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Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Updated on September 11, 2014

Dorm Room Decorating

As a general rule dorm rooms are boring. The walls are off-white, the lighting isn't the best in the world, and the only furniture is usually a bed and a desk. If you're lucky you have a closet. What's a college student to do? Try these budget dorm decoration ideas to add your personality to your dorm room.

And don't forget to add some dorm room accessories for added pizazz!

Cool fabric to decorate your walls
Cool fabric to decorate your walls

3 Budget Dorm Decoration Ideas

Dorm decor doesn't have to cost a fortune

1. Most likely you won't be able to paint your walls, but that doesn't mean you're stuck with bland. Measure the wall from top to bottom and side to side. Find fabric you like, soak it in liquid fabric starch and adhere it to the walls. It is easy to remove and can be reused. You can also use posters or other wall art. Print out inspirational sayings that can be taped to the walls.

2. Your dorm bed is not going to be the most comfortable bed you've ever slept on. Chances are it will have drawers in it to store clothing. Find a great comforter and bedding to make a statement. Add <>extra pillows to create a daybed look. You may also be able to find an accent rug which coordinates with the fabric you've chosen for the bedding. Choose curtains in a complimentary solid shade so they don't clash too much with your roommate's bedding.

3. Raise your bed with cinder blocks if you need extra storage. You can then slip plastic totes under the bed. Closet organizers might also be a good choice if you have more clothing than space to store it. Think of ways you can use items to get double duty out of them. A storage trunk can be used to store things and as a table when necessary.

Your dorm room will come with overhead lighting and a fluorescent lamp on the desk. Neither is very flattering and may not provide the best light. You can use a floor lamp to add interest as well as mirrors to make the room look larger. You may also want to add white Christmas lights can also be helpful when trying to change the lighting in your room.

Chances are you’ll have a roommate with the same lovely furniture you have. Try different ways to arrange the furniture in the room. Rather than having a bed and desk on one wall, try arranging the beds in an L-shape. This will leave a space in the corner to place shelves or a table. Think of ways to add originality to the room layout.

Don’t forget to bring items which remind you of home. Pictures, plants and your favorite stuffed animal can help you avoid homesickness, but they can also be a focal point upon which to decorate your half of your dorm room. Having familiar items around you may also help you study.

Try these budget dorm decoration ideas even if you don’t live in a dormitory. These same ideas can be used whenever you have a small area to decorate. Your dorm room is a temporary dwelling. Consider the space you have and then try to make the most of it.

Dorm Room Accessories - Spruce up your dorm room with these accessories

Ideas for Decorating Dorm Walls

Dorm Walls Decorations

The easiest way to decorate your dorm walls is to add some art to your walls. More is not always best, so choose one or two pieces that fit with your room theme, and add those. Dream of traveling, but can't do it yet, because you need to finish studying? Hoe about decorating your walls withe something that will inspire you to work harder? Here is an example for someone who would love to visit France:

You can always add some nice wall stickers. these come is many shapes and colors, and they even make sayings. Here are some motivating sayings you can add to your walls for inspiration:

Dorm Room Essentials

Dorm Room Furniture at Amazon - Affordable dorm furniture

What was the most fun to decorate with?

Did you do anything special to decorate your dorm?

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    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas here, thanks for sharing x

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome decorating ideas!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Lots of good ideas. The cutest decoration I've seen was using scrapbook 12x12 sheets to "wallpaper" small dorm fridges *blessed

    • Frischy profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      The wall stickers are a great idea! My room mate and I put my bed on chairs and put her springs and mattress on the floor at right angles, sliding the foot of her bed under the head of my bed. This gave us a lot of extra floor space.

    • amberchina profile image


      6 years ago

      @grannysage: I love wall stickers too! Now that I'm out of college, I still use them around my apartment. My mom has gotten into them too--such a fun and easy way to decorate!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish they had wall stickers when I was in college. I made a huge collage and put pictures up that had special meaning to me. I've continued that habit throughout my life as it is very therapeutic as well as telling someone else a little about you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ideas, Great Lens! Check out my lens for creative ways to furnish your dorm rooms!

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great information and very useful tips esp for college students!

    • tomtaz517 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great stuff. Personalizing my dorm is a huge part of my college experience and you've listed some great tips

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Not a bad idea to cheer and brighten the dormitory, very affordable tips that a student can really afford to.

    • dawnsantiquesan profile image


      7 years ago

      My daughter is a senior in high school this year so these tips are great. I will be using them when she goes off to college next year. Thanks for sharing these great helpful ideas.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dorm rooms do need a personal touch and are small, great ideas without spending too much and I love the idea of raising the bed for more storage. The wall covering idea is brilliant!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ideas here - it can be too easy to just let a dorm room be drab, but sometimes it seems like a cell at that point...

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      7 years ago

      Decorating my dorm room was so much fun when I was in college. :) Cool lens. I would totally go to IKEA if I were still in college to do my whole dorm!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      7 years ago from Houston

      Cinder blocks, my favorite decorating item during my 20s. :) Nice job and interesting topic.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Never lived in a dorm..but I am sure these decor ideas would make it for fun for college students


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