Is there any chore more glorious than decorating your dorm room or first apartment? You begin with a blank canvas – usually an aging twin bed along with a set of unremarkable furniture – and to that you construct your masterpiece with edgy posters, that small flatscreen TV that your big brother lent you and maybe a hundred bucks to blow online on the little things. (“Bed sheets? Nah, I want that K cup machine instead, Dad!”)
Back in my college days at the University of Florida – in the glorious ‘80s – I decorated my room with the obligatory Beatles poster, a black light and a tiny mini fridge – with a Van Halen sticker on it – that held all the leftover pizza from last night’s 2 a.m. delivery. These days, the dorm rooms and apartments probably haven’t changed all that much, but college students have the infinite resources of the Internet to find just the right accessories. Here are a few fun things to add to a dorm room or college apartment.
Imagine collapsing on this giant furry friend after a rough mid-term exam or a day at the football stadium. Just remember to clean it by hand if you spill a latte or beer on it! (Probably best not to tell the parents about the beer – just trust me on that.) It’s also available in other sizes if space (or budget) is tight.
In my day, we hung bamboo curtains in front of our dorm room doors. They made an awful racket when entering or leaving the room, but that was the price of style in the 1980s. These curtain lights would have been a smarter pick. This set features eight modes of lighting, including twinkling, flash and slow fade settings.
Space is always at a premium in a dorm room or your first apartment. Take advantage of your room’s corners with this shelf unit. This five-tier unit features corner-mounted shelves made of durable laminate. All the necessary hardware to install is included. Now show off all your precious items here. (I’m still apologizing to a college roommate decades later for breaking his beloved neon beer sign.)
Where was this tray back in 1985 when my freshman roommate and I turned our beds into a bunk set? (Just like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in 2008′s Step Brothers … “So much room for activities!”) Granted we didn’t have laptops – the desktop PC behemoths we had back then would have crushed this caddy – so maybe it’s a moot point. The 15-inch tray was designed for bunk beds and includes a spill-proof cup holder and even slots to slide your laptop or cell phone cables through.
In the ’80s, we were still using those instant Polaroid cameras to document our college high jinx, and we kept those grainy photos safely hidden away in those old fashioned photo albums with the sticky pages. No way would we EVER have posted our party pics on the Internet for the whole world – and our parents – to see. It’s nice to see college kids today are getting back to the basics.
Buy one to light up your personal space or buy a series of letters for larger messages. (I’d buy the letters G-A-T-O-R-S. In fact, I still might – it’d look great in my man cave.)
Steve Spears is editor of Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. He is based in Orlando and counts St. Augustine, Key West and the Gulf Beaches among his favorite destinations in the state.