Personalizing Your Living Space

Empty Stern RoomInformation on this page:

Stanford provides the basic furniture in rooms and most apartments; your own creativity will make your living space your home.

When You Decorate

  • Decide with your roommate/s how to arrange the furniture in your room or apartment.
  • Choose a dominant color for bedding, pillows, and accessories. If you and your roommate/s can agree, a main color will give your room or apartment a more pulled-together look.
  • Whenever possible, buy green. See The Green Guide.
  • Consider using a theme—for instance, your favorite R&B bands or sport, beaches of the world, or ethnic fabrics. Check these ideas.
  • Hang favorite posters and artwork.
  • Use pushpins—not tape—to hang pictures or wall decorations. Every adhesive that we’ve found removes paint, and putty materials leave grease stains. (You’ll be charged for damage to walls.)
  • Shop at local thrift stores and yard sales for unique, reusable accessories.
  • Use natural-fiber throw rugs between beds and desks. They define areas in small spaces by creating invisible walls.
  • Use roll-out bins under the bed and in the closet to add storage space.
  • Include photos of friends and family in a collage for the wall.
  • Add a few small potted plants. If you are botanically challenged, go for cacti, lucky bamboo, or an air fern.
  • If you don’t have access to a kitchenette, consider buying a microwave oven and/or, in residence hall rooms, a mini-fridge for snacks.
  • Use a power strip with a surge protector when you need power for more than two electrical devices. Do not use extension cords with multiple connections at one end.
  • Remember that space is limited for additional furniture and storage is not available for University furniture. If you want to use your own furniture, you must store University furniture off campus at your own expense and return it in good condition before you move out.

Restrictions & Outdoors

  • Keep balconies and patios clear—do not use tarps or awnings, and do not store items, even briefly.
  • Please do not attach awnings, tarps or screens to any Student Housing property, including exterior buildings, fences, and trees.
  • Exterior storage units in good condition may be used but they must be made of high-density plastic or non-chewable material, must be lockable, and may not exceed the height of the patio fence.
  • Do not attach anything to or hang anything from patio fences, wood awnings, or windows except well-maintained plants or wind chimes.
  • Hot tubs, saunas, and pools of any size are not allowed within or outside the residences.
  • Keep well-maintained potted gardens on patios; do not plant directly in the ground, and please do not put plants in common areas.
  • Please store toys on patios when not in use so Student Housing staff can maintain the lawns.
  • To ensure your safety, barbecues are not allowed above the first floor of any building, including balconies and landings in EV and Rains. Built-in barbecues are provided throughout graduate housing, and personal barbecues are permitted on the ground level. Please keep barbecues a safe distance from buildings, fences, dry brush, and mulch. Dispose of used coals safely—not in landscaping.