Tips for Decorating a Dorm Room

Living in a shared and rented temporary abode doesn’t mean you have no reason to get creative. Give your dorm room your own personality without worrying about damage to the walls and other areas. You can turn it into a stylish and creative space perfect for relaxing and studying with this decorating tips and ideas:

1. Choose compact, multi-functional and movable items.


1. Choose compact, multi-functional and movable items.

When buying furniture for your dorm room, always prioritize choosing multi-functional, compact and movable items. Because you will most probably be dealing with a smaller-than-your-usual space, the smartest thing to do is to purchase furniture and items that serve double duty. Use storage ottomans that can also serve as a side table by night, as well as a futon that can be used as a sofa and a full bed. Pick slim furnishings with fewer frills to take as little space as possible.

2. Try rearranging your furniture.

If you’re living in your dorm room for a few years now, try rearranging your furniture to find a fresh layout that will work best for you. A lot of people don’t try to change their dorm layout because they got used to it, but sometimes making a change in your room creates a huge difference. Assess your current layout, measure your space and your furniture, and test different placements. Sometimes, you may discover that you have a lot more space than before.

3. Use a clothes rack.

Most dorms provide a wardrobe of some sort. However, sometimes it’s not enough for your ever-growing collection of clothes, so you should bring additional storage. Movable clothes racks can hold your other clothes. This does not only serve as extra storage but it can display your favorite items and let them serve as decoration.

4. Loft the bed.

A lot of dorm bunk beds are good for lofting. Lofting the bed frees up precious floor space below. Use it to put your desk and chair for studying, or a couch for lounging, or a cabinet or dresser for storage. If your dorm room already lofts the beds, then you’re lucky.

5. Create an inspiration board.

While you are away from home and trying to finish your studies, keep yourself motivated by the things you love. Hang a decorative board so you can post things that inspire you and keep you happy. It can be a photo of your family, friends, loved ones, celebrity idols, pets, dream destination and the like. It can also be a magazine cut-out, a quote, a recipe or a heartfelt letter. This will keep you inspired to move forward.

6. Add a custom headboard.

The beds provided for dorms are usually boring and unadorned. A lot of them comes with no headboard. Since beds are the automatic focal points in a dorm room, why not create your own headboard? Headboards complete the look of the bed, and without it, the wall above the bed just looks bare. Try upholstering your own headboard using a piece of plywood, fabric, and batting. Or simply frame a fabric. You may also put decals or washi tape along the wall to make up for the absence of a headboard. There are a lot of easy, DIY ways to create a custom, temporary headboard that will surely bring life to your lackluster dorm bed. Pair it with blending or complementing beddings, pillows, and sheets, for a more unified look.

7. Place a pinboard that double duties as a wall art.

Dorm rooms don’t allow drilling, nailing and sticking non-removable items. So, make it a habit to use removable adhesive strips for decorating and attaching things to the wall. One useful accessory to place in the wall is a pinboard that can also serve as a wall decoration. Buy hexagon-shaped corkboards or cut cork sheets into hexagon shapes. Paint some in the colors of your choice (better to stick with your room’s existing color palette), and keep a few in their original color. Hang them on the wall using removable adhesive strips. Put them on the wall in the way you prefer, then tack on your post-it notes, reminders, favorite photos and clippings using decorative pushpins. It can also work as wall-mounted storage for your frequently used bracelets and necklaces.

8. Use removable DIY curtains.

Curtains, blinds, and other window treatments can be expensive, and hanging curtain rods are oftentimes not allowed because of the “no nails” rule. To give your room privacy from the outdoors, use a dowel rod, a long and gauzy scarf, and removable adhesive hooks. The scarf works especially for small dorm windows. Simply hang a dowel rod using removable adhesive hooks, and let the scarf drape from it. Tie the curtain back using a ribbon, and attach it to another removable adhesive hook to keep it in place.

9. Use washi tapes.

Washi tapes are a crafty decorator’s best friend. These are so flexible, easy-to-apply and easy-to-remove. Use washi tapes to create geometric patterns on your wall to serve as wall decals. You may also use it to complement your poster and stick it to the wall. You can create a no-nail gallery wall in your own dorm room if you like, using washi tape! It’s also great for adding a bit of glam to your doors, cabinets, and shelves with creative use.

10. Consider getting an area rug for your room.

Remember that your dorm room should be made as cozy as possible to help you relax as you deal with college life. You may think that a rug won’t be that important, but trust us, it adds the extra comfort you need. If you’re the type of student who likes things done on the floor, get a rug. But even if you’re not, get a rug still. It will be friendly to your feet, plus it can add a pop of color that ties your whole room together.

11. Stick removable wallpaper.

Transform your boring white walls by adding a removable wallpaper (since you may not be allowed to do something permanent like paint change). These come in a wide variety of patterns and designs that are in the trend nowadays. Just make sure you’re using a wallpaper from a trusted brand that doesn’t leave residues when removed. You can also stick removable wallpaper to any flat surfaces you want to decorate like a plain desk, dresser drawers, and closet doors.

12. Suspend a hanging planter.

Live greenery is an important accessory for living spaces, and even your dorm room will gain from it. Living plants add color, decorate the room and help clean the air. Since you won’t have a lot of horizontal space to spare, suspend your planter using a rope or a macramé hanger. And also, since you’d be busy most of the times, choose low-maintenance types of plants like succulents so they will still survive and stay pretty even with seldom watering.

13. Be creative with shoe storage.

Not a fan of shoe rack storage? Still, prefer storing shoes in their original boxes to protect them from dust? Sometimes a stack of random shoe boxes can quickly become an eyesore. Keep them unified by sticking one type of printed paper to the outside of all your shoe boxes. Then, to make it easier for you to reach for the exact pair you need, attach little pictures of the actual shoe on the outside – it will serve as the main label for each of them.