Depending on the house and style of room that you choose, rooms can look pretty different at Caltech. Generally, the south houses (Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Ricketts) have similar options, and the north houses (Lloyd, Page, Venerable) are similar in their room styles as well. Rooms in Bechtel and Avery tend to look different from the north and south house rooms as well. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing an example of what a Fleming (south house) single generally looks like, and how I’ve chosen to decorate mine.
Here is the view of my room from my door. I have included images of the different sections of my room from left to right.
This is my desk area. As you can see, I have a desk large enough to accommodate a monitor along with my laptop and some other essentials. I’ve also chosen to store some things underneath my desk against the wall. I am a big fan of colorful decorations, and I’m also a tennis player as you may be able to tell by the tiny tennis racket hanging above my desk!
Here is my stuffed animal hammock. Last year I stored them all on a shelf in my room, but this year I opted for this method because it is not only pretty cute, but also allowed me to use that shelf space to store other things. The general policy for mounting things to the walls on campus is that as long as what you are doing doesn’t damage the paint or wall itself, it is okay. While you cannot drill into the walls or stick things using a strong adhesive, command strips and hooks are often a good way to get the job done. As you can see here, I have used command hooks to mount my hammock.
Here is my bed/futon area. The provided beds at Caltech, like most college dorms, are twin XL-sized, and when I first moved in, my bed was at about half this height. One thing you can do to increase the amount of usable space in your room is to loft your bed. I chose to do this so that I could put my futon underneath. This futon is great for having friends over to hang out or work, or even for when I don’t feel like making it up to the bed to sleep.
To the right of my bed you can see my fridge. Many Caltech students choose to have mini fridges in their rooms to provide a place to store any groceries you may have or just leftovers from previous meals.
My mini fridge also serves as my shelf for all of my plants. I recently began adopting plants, but as of now they are all succulents, as I want to be sure I don’t accidentally kill any higher maintenance ones. I hope that my window will provide enough sunlight for them to thrive this year.
Here is my sink. I believe that every Caltech dorm room comes equipped with a sink, and it is a feature that many Caltech students really appreciate. It makes it so much easier to brush your teeth and wash your hands, as you don’t have to constantly leave your room to do these things. The mirror also has storage for toiletry products, and the cabinet underneath the sink has a larger storage space for other things.
To the right of my sink are my display shelves. Here I have a lot of my books and other mementos. Being able to display some of my things has allowed me to add lots of personality to my room and make it feel homey.
Under these shelves, the room has a set of drawers in which I store some of my clothes and other things. I also bought a little rolling cart to hold some of my eating utensils and snacks.
And finally, here is my closet. I’ve printed many photos of my favorite memories and people to add some more color to my room and make the room feel even more homey. Inside the closet, there are a couple rows of high shelves and a rod for hanging clothes. One thing I have not shown in my room tour are two dressers that come standard with every room. In order to fit my couch and fridge into my room, I chose to store these dressers in my closet.
I hope you enjoyed my room tour! I’ve really enjoyed decorating it over the summer months and have created a space that I love. No matter where you end up for college, my advice would be to take the time and effort to make your dorm room your own! Being able to have a space that you feel excited to come back to every day is really important, and I have definitely seen a shift in my relationship with my own room this year versus my first year on campus, when I decorated a lot less. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extensive, just do what feels right for you.