Part 1 Decorating Your Room
1Add a wall collage. One oddly specific thing you’ll see in tons of shots of Tumblr users’ rooms is a wall collage. This is just what it sounds like a collection of images patched together in whatever design you choose. These can be personal photos, pictures cut from magazines, or even original pieces of artwork you've created. There's no limit to the size of your collage besides the edges of your wall, so get creative!
- For the purposes of this article, let's follow along with a few running examples. Let's say that three young adults, David, Kim, and Luis, are trying to turn their boring bedrooms into awesome Tumblr rooms. By following along as these people add Tumblr style to their rooms, we can get a sense for the sort of decisions you can make when you're fixing up your own room.
- Let's start with David. David has a habit of documenting every event in his and his friends' lives with the camera on his phone. Since David's going to leave for college in a year, he might choose to have his vast collection of photos developed at the local pharmacy so that he can make a collage dedicated to his time growing up. When he gets his photos back, David has enough to cover one entire wall, so he does, creating a sort of "wall of memories".
2Get good-looking sheets. Your bed is the centerpiece of your Tumblr room, so make sure it's presentable. Your sheets don't necessarily have to be very expensive no one on the internet will be able to tell what your thread count is just from looking on your pictures, but they should be clean, stain-free, and match well with the other decorations in your room. If you're not sure what color of sheets will fit your room, try to match the color of your sheets to your wall, trim, or other furniture in the room. Neutral colors like white almost always work well.
- Let's switch our focus to Kim. Kim's current bed is a little ratty-looking she's still using an old, worn-out duvet cover that leaks feathers from her comforter and one of her sheets has an embarrassing cranberry juice stain that she hasn't been able to get out. To cheaply spruce up her bed, she might want to get a new duvet cover (usually much cheaper than an entire comforter) with a checkerboard pattern that matches her bedside table, plus a basic set of versatile white sheets.
3String up hanging decorations. Another common trend in Tumblr rooms is the use of hung or draped decorations. Tumblr users often string up flags, blankets, beads, old clothes, quilts, and so on as improvised drapes, bed curtains, or room dividers. These sorts of hanging decorations give your room added flair, plus an extra degree of privacy.
- Let's meet Luis. Luis is an exchange student from Peru with lots of pride for their native country. A logical choice for Luis might be to drape an old Peruvian flag over their doorway as a curtain. As long as they're not concerned about disrespecting their flag, this is a great way to advertise their love for their home on Tumblr.
4Get creative with your lighting. Tumblr rooms often use unconventional lighting to great effect. It's not rare to see rooms that use Christmas lights, LED strips, or other decorative hanging lights to give their room a unique cozy glow. Even ordinary lamps can be made interesting by using a decorative lampshade or screen you can make these yourself or pick them up at thrift stores for cheap.
- Kim's family hasn't taken down its Christmas lights yet, so she'll borrow a string of these and run it above the headboard of her bed in addition to looking cool, she'll also be able to use the light from these to read in bed at night. She might also plant her aunt's old lava lamp on her bedside table for some old-school cool.
5Shop for retro and antique furniture. The furniture in Tumblr rooms doesn't have to look like it came from an IKEA catalog in fact, if you're looking to make a unique impression, old oddball pieces of furniture can be a big plus. Old furniture can be used to give your room an air of classy sophistication, a bit of retro charm, or even an ironic twist (especially if you pair it with decidedly plain or modern elements). Best of all, used furniture is often much cheaper (though high-quality antiques can be very expensive).
- David doesn't have a big budget to buy furniture for his Tumblr room, so he takes to the second-hand store and picks out a ridiculous-looking old chair: one from the 1970s with garish orange fringe running along the bottom. He decides to place it at his modern office desk to use as his computer chair not because it matches, but because it clashes so awfully that it makes an unforgettable impression.
