Okay, sure, “best” is relative. But if you follow these tips, you will definitely have a cool, comfy, everyone-wants-to-hang-out-there dorm room.
There always seems to be one dorm room where everyone just hangs out. Having the best dorm room on your floor isn't that hard, but it does take a little creativity to make it happen. Here are some things to do that can make your room the go-to spot.
1. Make the space comfy and welcoming
If you want people to spend time in your dorm, you’re going to need places for them to actually sit. Keep the floor space as open as you can. Bunking your beds frees up lots of space, but if you can't do that, just make the space you do have as comfortable as possible.
Start by getting a rug to cover that cold tile floor. Then add big pillows to your bed, including some that can double as cushions on the floor. (Lining the wall next to your bed with pillows almost turns it into a couch.) Squishy beanbag chairs and even storage containers can double as a place to sit too. Top it all off with some fuzzy blankets. Arrange things around an area where your laptop or television can play the latest GoT episode, and grab some speakers so everyone can hear.
2. Open up
Keeping your dorm room door open—while you’re there, of course—is a surprisingly easy way to make friends. People can poke their heads in to say hi, your neighbors might overhear the awesome music you’re playing and ask who it is, or you can call out to people you know if you see them.
All this being said, don't forget that sometimes you have to invite people over. Ask the kids down the hall to come over and meet your new fish or share the cookies from the care package you just got.
3. Bring the party
Make your dorm room fun! Your first step: food. People go where the food is. So stock up on your favorite candy, cookies, pretzels, tortilla chips, salsa, cheese dip, and popcorn. Have a standing Thursday movie night and make sure everyone knows about it. Hang plain paper on your walls and supply markers in a basket so people can do DIY wallpaper (you can easily take it down before parents visit). And keep a whiteboard or two on your door for messages.
4. Sharing is caring
If you have video games, try to have extra controllers so a few people get in on the game. Have a basket of fidget toys that everyone loves: Play Doh, Silly Putty, hacky sacks, stress balls, trivia cards, and even tabletop air hockey make for instant fun. (Go here for more tips on having the best-est dorm room activities.)
5. Do something unexpected
Your room doesn't have to look like a magazine, but people like rooms that are fun and unique. String up some twinkling lights or have a couple of black lights, or make a photo collage. Use washi tape to make designs on your door or wall. Hang cork boards, magnetic boards, and mirrors to brighten the walls. If tapestries are allowed, hang them on the wall or from the ceiling to create dramatic color and patterns without much effort.
Having the coolest dorm room is about a lot more than decorating. You can have the most incredible crib, but if you don't invite people in or they aren't comfortable enough to sprawl on the floor and chat, no one will want to stay. This is your home—so show it off, make people comfortable, and pretty soon your dorm will be the place everyone wants to be.