girl stands in front of her bed in her dorm room

Dorm Room, Sweet Dorm Room

dorm room with bed, desk and various decor

Every summer, new students prepare for their first year here at the University of Central Oklahoma. Students search the depths of Pinterest, looking for the perfect packing list, dorm hacks, and most importantly, dorm decor. Decorating the perfect dorm is no small task and can often require hours of research, shopping and labor. Students spend hours wandering the aisles of Target, Hobby Lobby and Bed Bath and Beyond, to ensure that every detail will be both flawless and affordable.

This year, one Central student took dorm decorating to another level. Let’s just say that, if dorm room decorating were an Olympic sport, Abbey Tinsley would finish with a gold medal.

girl stands in front of her bed in her dorm room

Tinsley is a freshman this year, majoring in business, with the hopes of one day becoming a professional choreographer with her own dance studio. She is already making the most of her time at Central, serving as a member of the UCO Pom team and recently joining Sigma Kappa sorority. However, her greatest accomplishment thus far might just be her incredible dorm room.

Dorm room decorating can be tough, so we decided to ask the dorm room diva herself for some much-needed advice and inspiration.

photo of headboard with black and white stripes, with pillows in front and pineapple wall on the adjacent wallOne of the most unique things about Tinsley’s decor is her adorable, striped headboard and bed skirt. As many of us know, it is not easy to dress up your dorm, and it most certainly does not come cheap. Tinsley and her mother created their vision for the dorm room, and her grandmother helped bring that vision to life. Her headboard, bed skirt and curtains were all handmade by her grandmother to fit Tinsley’s personal style.

DIY is a great way to get a custom look for your dorm room while also staying within your budget. Following accounts on Instagram can be helpful.

“I have been following different dorm sites on Instagram for the past couple of years.  I searched the hashtags #collegedorm and #dormroom, just to see what people are doing, and the best way to use the space,” Tinsley said, of her search for inspiration.

Dorms are small – it’s one thing we can all agree on about campus living. Staying organized and finding a proper place for all of your belongings can be difficult, especially when sharing your room with another person. Tinsley combats her lack of space by “lofting” her bed, or raising up the bed to add additional space underneath. She placed all of her dressers underneath her bed, to allow for more space when moving throughout the room. Lofting your bed, like Tinsley did, is a great way to save space, while the addition of a bed skirt hid her dressers from view.

What makes someone want to go above and beyond when creating their dorm sweet dorm, especially when facing space and cost challenges?

“I wanted to make my move and transition to UCO a smooth one,” Tinsley said. “This will be my new home for ten months, so I wanted it to be comfortable.  I need to enjoy my surroundings, and I want to be happy when I’m in my room. My room is small, so I knew I needed to use the space wisely and be able to make it look less cluttered.”

Moving away from home can be hard, so making your new home comfortable can help with the transition and put you at ease.

Dorm decorating is a lot of pressure, but don’t freak out! With a little bit of research and a whole lot of hot glue, you can turn your dorm room into your home away from home.

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At the Office of University Communications at the University of Central Oklahoma, we bleed bronze and blue — Pantone 116 and 282, to be exact. The University Communications staff of professionals promotes Central to the community through news releases, media relations, advertising, branding and marketing initiatives, publications and electronic media — and, of course, using the university's official colors (that's the Pantone 116 and 282). We believe the University of Central Oklahoma is a thriving, opportunity-rich institution located in one of the best metropolitan areas in the country with innovative students, faculty and staff who make a difference in our world. It is our pleasure to share the Central story with you.