6Arrange your setup for maximum impact. It's not all about what you have in your room it's also about how you use what you've got. Try to position your furniture and decorations so that they're visible from the angles you're going to be taking pictures and that they make a striking impression. In addition, for your own sake, you'll want to make sure the arrangement you choose is one that's possible for you to navigate easily (it doesn't matter how good your room looks if you're tripping over your decorations).
- If you're unsure of how to proceed, you may want to consider researching basic interior design theories. For instance, Feng Shui is a Chinese design system that involves carefully placing furniture in a room for a pleasing "balanced" effect.
7Consider new wallpaper or a new paint job. If you have the time, money, and willpower, giving your Tumblr room a new set of walls can completely transform the way it looks. These are major projects, however, which means that they'll require not just the know-how to do them but also the permission of your parents or the property owner. If you hate your current walls but you can't change them, don't worry you can simply cover them up with decorations.
- Luis wants a creative solution to give their room's plain white walls a little personality. After much deliberation, they decide to divide one of their walls into thirds by painting a thick red vertical stripe on each side. When they're done, their wall looks like a giant Peruvian flag.
8Research great Tumblr rooms for more ideas. Though there are trends that many Tumblr rooms share in common, there is no single "right" way to make a Tumblr room. Since every room on Tumblr is slightly different, one of the best way to get ideas is to look for ideas is simply to get on Tumblr and start looking at pictures! Don't be afraid to get style ideas from other users all great artists have their own sources of inspiration. Below is a Tumblr you may want to start with:
Part 2 Making Your Room “You”
1Add quotes with personal meaning to your walls. One decoration trend that's taken off on Tumblr is posting quotes to a bedroom's wall. These quotes are often sentimental or inspirational, but it's not impossible to find funny or bizarre wall quotes on Tumblr. To make your room reflect your own personality, choose a quote that's meaningful or profound to you.
- David has always loved a Vince Lombardi quote his old football coach once told him: "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." However, with his wall-size collage, there's not any room to post this quote on his wall. David gets creative by cutting the letters of each word out of his collage he makes a breathtaking design with the wall's negative space.
2Include mementos from your past. As people age, grow, and have adventures, they naturally accumulate knick-knacks, mementos, and other small but meaningful tokens of the things they've done. If you're taking a picture of your room for Tumblr, prominently displaying a few of these sorts of items can give your room a unique "lived-in" look. Plus, on a simpler level, this is a great way to show off all of your cool stuff!
- Be cautious about personally-identifying information. Don't display anything that contains your real name, address, phone number, or financial info unless you're comfortable with this information being available to strangers on Tumblr.
- For example, Luis might want to set an old, handwritten leather-bound recipe book that their grandmother gave to them on their desk to show their love for Peruvian cuisine. However, they probably wouldn't want to show its cover, which is labeled "To Luis Quispe. Love, Abuela Flores." Since having their real name in the picture might expose their identity to random internet users, Luis decides to open the book to a lomo saltado recipe for their picture instead.
3Put up posters to advertise your interests. Posters proudly and directly display your interests for all to see. Including posters in your Tumblr photos is a great way to show what sorts of things you enjoy without advertising your identity or having to carefully arrange personal mementos around your room. On top of this, because they're usually fairly large, posters can be be used to cover barren wall space that might otherwise look boring.
- Kim loves almost all classic rock music, so she has no shortage of posters to put up. After a day of shopping online, she gets a few deals on vintage posters, and soon, her walls are adorned with images of the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, and Chuck Berry rocking out.
4Proudly display your reading, viewing and listening choices. Books, albums, movies, and other types of media can show off your good taste if you include them in your pictures. Try conspicuously leaving a few of your favorite vinyl albums on your bed or taking a close-up of the books in your bookcase to show the world what you're into!
- With her love for rock and roll, Kim has plenty of albums in her room, so she scatters them into her photos at random to show off her music knowledge. She even takes it one step further, pinning her favorite album art to her walls.
