider bringing in something with pizazz. A lava lamp in the corner, or a desk lamp with a bright yellow shade will both help liven up the room. Pink or blue Christmas lights, or even rainbow, can bring some cheer into your room, and a standing lamp that has a unique shade will also lend atmosphere. Don’t leave the warmth of your dorm room up to chance–bright great lighting!

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