Dorm Room Makeover On a Student Budget

by Rachel Laurendeau on October 2, 2012

Getting settled into a dorm room can take some time, particularly if this is your first time away from home. A well decorated dorm room can make it feel more like home and help ease some of the stress that comes with student life. Consider this to be your first home improvement!

A word about roommates: make sure you talk to your roommate before you start decorating so that you can attempt to coordinate your decor a little bit. However, don’t forget, you are both individuals and who will likely want to express yourselves differently and there is no point in stressing out over comforters that clash.

Bedding and Fabric
Since most dorm rooms have only a bed and a couple of other pieces of furniture, your bedding will make a big statement. Chances are, you’ll use your bed to sleep in, as a couch, to eat on and to study so having a bedspread that is easy to wash and that hides stains is pretty important. Darker colors and patterns will hide stains better than light colors. Having a few extra pillows will come in handy when you’re using the bed for seating or when you want to lounge on the floor.

You can use fabric to add color and texture to your room by hanging curtains in the windows or to cover your closet door. You can also drape sheer fabric above your bed or across the window for an airy, romantic look.

Finally, if you have cold tile floors, getting an inexpensive area rug will add to your rooms warmth and make it feel more like home.

Find out what the dorm’s rules are regarding painting, putting nail holes in the walls and using tape before you make any changes.

Painting, if allowed can not only help personalize the space but will also make it feel cleaner. Try using a fairly neutral color so that it does not overwhelm the small space and also so that you don’t become tired of it quickly.

Vinyl wall decals are an inexpensive way to decorate a plain wall and add some interest, color and texture. Plus, you can take down the decals and reuse them in your next place.

Memo boards, whether cork or dry erase are handy for keeping track of things but also for displaying photos, cards and other mementos. You can buy one and then spruce it up to make it look custom made, if you feel like getting your craft on.

Photo frames and posters on the walls are a great way to display pictures of friends and family and make your room feel really personal.

Most dorm rooms have only overhead fluorescent lighting. Add a table lamp on the desk to make studying easier and also a floor or table lamp next to your bed for reading or just for nicer lighting when the overheads are off. You can also do something fun like a paper lantern or strands of white mini-lights to make the room feel cozier.

As in any small space, make the most of your storage space. Placing rack risers under your bed to lift it up higher will give you more space to tuck in storage crates. You can also increase your closet space by putting in a closet organizer and laundry hamper and placing some hooks behind your door.

Since most dorm rooms are very small, keeping the decor fairly simple and uncluttered is a good idea. No matter how cute all of your stuff is, if there is too much of it in a small space it can get pretty overwhelming. The trick to a dorm room makeover is to just set up your room to the point where it feels comfy and cozy and makes you feel settled in without going overboard.

Resource: Power to Change


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