5Show off your fashion sense by leaving clothes out. Having your fashion on display can be a way to leave clues about your personality or simply just a way of showing off some neat threads you've picked up people often use their fashion to change the way others think of them or express the way they feel, but sometimes it's just about looking good. Make sure any clothes you leave out are clean and wrinkle-free.
- David prides himself on his fashion sense, so he leaves a vintage disco shirt draped over his door in a few of his shots. He also leaves his closet door open whenever he can what better way to show that he's got an entire wardrobe of awesome swag?
Part 3 Shooting Your Room
1Position your computer or webcam for the best view of your room. If you're taking Tumblr pictures with a webcam or a camera embedded in your computer, positioning is key. You don't have the freedom to move and shoot pictures as you please with these sorts of cameras, so you'll want all of your interesting furniture and decorations positioned behind your computer desk. Cameras in laptops offer a little more freedom, but you'll still need to stick the angles that are possible to shoot through the embedded camera's lens.
- Working with these sorts of constrained cameras can make it tricky to get your whole room in the shot. This can actually work to your advantage if you're willing to put in a little extra work cycling interesting furniture and decorations into the frame can allow you to make interesting combinations.
2Open your blinds for bright lighting. If your room has windows that face the sun, try opening them during the day to give your room some natural light. Bright daytime shots can turn a dark dingy bedroom into a clean, open-looking space. However, sunlight can also illuminate unflattering details that aren't visible when your room is dark, so make sure your room is clean and tidy before snapping your shot.
- Be careful when shooting directly into the light from the window if the sun is bright, this can make it difficult for your camera to pick up detail in the rest of the frame. A sideways or diagonal may be a better choice in this case. Try to position close-up shots so that the focal object is against a shaded backdrop, rather than a bright light.
3Use a lamp or decorative lights at night. Make full use of your lamps and decorative lights at night. Try to light your room just brightly enough that your camera picks up a reasonable amount of detail. You won't want your room so well-let that you lose the smokey, shadowy quality of a dimly lit room, but you also don't want your room so dark that the contrast between shadow and light isn't clear. This may require a little experimenting to get just-right.
- Don't use a flash when shooting your room at night often, this can create intense, uneven lighting patterns and harsh glare on shiny objects. Unfortunately, without a flash, the camera's shutter has to stay open for longer to get an image, which can lead to blurry pictures. If you can't get clear shots without a flash, try lighting the room more brightly or using a tripod so that your camera is held perfectly still.
4Make the most of your space. Bedrooms can sometimes be cramped, claustrophobic spaces. If this describes your room, try using volume-increasing visual tricks to make your room look as big as possible. With the right color choices and positioning, you can make your tiny room much, much bigger. Below are just a few types of things you may want to try:
- Use light colors whites, pastels, and other neutral colors create the impression of wide, open spaces.
- Avoid leaving lots of items on shelves and tables this can create a cluttered look.
- Add mirrors, which reflect both light and color to make the room look much bigger.
- Space your furniture out to create open floor spaces.
5Use a high-quality digital camera for fine detail. For the best photos, you won't want to use a webcam, a computer-embedded camera, or a phone camera. Instead, you'll want to use a high-quality digital camera. It's hard to beat the clarity and detail of a great camera, but keep in mind that this added level of detail will capture everything even crumbs, stains, and other ugly blemishes, so you'll need to keep your room clean accordingly.
- With digital cameras, you’ll usually want to keep your ISO setting below 800 when shooting indoors. It's usually possible to adjust this setting manually consult your camera's instruction for more information.
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- Make sure the room is original and reflects your personality. Most Tumblr rooms are intriguing because there's an element of originality. Choose quotes that are meaningful to you, pictures that make you smile, and print out things you genuinely like, not just things you think will look good. Your room will be a lot more reflective of you if you pick out things you actually like to go in it.
- Have objects in your room that reflects your interests and talents.
- Use brightly colored pillows or pillows with words.
- You can also take either regular photos or Polaroid photos and hang twine up and put the pictures on the twine with a wood clip.
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