50 Cheap Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room

50 Cheap Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room

Laure Joliet
Jan 15, 2010

We agree with Grace and wanted to do our part in helping to create stylish and thoughtful dorm rooms. In our search we stumbled upon some great tips that we'll pass along below the jump. Also don't forget that all of our studio apartment tips can be applied to a dorm room, too.

We stumbled upon these 50 tips on Online Classes for decorating your dorm room. The list is long so we thought we'd highlight our faves along with some examples from the AT archives to get you inspired.

Inexpensive Artwork: Dress up postcards by framing them in a grid. We got these frames from Ikea so it wasn't very expensive. But even just using postcards without frames could be a nice focal point if you use versions with a bright blue sky. But check out etsy, ask your friends

Curtains: Find some fabric, or even some dropcloths from the hardware store and replace those dorm room curtains with some you make yourself. Hang them from the ceiling down to the floor to make the space feel bigger and to create a focal point (if you choose a fabric with a lot of pattern). Check out this video for more help.

The Bed Make the bed a focal point (since it's probably the biggest thing in the room). Mix and match bedding from Ross or TJ Maxx or even Overstock so you aren't spending a fortune. Comb thrift stores for fun accent pillows and don't forget about that quilt you got from gramma, it might be chic now!

Craigslist: Comb craigslist for deals on interesting side chairs, artwork and lamps. You can get crazy deals if you're patient and just having one or two pieces that aren't brand new will lend a lot of character to a space. Check out our daily craigslist scavenger and classifieds section for a headstart.

Lighting: Lighting is key, and if you've only been using one overhead light plus a desk lamp, do yourself a favor and bring in 2 more lamps asap. Look on craigslist, look in your parents' garage, see what's possible. Sometimes just adding a new lampshade can make all the difference. And having 3 points of light in a room (in a small space we've heard of people using 11 lamps and it wasn't over the top) helps soften the space and makes for flattering light on faces and a warm ambience.

A Little Luxury: Granted, being a student normally means you're pretty broke, or at least not rolling in cash. But a little luxury can go a long way. Make sure you have a nice hand soap or shower gel so it isn't all bottom of the barrel. Maybe soap isn't your thing... splurge on a nice air freshener, candle or sheets.

Plants Bringing a litle bit of life inside makes a world of difference. Start small and you can do it for free. Check out some inspiration here and here. And here's a link to foolproof houseplants and some indoor plantscapes.

Less is More: This is maybe our favorite tip/reminder. IN a small space, it's not always about jamming it full of stuff or seeing how good at reality sized Tetris you are. Sometimes simplifying your posessions is what actually makes your living space more liveable. And sine a Dorm room is normally no more than your home for 9 months, take advantage of living simply, if only as an experiment.

See the whole list of 50 that inspired this one over on Online Classes.

Do you have a great dorm room? Share it in the Apartment Therapy Flickr Pool!

Images: Skona Hem, Ron's Sweet Suite, WestEnd Lofts, Laure Joliet, How To: Can Planters, Roundup: Best Handsoaps, Ben's MidCentury Mecca, Emma's Blogg

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