For many incoming students, their dorm room becomes the star of the show. It’s their first home-away-from home, their first taste of independence, and their first chance to *truly* design their room however they please. However, my dorm experience was a little different: I lived in a suite. So to help students figure out what they may need for their college suite (or their dorm room in general), I have put together a dorm room tour.
An Introduction to my College Dorm Room and Suite
As I prepared to move to college, I loved reading other blogger’s posts on what their dorm rooms looked like, rather than the fancy department store ads where everything matched together perfectly. After all, let’s be real: in an actual dorm room, the furniture will be old and will probably clash with your color scheme. Plus, you probably only have enough space for a bed and a desk, letter alone the futons, ottomans, and butterfly chairs you see in the ads.
After all, ads tend to hide the fact that you’re actually going to be living in the room, rather than it just being a display for a picture or a campus tour. That’s why I loved the blog tours of actual dorm rooms. Not only are they great for inspiration, but they provide some helpful insight on what actually living in a dorm room will be like, along with what students will need.
However, unlike most dorm room tours, this one comes with a twist: I lived in a suite, which included a living room, a kitchenette, a private bathroom for the suite, a private room for each of the 4 students in the suite.
Essentially, it was like having an apartment inside of a regular dorm building, minus the oven and stove.
So…let’s start the dorm room tour!
The above photo shows the entryway of my suite (i.e. what it looked like as soon as I entered the main door). Having a suite also means that I had two keys: one to the common area and one to my room.
While this was great, it also meant that when I locked myself out of my private room, I also had to lock myself out of the common area as I went to go get the extra key, as our doors (like most college dorm rooms) automatically locked as soon as it shut.
The little door that you see on the left of the picture is actually a coat closet, which was great for storing jackets, clothes, boxes, and luggage. If you have the option between two rooms, one with an extra closet and one without, I highly recommend the one with the extra closet (even if it is a little more money). It saves so much space in the dorm.
The door further down along the wall was the bathroom in the suite.
The above photo shows the interior of the bathroom, which was quite large, especially when considering only shows about three-quarters of the floor; the toilet was on the left-hand side, just outside of this picture.
However, it’s important to note that this bathroom (and the suite in general) was one of the accessible suites, so it was slightly larger so it could accommodate a wheelchair, if needed.
Along the walls, we put up command hooks to hang our towels from, and each of us also brought along a set of storage drawers to store shampoo, conditioner, extra soap, etc.
The Living Room
After walking down the hallway (just past the bathroom), the living room would be on my left.
All of the furniture was included, except for the pillows and the painting on the wall. In the Fall semester we had a TV on the TV stand.
The Kitchenette of the College Suite
A kitchenette in the suite provided a space for food storage, as well as counter space for microwaves, blenders, toasters, etc. It also included a sink, which was great for washing dirty dishes and utensils so that we wouldn’t need to use the bathroom sink.
My Dorm Room
One of the best parts about living in a suite is that each person has their own private room.
Although there is a hefty cost, a private room in college can be greatly beneficial because the student doesn’t have to worry about sharing with a stranger, they can dictate how clean/ dirty they want the room to be, and they have a private space to study with no interruption.
However, private rooms can also have downsides: if you aren’t sharing the suite with someone you know (or if you don’t have any friends that live in your building), then living in a suite feel very isolated and even uncomfortably quiet.
Note: Earlier I mentioned that my suite was handicapped accessible, which meant that not only was the dorm room bigger, but that one of the rooms was bigger, too. Since no one else needed it, this happened to be the room I was assigned to, so please note that my room is a bit bigger than normal for a private dorm room.
Although having a huge amount of space was great, it was honestly *too* much space for me. As a result, I actually re-arrange my room so that it appeared to be smaller than what it actually was; otherwise, the amount of empty space felt too spacious and uncomfortable.
The above picture shows the majority of my dorm room. In the middle of the photo, you can see my dresser, which I loved having by the door as it was an easy place to set my keys so that I wouldn’t forget them on the way out.
Along the walls, you can also see my posters. Some of them are from a poster pack while others are from wall calendars. I actually put them in a checkerboard pattern, which I discuss in my dorm room hacks post, because it makes it look a lot nicer and organized. These posters were put up using wall putty, which allowed me to hang stuff up without worrying about damaging the walls. Keeping your dorm room damage-free is extremely important if you are living in a college dorm/apartment because room damages often result in damage charges at the end of the year.
On the left-hand side of my dresser, you can also see a blue step stool. I highly recommend as it helps with reaching things on tall shelves/cabinets, and it also gave me a place to put my backpack after class.
On the right-hand side of the dresser was my laundry basket, which was hidden from view for most people who came into my room.
Above my bed I also had a picture frame made out of washi tape. Washi tape is a damage-free way of decorating your room and you can find tons of uses for it on Pinterest.
Earlier I mentioned about how I made my room feel smaller due to the way I arranged the furniture. A major way that I did that was by having the desk facing the rest of the room, rather than put it against the wall. The space around it then became a study corner, including a mini-fridge (perfect for snacks while studying), a printer, a window for natural light, and a bulletin/marker board for reminders.
Another way I made the room slightly smaller was by not putting the bed against the far wall, but rather a few feet from it. You can see this by looking at the feet of the bed in the picture of the entire dorm room.
This concludes tour of my freshman dorm room and suite! Please let me know if you have any comments or questions about how I arranged it, why I chose to have it set up like this, and/or what having a suite and private dorm room is like in general! I also have some more blog posts about college dorms, including 10 Factors to Consider Before Choosing Your College Dorm, The Display Dorm Room vs The Real Dorm Room, and 15 Must-Have Items for Your College Dorm Room!