The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Making the Most of Small Spaces: How Students Decorate Their Dorms

After looking into the dorms of St. John’s students, here are some ways to revamp any small living space!

Whether you live in St. John’s University-provided housing or an off-campus home, decor for student living spaces can be a challenge. Many students find it unnecessary to decorate and organize a temporary home, while others find that making their space their own is essential. The Torch spoke with St. John’s students to find out what they do to make their space feel like home, and discovered innovative and fun tips that could provide you with new ideas and inspiration for your own space!


Photo Courtesy / Madison Coombs

Madison Coombs, a sophomore at St. John’s, decorates her side of the room with her favorite colors and posters that reflect her interests. 

“I found all of my posters at the poster sale at the beginning of the fall semester, and I love how they fill up the walls,” Coombs said. “I chose black and white photographs to create a consistent theme of color.” 

Madison also utilizes her desk as not just a place to do work, but as a vanity as well. Since dorms are small with limited furniture, it’s important to come up with versatile ways to organize and store your belongings. 

“I like my desk because it’s multifunctional; it includes my jewelry and perfumes that I can easily access by storing them in decorative dishes,which also add to the decor,” Coombs added. 

Photo Courtesy / Emma Cavalli

Another sophomore, Emma Cavalli, lives in Century Hall and decorated her dorm with lots of color to brighten up her space. 

“I believe it’s important to love the space you spend a lot of your time in,” Cavalli said. “When I first saw these posters I immediately knew I needed them in my room. I love the different colors and I knew the Aura vibe would go great.” 

Cavalli also included a practical aspect of decor to her space with her floral garlands. 

“Additionally, I love flowers; however, I knew I couldn’t take care of real ones 24/7,” said Cavalli. “The flower garland was easy to put up and is my favorite aspect of my room.”

Photo Courtesy / Jean-Carlo Maldonado

Junior Jean-Carlo Maldonado lives in the Founders Village Townhouses in a double room. 

When asked how he chose to decorate his room, he said, “The decorations are sentimental to me and express my passions in life.” 

Maldonado is a big fan of wrestling and music, and this is reflected through his tapestry choices. Posters and tapestries are a great way to cover up empty space in dorms and allow residents to convey their interests throughout their space. A common decor choice for dorms are tapestries and posters because they are affordable, can easily be put up and come in a wide variety of designs. 

Photo Courtesy / Olivia Rainson

Common areas and living rooms can also be easy to decorate without spending a fortune. My common area in Century Hall is decorated for each holiday and season with finds from the Dollar Store, Amazon and my suitemates’ own houses. By simply putting up lights, the interior feels much cozier, and once pillows and blankets are added, it feels like home.. The current theme includes a Valentine’s Day tree, garland and heart ornaments hanging from the lights. A great hack is that fake spider webs used for Halloween can be reused as snow for winter decor.

When students get creative, it is really easy to add personality to a dorm or college home. A great resource for inspiration is Pinterest, where it’s easy to find a specific aesthetic to recreate in a dorm or college home. Even though college living spaces are typically small and temporary, there is much that can be done to make it feel like home.


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About the Contributor
Olivia Rainson, Social Media Manager & Asst. Features Editor
Olivia Rainson is a junior English major and creative writing minor serving as the Social Media Manager. She also works at the University Writing Center and is on the editorial board of the Intersections Literary Magazine. Olivia has been with the Torch since the beginning of her sophomore year, and when she isn’t writing, you can find her reading with an iced coffee. Olivia can be reached at [email protected]  

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