A handy guide to room decoration from an art-obsessed upperclassman

Wish your dorm room was less “industrial chic” and more “artist’s haven?” Here are some tips to add more art to your environment, whether that means band posters or reproductions of Michelangelo’s David. Either way, happy decorating!

Put up postcards

Postcards will remind you of works of art you’ve seen without the hefty price tag of acquiring the original. Think of it as your chance to have a Picasso on the wall before you graduate.

Postcards are also lower-maintenance than full-size posters, so it’s not the end of the world if some of the back comes off with tape or a corner is bent in the move. Better yet, if you ever forget an artist’s name, you can just flip over the card and find it out.

Use photo clips and mobiles

Tired of your sticky-tacked posters falling to the floor? Hang them from photo clips (such as a metal set from Urban Outfitters, $14) or tie a mobile to the edge of your bookshelf. They’re easy to set up and pack away at the end of the year.

Save Second Stage and Film Series posters

If you’re part of a show or enjoyed a film you saw on campus, wait for its run to be over, then snag one of the outdoor posters that isn’t too weather-damaged. You can cycle through different ones over the course of the semester, as long you keep the wall space free.

Ask your parents for old posters

My biggest—and arguably most beloved—poster is from an art opening in the 1980s, when my dad was a college student. Another one of my favorites is a Jules Fieffer calendar from my mom’s senior year of high school, which she filled with notes about her dates and outings.

Your parents probably have treasures of their own tucked away in storage, so you might as well give them a new home. Besides, what’s cooler than a family heirloom that has survived two rounds of college?

Hang record cases and CDs 

If music is your art of choice, scour record stores and thrift shops for old records and CDs from your favorite bands. You can attach them to the wall with thumbtacks or lean them along your bookshelves for added color.

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