Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back-2-School: Dorm Decorating for "Alts"

Decorating a dorm room can be tricky, but even more so if you're of the alternative persuasion. It's not as simple as buying a couple of colorful throw pillows and some gauzy curtains. The dorm style tutorials on Youtube and elsewhere are pretty much useless to a Goth or Punk entertaining the idea of living in a dormitory room.

So I've put together a quick guide to help you with some more alternative decorating:

1. Bedding is important! 

This is your ultimate statement piece, what you'll be spending the most time on/around, and the focal point of the room. Buy a bed set that you can either coordinate with a variety of styles or can easily base a theme around. Examples would be stripes, damask, skulls, or other prints. You can also stick with basic black.

2. Frame your windows.

Some dorms allow you to put curtains up in your room. Even you're lucky enough to have this option, buy some curtains that go well with your bed set. If you're not allowed to put new curtains up OR your roommate objects to heavy black drapes that block out all possible daylight, try hanging the curtains on the wall above your bed. You can create a sort of faux headboard/canopy and it can look very elegant and macabre.

3. Protect your feet!

In most dorm halls, the floors don't have carpeting. Whether you're dealing with bland tile or hardwood floors, they're bound to get cold during the winter months. Invest in a cute rug. You can find lots of neat ones on the internet - that's where I found these two cute skull rugs! You can also find damask, Hello Kitty, or Halloween themed rugs.

4. Deck the walls.

Posters are often the go-to choice for decorating dorm walls, since most halls will forbid you from putting holes in the walls. That means tacks and nails are out, but posters stick to the wall nicely with tape or putty. You can find cute posters like the hello Kitty one above, band posters, or you can choose to be a little bit more artsy and nab some wall decals. Chandeliers, birds, trees, and graveyards are popular.

5. Misc. Props

Don't forget the little things that count! Swap out your boring desk chair for something like the one above or create your own slipcover. Goth up your textbooks with spooky book covers made of wrapping paper or fabric. Add a choice candelabra to your nightstand or perhaps a sparkly skull to sit next to your alarm clock.

Other Tips:
~ Consult your roommate first and give them a head's up about your style choices.
~Be considerate. If your roommate is terrified of spiders, don't throw fake cobwebs all over the desk area.
~Don't damage the walls, floor, furniture, or closets. Be prepared to pay a damage fee if you do.
~Go crazy. This is your home-away-from-home, so make it comfortable for you!


  1. I love that vampire chair! :) If I had a dorm room I'd love for it to look like this @_@

  2. This is so cool! Love it!

    Wall decals are awesome, I am planning to get an awesome forest one or something one day, but maybe once I have my own house, stuff like that is hard with rentals.

  3. The nice thing about decals is that they peel off walls really easily, so they're perfect for apts too!

  4. where did u find the skull and crossbones set, i want one

    1. I googled pretty much everything, but a run through ebay might yield some interesting results also.