Gather the roommates, measure the room and board the Metro heading toward Pentagon City. It’s the time of year when Linen’s ‘n Things gets crowded with familiar GW students on a mission to change impersonal dorm rooms into distinctive dwellings.
Sophomore Monica Mega said purchasing a rug is one of the most important tasks when decorating a dorm room. Carpets keep feet warm and clean while making the room comfortable and welcoming.
“Rugs have a way of making the room just feel more like home,” Mega said.
Light-colored rugs can brighten a room, while a darker carpet is better for students without a vacuum. Dorm rugs ranging in price form $20 to $65 can be purchased across the street from Thurston Hall.
Staring at plain white walls makes a dorm room feel more like a hospital than home. Plastering the walls with posters and pictures of friends bring the room to life.
“Posters are the key to personalizing a room,” graduate student John Dickers said.
Many Poster shops are located along M Street in Georgetown as well as inside the Georgetown Mall and Pentagon City.
Freshman Jennifer Locane suggested visiting museums’ gift shops when in search of wall decor.
According to interior decorating advice from About.com, pictures and posters with strong horizontal lines widen narrow rooms. Hanging mirrors creates an optical illusion of more space. But mirrors and posters with horizontal lines cannot transform a Crawford double into appearing the size of a New Hall suite.
Although GW does not allow students to paint or permanently mark their walls, several options are available for students who want to go beyond decorating with the usual Animal House posters.
Sophomore Benjamin Levy recommended using contact paper to create a border around the edge of the walls.
Wallies is another option for students wishing to create a wallpaper-look without damaging walls. Wallies, pre-cut and pre-pasted vinyl-coated wallpaper pieces, are applied and removed by wetting the design. Test to ensure Wallies and contact paper can be safely removed to avoid nasty fines come May.
Hanging colorful tapestries from walls or ceilings creates a more warm and homey setting in a residence hall room. Bulletin boards full of the semester’s memorabilia become temporary scrapbooks and occupy empty wall space.
Different lighting can add a unique atmosphere to a residence hall room.
Levy said last semester he and his roommates bought colored light bulbs at Safeway and put different shades in all their lamps to create a funky ambiance. He also suggests Christmas lights.
Although they do not produce enough light to read by ,”tube lights” spice up a room’s look snaking around doorways and corners.
For rooms large enough, Levy recommends students furnish their rooms with lawn furniture.
“It is cheap and lightweight, so it is easy to move around,” Levy said.
Inflatable plastic chairs and fold-out canvas butterfly-shaped chairs, are easy and economical alternatives to real furniture.
Beds can easily become eclectic couches by pushing them up against a wall and throwing on a variety of pillows.
Freshman Josh Giles said he and his roommates plan to create a dinner table while solving storage problems at the same time. The Hove triple will eat dinner on top of Giles storage trunk.
For students running out of places to stash their extra books or clothes, sophomore Michelle Singler said stackable crates and Yaffa blocks answer storage problems.
Sophomore Lauren Snider recommends shoe racks and closet organizers to allow students to maximize their closet space and keep the room neat.
Plants and flowers cheer up any drab room. Provisions Market in the Marvin Center sells flowers on points and flowers sold outside the Foggy Bottom Metro stop are easy and economical. For students without green thumbs, silk flowers and flowering cacti liven rooms without the responsibility.
Freshman Erin Berry said she plans to shop for decorations with her roommate and produce a room with a unified decor.
Settling on a theme for the room may allow the room to appear neat, but could sacrifice some individuality.
Freshman Erica Phipps said all of her Thurston roommates have different tastes and their room will have an eclectic feel.
“We all have completely different things set up everywhere,” Phipps said. “I like that it is different, it shows all of our personalities.”