How to Decorate Your Dorm Room!

For those of you students out there who are just getting back into the swing of school life for another year, I thought I would be do a blog dedicated to you!

A lot of people end up moving away for university and staying on campus in student dorms. There are also others who just want independence and move out of the family home and into an apartment or house with roommates. I know student budgets in terms of room decor are usually small or nonexistent, but it is important for students to have a sense of ownership to their space - small or large, shared or not shared.

So in honour of the student life peoples out there, I have come up with a blog about simple and cheap decorating ideas for dorm rooms/rooms that I hope will come in handy when trying to conquer your new space!

Step 1: Bed Basics
I found this super cute duvet and
pillow cover set at Ikea. It's called
"Renate Blom" and is priced at $24.99 for
a twin set. Check it out by clicking here.

When looking for a bed comforter, there's a lot of things you need to consider. A student's bed usually ends up having a lot of functions - sleeping, study area, hang out spot, coffee table, etc...therefore you need to attempt to find a comforter for your bed that is not going to instantly pick up a lot of visible dirt. You also need to remember that your bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your room, so it quickly determines the style of your living space.

Solid coloured comforters work really well for dorm rooms because you can jazz them up or down with fun pillows, throw blankets, and bed sheets. Reversible comforters are also fun also because they offer twice as much style choices and you can change everything around when you get bored of your current look.

Step 2: Dealing with the Roomie

I realize that while trying to make your new home your own, students are not always handed huge amounts in the space department. And in a lot of cases there is other issues to deal with, which usually come in the form of a roommate. In other words, everything has to be divided in half. Even if the two of you get along famously, you're still going to have times when you need your own space.

I'll address the "I have a roommate" people first - for those of you who do not have the roommate situation, please proceed to Step 3.

Now, here are a few sneaky ways to create much needed, yet subtle barriers between you and your new friend person.

1. Face your bed in the opposite direction.
I know this does not seem like a life altering change, but think of it as a small, yet effective buffer.

2. Place a cabinet or bookcase between the beds.
Depending on what size furniture you choose, this can help define specifically who owns what side of the room. Small room dividers or curtains can also come in handy for this kind of thing as well, depending on your preference and how much privacy you require.

3. Decide together what the layout of the room should be.
Sometimes this idea works - sometimes it doesn't. But if the two of you work together you can effectively find a way to make the room functional and enjoyable for the both of you!

Step 3: Organization/Storage

Ahhh little you are...

There is a bajillion ways to tackle the storage issues in smallville, but I'll just stick to the main ones that seem to be most handy to the greater population of studentland,

1. Crates, Crates, Crates.
Image from The Container Store
I cannot tell you how many people are a fan of the milk crates - it's a tad wild. Why are they so popular? Why because they pile on top of each other like awesome lego blocks - that's why. You can fill them with all your goods (and label them of course) and then build a crate castle! How can you say no to that? I can't.

2. Raise the Bed
Putting bed risers under your bed always seems to work very well if you`re trying to find ways to create extra storage space. Raising your bed off the ground can give lots of space for storing containers, crates, etc.

Image from The Container Store
3. Multi-Purpose Furniture
There's a lot of furniture out there that has storage purposes as well as their main function. Ottomans, for instance, can be used for storage, an end table, and extra seating if needed!

4. Handy Items to Pick-Up
There are always handy organizations items that you can find at any store. Closet organizers, plastic wall hooks, memo boards, laundry bags, etc.

Step 4: Time to Decorate! (my favorite part)

There are lots of great ways to make sure your new digs have some lovely decor! Your decorations should be simple and effective - which can be done for quite cheap! Most universities have rules on what you can put on the walls of dorm rooms - so you'll have to check that out before you go ahead with your design plan. Here are some ideas:

1. Wall Decals
They're getting pretty popular and the designs you can get are endless! Also - they peel right off the wall when you're finished with them and you can move them around the room! You can find usually find them in any dollar store.

2. Lighting
There's some great ideas you can get in the lighting department! Funky lamps, decorative lighting, twinkle lights, etc.. You can always use twinkle lighting and string them around the room for some extra mood lighting! They look really cute too!

3. Picture Frames
Image from Bed Bath & Beyond
Make sure you've got your picture frames! Yes, this one is a given but it's always important to have your family and friends with you at all times - whether in person or in a picture. You always need to remember that they're a phone call away, and your pictures can help you do that! Why not find funky frames to match your room? Or maybe pull a DIY and decorate the frames yourself!

4. Colour Co-ordination
Try to pick out decor for your room that will match what you have going on with the rest of the space. Curtains, lamps, posters, bed linens, garbage bins, blankets, etc...can all be colour coordinated to match each other!

5. Extra Decor
There are lots of extra items you can add to your room to give it an extra punch of pzazz:

Image from pinterest
  • Rug - Colour for your floor! It also keeps your feet warm when you have to get up extra early!
  • Clothes Line - Add suction cups to each end of the line and drape it from your walls! Use it to hang photos, ticket stubs, decorations, etc. You can also use it to hang your wet laundry when the dryers are all being used in the laundry room! Crafty, yeah?
  • Chinese Lanterns - These great ornaments add awesome punches of colour to your room! You can also hang them high enough that they won't be in your way when you're trying to maneuver around your room.

Image from Bed Bath & Beyond

There are a lot of stores that you can source for the items that I featured above. Click on the names of the stores below to be referred to their websites.

Well folks, that's all I've got! I hope this blog is somewhat helpful to all my dorm living readers out there! 


  1. hey! this is great! we're college kids so any dorm tips are welcome for us. its really hard decorating and dorm and making it feel like home.

    -naz and hera