Back to school season is right around the corner which means many college students will be starting a new chapter by living away from home in a dorm room.
There are some great ways to make that dorm feel a little bit more like home without breaking the bank. Bobby Berk, design expert, host of “Queer Eye” and author of the soon to be released book, “Right at Home: How Good Design is Good for The Mind” recently shared some tips exclusively with The Blast.
Bobby Berk Shares Tips To Help Make Moving Into A College Dorm More Like Home
Command Brand recently named Berk its first official Director of Dorm Design. With many great ideas, Berk wanted to share some tips and style inspiration for students to help them transform their new space to feel a little bit more like home without spending tons of money. So where does one start?
“I always say, tell your kids to start with their favorite things, the things that make them the most happy and kind of work from there. Obviously, they can’t take everything. They might be lucky enough to have a single but they’re probably sharing that room with somebody else. Start with the favorite, the thing that makes you the happiest in your room and kind of build from there. It’s always nice to go out and get some new things because it’s such a transition in their life. They’re going from their childhood room, even though they are teens, even though they are young adults already, there’s still, I’m sure there are a lot of things in that childhood room that are from their childhood,” Berk shared with The Blast exclusively.
“Finding that one thing that still makes them really happy and going and getting new things to kind of build around that I think really gives them a bit of an attachment to that childhood and growing up but also a starting off point of this, ok this is my adult room now.”
Another thing to keep in mind when designing a dorm room is that most dorms are on the smaller side, so organization is key, as well as utilizing all the available space.
View this post on Instagram
“For me, it’s all about organization because obviously dorm rooms are small. You can’t hang anything on the walls, you can’t paint anything, you can’t really do anything except work with that bed, dresser, desk and chair. So I always say think about your space from top to bottom, not just from side to side and really utilize the walls,” Berk said.
“The cool thing about Command products is you can do that now and still get your deposit back. I know most people just think of Command products just Command strips and they are, but Command strips now are so much cooler. They have some that will hold up to 20 pounds so you can actually put the cool little wall shelves next to the bed so they can organize their stuff there. They have a 15-pound hook so you can line those up on the back of the door to hold bookbags and clothes.”
College May Be Expensive But Designing A Dorm Doesn’t Have To Be
Designing a dorm room to help it feel a little more like being at home doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Berk suggests thrifting to help save money. And since this is also a time in many young adult’s lives when they are still trying to figure out what their era is, why spend a lot?
“One of the best ways to design any space on a budget is thrifting. Thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, that’s a really great place to get things that have been gently used that you can still love and because when we’re in college we’re figuring out what our era is, we’re figuring out what our aesthetic is, we’re figuring out so many things about who we are,” Berk told The Blast.
“So the things you might love when you’re decorating your room at college, literally a month later you’d be like ‘Oh my God, I can’t stand any of this.’ Going out and buying all new stuff for a person at the age when they have no idea really what they like is not good.”
Bobby Berk’s New Book Is About To Be Released
Berk’s new book, “Right at Home: How Good Design is Good for The Mind” is about to be released and is all about “the intersection of mental health and design.”
“I want people to realize you don’t have to be wealthy to design your home. You don’t need to be able to hire a designer to have a great space. So, I wanted to do a design book that was more of a self-help book that taught you how to figure out what makes you tick,” Berk said.
“Chapter one is called ‘How to Articulate What Makes You Happy’ and that chapter is actually about figuring out what your design aesthetic is. And one of the sub chapters is ‘Let’s Normalize Not Asking What Your Design Aesthetic Is’ because it’s all about things that make you happy and teaching people okay when you’re trying to figure out what you like design wise, look at other aspects of your life.”
Berk suggests looking at your favorite clothing, food dish, vacation, etc. and getting inspiration from that.
“If your favorite article of clothing is your cool, worn-in leather jacket, you’re probably gonna like leather accents in your space,” he said. “If it’s like some flannel with plaid on it that’s your favorite piece, you’re probably gonna like some plaid in your space.”
View this post on Instagram
Another vital part – organization, clearing your space as well as your mind, and noticing how your home makes you feel because that affects other aspects of your life.
Berk suggests after waking up in the morning, make your bed. Even though it’s a small thing, subconsciously your brain is on the mindset of accomplishments which can help with your mindset for the rest of your day.
“I really want people to think about the mental wellness aspect of how your home really affects so many aspects of your life,” he said.
The book releases September 12 but is currently available for preorder.
If you or your child is moving into a dorm this upcoming semester, be sure to use the hashtag #CommandYourEra to help inspire others who don’t know what to do with their space.
Command products that can help with decorating and organizing a dorm room includes; Command Poster Strips, Command 20 lb Picture Hanging Strips, Command 15 lb X-Large Hook, Command Medium Designer Hooks and Command Clear Decorating Clips.