Transform Your Dorm: Back to School Tips from a Walmart Designer

Walmart Designer Helia Aguiar shares her tips for spaces that inspire creativity & learning

After 18 months of learning at home, my 20-year-old son, Zach, will finally be back in the classroom for his third year in Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Photography program

I’ve tried to foster resilience, perseverance and drive in Zach throughout the past 18 months. I know these are skills he’ll always be thankful for – and they’re qualities that have helped me to develop my own career at Walmart Canada.

I’ve been moving throughout this company for 31 years – starting part-time in a Woolco store and moving to the Walmart Store Support Centre (head office) team in 1994. Walmart is a place where your passion powers your career and where opportunity is waiting for you.

Today I’m a designer at Walmart, responsible for private label décor and tabletop items, from concept to shelf. By staying in touch with trends and what our customers are looking for, I’m able to help create items that bring joy to our customers and elevate their home.

Shifting to remote work and learning has meant reorganizing our space at home. Zach wanted his live/work dorm room-inspired space to foster creativity, calm and inspiration.

We planned for this to be our busiest back-to-school season ever. That’s why we’ve added more items in many categories, including new décor items and organization and productivity supplies. You can enjoy the choices in our stores or online at www.walmart.ca

If you’re preparing to send your own child off to school this fall and are looking for dorm room décor inspiration – or want to update your own space – here’s how to create an environment that improves productivity and feels personal.

Start With Function

A well-designed space is always functional. In the case of a dorm room, consider rearranging the furniture to accommodate natural light near the desk. Minimize clutter with under-bed storage and organizers. Add some comfortable seating to encourage connection and collaboration. A well-designed desk and office chair, standalone alarm clock and dry erase wall calendar and small appliances like a coffee maker and mini-fridge!

Personalize The Space

Surround yourself with things you love. From inspirational messaging to bringing in colours through accessories like throw pillows and décor items. Replace these seasonally, especially around the holidays.

Bring in Light & Life 

Including different types of lighting and adding in live (or faux) plants can be a mood and productivity-booster. Position your desk in front of a window and add in a lamp to improve productivity and the quality of video calls. Consider LED strip lights – they can change colour and brightness depending on your mood. Plants and greenery can also bring much-needed positive energy to the space and make it feel homey.

Helia Aguiar is Designer at Walmart Canada.