There’s an old saying that “the home is where the heart is.” It is a sanctuary filled with warmth and comfort after a long day of classes and work. A place where we could be ourselves as it reflects our identity and its story. After getting my own room for the first time in 18 years and finally gaining the personal funds to achieve the vision, I want to tell you the story of my room and give some tips and tricks for achieving the Ultimate Dorm Décor: A Maximalist Style Edition!
Desks, Shelves, and Aesthetics
As a person with ADHD, I need my workspace to be extra organized. I got myself a mini pink drawer for excess school supplies, a couple of desk organizers, and a weekly planner pad that matches the room’s aesthetic. I make sure to get the cutest school supplies each year, as well as getting the widest variety of colors (markers, highlighters, pens, sticky notes, etc.) for organizing and aesthetic purposes. I find most of my school supplies at Walmart, but I shop online for cute organizers and adorable stationery.
I use the shelf to place all my collections of figures, dolls, UH merch, and anything that fits my creepy-cute, astrology-witch aesthetic and organize them by theme. I didn’t have doll stands, so I improvised by putting all my G3 Monster-High dolls in sitting positions along with my astrology and witch-themed stuff on the middle shelf. On the bottom shelf, I put all my One Piece figures from anime conventions and festivals together, along with some UH merch I got for free from several UH events. I originally got an Ouija board to mess with my friends and to add to the room aesthetic, so I put them on the top shelf along with some gothic decor. The early Halloween season (August/September) is the best time of the year for goths and witches to get their home decor. Of course, I didn’t have enough space to fit my Percy Jackson Book Collection, so I used the book box sets as makeshift shelves.
Bedding and Comfort
My bed was the hardest thing to stylize as the stores online and in person didn’t carry bedding that screamed “ME!” It wasn’t until some stroke of luck that I came across some bed sets at Ross while window-shopping on a whim. I bought several on the spot and later found some cute pillow covers on KillStar to match.
Leaving no stone unturned, I even decorated my bedside table with the most adorable and comfortable things. Along with my LED alarm clock, I have two mini lego figures of Tanjiro and Nezuko from Demon Slayer guarding it, along with my Unicorn Panda bank and LED cat lamp named Mini Doja Cat side by side with my One Piece picture frame as the centerpiece. The floors in the dorms are cold, so I got a cozy rug that complements the decor and pulls everything together. Of course, living away from home for the first time can be tough, so I got myself a whole family of stuffed animals to keep me company.
No Naked Walls
The walls were the easiest thing to do. I love astrology, witches, goths, and anything cute and creepy, so I wanted the central theme of my room to center around that. I put a gothic astrology tapestry and witch poster on my bedside while posters of the stars, astrology, and tarot cards decorate my deskside. I also got a bunch of Halloween bats to fill out the empty parts of the wall. I love Anime, especially my favorite show, One Piece, so I filled a section of my wall with it. I didn’t want it to clash with the astrology witchcore aspect, so I contained all my anime posters into one area. For organizing daily and monthly activities, I got two dry-erase boards because you can never have enough planners. I DIY the boards with decorating tape to blend in with the room aesthetic.
Hidden Boutique: A Compromise of Space
With the limited space in my dorm, I had to make several compromises. For one thing, I have A LOT of jewelry, and I need a space to put all of them together. I didn’t have much space in my closet and didn’t want to turn my desk into a messy cluster, so I had the brilliant idea of turning the bottom of my bed into a hidden DIY boutique. I used my microwave and a storage container as a table while repurposing my old mirror as a vanity. I decorated the walls with some of my damaged posters and used an old Ouija board and my One Piece pillow to make the space cozy. All of this is hidden behind my pink drawer that doubles as a secret door, adding to the allure. Because I used the space as a boutique, I had to make other compromises for storage. I use my giant suitcase for storage and invest in a closet organizer to save space. As for my hygiene and makeup products, I got myself a large bath cart that’s especially useful for communal bathrooms.
Getting everything to work took some time and patience. The room is practically alive as it evolves and shapes to reflect my identity. It took me an entire year before it looks how it is now, and even then, it continues to transform. Take small steps when you can by getting the little things. Soon it would gradually grow over time. There are plenty of budget-friendly places like Five Below, Ross, and thrift stores to help you get started, and you should take advantage of any sales in stores and online. As for decorating, you should pay attention to detail by balancing the colors, the shape, and the space, as well as highlighting the theme and your favorite things. In maximalism, there is no right as it reflects you and your comfort zone. The room is your canvas!