As a junior here at Fairfield, many students assume that I live in either the Townhouses or in Barnyard Manor. However, I reside in Mahan, along with three other roommates, in an apartment-style home. Having half of a room to decorate can seem difficult, but being faced with a single and a living room is a challenge. Below are some things that have helped me when decorating shared rooms the past two years, as well as my apartment this year. 

One of the most important things to do before purchasing decorations is to choose a color scheme. Whether it be monochromatic or a grouping of shades, it will ultimately make the room more cohesive. Shopping for rugs, bedding and other decorations is made much simpler when there is a color to narrow down the search.  

The first step of decorating a dorm is to cover the cinderblock walls, usually in rooms for first-years and sophomores. Some of the best ways to decorate are with posters, which can be purchased at the annual poster fair in the Lower Level Barone Campus Center (LLBCC), or on Amazon, which has plenty of posters that ship within a couple of days. I would recommend buying canvas-style posters, simply because they are less likely to rip, making them easy to transport and reuse. Students frequently decorate their walls with images of bands, movies, artists or aesthetically pleasing photos. Shutterfly allows an individual to print photos of the student and their friends, which is another popular decoration choice. 

  Lighting is incredibly important, given the harsh artificial lighting provided by the university isn’t a favorable choice. Big lamps are enough to light up a room with a warm glow, rather than an aggressive white bulb. There is also the option of LEDs, a well-liked option by students all over campus, and sunset lamps, which offer less setup while maintaining the same bright colors.

If you, like me, live in apartment-style housing on campus, the living room, kitchen and bathroom all need to be decorated properly. Blankets and pillows for the couches in the living room make it appear homey and lived-in. Adding decorative dish towels or a poster in the kitchen can liven up what is a typically monotone atmosphere. Putting plants on the windowsill is not only decorative but can actively help them grow. Rugs outside the shower can make the bathroom look less university-like and more cozy.

Decorating can be stressful, but going in with a solid plan makes it all the more enjoyable. Patterns, colors and themes can help limit what is normally an expansive search with overwhelming options. 

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