If you’re in college, starting college soon, or know someone who’s about to go to college, this post is for you! And while these tips are about decorating a dorm room, a lot of these ideas can be applied to rentals as well.
I still clearly remember the first time I walked into my dorm room at the beginning of my college career. I spent my childhood in shared bedrooms that were well-decorated by my mother. So being faced with the bare white walls and the unremarkable furniture of college life was a bit of a shock.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that with all of the excitement and changes one faces in college, it’s important to have a place you can retreat and relax. With a little creativity, you can completely transform a stark dorm room into an inviting home-away-from-home.
8 Ways To Transform A Dull Dorm Room Into A Stylish Home
1. Pick a theme.
Choose a color palette and a few different decor styles that you enjoy and stick to them as you make your design decisions. Cohesion will make your space feel balanced and less chaotic. If you need help, check out 3 Guidelines For Seamless Style-Blending At Home.
2. Dress up your bed.
Your bed is a significant focal point in the room, so make an effort to choose a pretty comforter that makes a statement. A few decorative throw pillows in coordinating colors will add impact and sophistication.
3. Decorate the walls.
Use stylish artwork, framed motivational quotes, posters, or a mini-gallery wall to adorn those blank walls. This is a great way to really infuse your personality into the room. I love these 3M mounting strips because they don’t damage the walls if you use them correctly. I’ve never gotten a complaint from a landlord!
4. Include cozy accessories.
Keep an extra blanket on-hand, and have a few decorative throw pillows on your bed. Consider replacing the standard-issue desk chair with something more comfortable. Add an area rug if it makes sense to do so. These little details will make the space all-the-more inviting.
5. Add a mirror.
Mirrors are not just for looking at yourself. A well-placed mirror can add dimension to a room and make it feel bigger than it actually is! You can mount a lightweight one, lean one against a wall, or use an over-the-door style.
6. Take advantage of creative storage solutions.
The tricky thing about dorm rooms is figuring out where to put all of your stuff. Organize it and maximize your space with shelves, stack-able bins and drawers, hanging storage, etc. Target is my favorite place for inexpensive and attractive organizers.
7. Improve the lighting.
Dorms are not exactly known for cozy lighting. To offset that lovely florescence, use lamps with yellow-toned light bulbs. Unfortunately, most dorms prohibit candles, but string lights are a pretty alternative. Just make sure to check the building regulations first before putting them up.
8. Accent with plants.
Some dorms don’t allow live plants, but there are a lot of excellent fakes out there – plus then you don’t have to worry about watering them! There is something very sophisticated and fresh about having greenery in your living space, even if it’s just a tiny little pot on the corner of your desk.
When decorating for the holidays, real Christmas trees and wreaths are often prohibited due to fire hazard. But don’t let that stop you from having a little fun! A miniature fake Christmas tree or wreath with a length of tinsel or a bow can add some fun festivity to your space (and of course, you can customize the decor depending on what holidays you celebrate).
How else would you decorate a dorm room or small apartment?
P.S. This post is NOT sponsored by Target. I just really like Target 😉