For most of us we headed off to college never having lived on our own, ecstatic about the “freedom” we believed we would find in dorm living. However, after a couple of months of doing our own laundry and wearing flip-flops in the shower, I think most of us find ourselves craving the comforts of home. At this point, as my disenchantment with dorm living began to set in I turned to new ways to spruce up my dorm and make it more “homey.” I covered entire walls with pictures, added area rugs, strings of Christmas lights, standing lamps—generally anything that could distract from the linoleum floors and harsh fluorescent lighting.

Fast-forward a year and I was back in dorms again but armed with the knowledge of the challenges I faced in on-campus living. This year my room took on a cozy vibe by virtue of the fact that my roommate—an obvious dorm decorating veteran—brought along her large coat rack and bookshelf. These two items, which initially seemed so daunting to find a place for, actually helped to shape the room and allowed each of us to create our own separate spaces. These functional small pieces of furniture practically doubled the amount of storage space in our small basement room and made me feel like I was back in my room at home.

Now, as I near the end of my sophomore year I look forward to living in a house off campus and have begun the process of planning out (prematurely, I must admit) my future, private room. But, with the new campus policy that all freshman and incoming students must live on campus I realize that most of the student body will be planning out the design of yet another dorm room when they are in my position. But, they need not despair because plenty of new decorating companies and blogs are devoted solely to dorms. These companies include ones such as Deac Décor, founded by Wake student Gabrielle Wilson ‘15, who received a grant from the entrepreneurship program. Wilson’s company, which is still in the process of being created, allows students to design their ideal dorm layout before arriving on campus and purchase accessories and furnishings for their new homes. Additionally, sites such as also offer an array of home products as well as style advisors who are there to give individualized design advice to college students.

So, if you are one of over seventy-five percent of Wake students faced with the challenge of making a dorm feel like a home, find solace in the fact that there are plenty of resources out there to help you in this process.

Caroline Guensberg