Dorm rooms tend to be reaaaally basic, with their cold off-white walls and lack of personality—hardly the bright and airy spaces where we see ourselves living for an entire year. Instead of focusing on the negatives you can't control, think of it as a blank canvas instead. There are lots of easy ways to make your space feel larger, brighter, and more cozy.
1. A Message Center
Here's a great way to keep yourself organized. Create a DIY bulletin board, like this one from A Beautiful Mess, in any shape and size, with some inexpensive cork sheets, hung with Command strips. Just don't hang anything too heavy on it.
Natural Craft Cork Roll, 24 x 48 Inches; $8.99 from Amazon with Prime shipping
2. A New Way to Display Your Photos
We all love being surrounded by photos of family and friends back home. But, moving past our teenage locker days, we've found a slightly more elevated way to show off your photos on Brit + Co.
Wham-o Original Striped Hula Hoop from Amazon; $18.77 with Prime shipping
3. A Little Bit of (Faux) Life
You don't have to have a green thumb to have a luscious dorm room. There are endless options on the market now when it comes to faux botanicals. Bet you can't even tell which of these plants in Cait and Delany's bedroom are real and which are fake.
Faux Monstera Leaf Stem, World Market, $19.99
4. Every Space Saver You Can Find
Versatile vertical pieces, like tiered rolling carts, are such a good idea for dorm rooms. This one is just like IKEA's iconic RÅSKOG, but comes in better colors. You can see how Homey Oh My used it as a nightstand here, but you can roll it wherever it's needed most. Use it for snacks near your fridge, or to store extra clothing.
Lexington Blush 3-Tier Rolling Cart from Michaels; $30 (use a coupon to get it for less)
5. A Way to Tame Your Laundry
Nobody likes laundry day, but a cute basket makes the chore a little less tedious. Well, who are we kidding, laundry isn't fun. But at least these hampers from Studio DIY are. Not only do these look good, they'll keep your clothes off the floor, and you in good graces with your roommate.
Room Essentials Large Round Woven Bin from Target; $16.99
6. One Major Room Statement
Change your soulless space into something special with one big major WOW. Sugar and Cloth added some shimmer to a headboard with a metallic gold headboard, but the same idea works for drawers fronts and desks. They used contact paper from Etsy, but you might want to go with something removable, so you don't damage your college-issued furniture.
Gold Self-Adhesive Peel-Stick Removable Wallpaper from Etsy; $16.90 plus shipping
7. Removable Decor That Won't Get You In Trouble
And speaking of removable, there are all sorts of temporary adhesive products out there. Use them to decorate your walls or hang just about anything. These pineapple wall decals are pretty hilarious, but poke around until you find a design you like.
Pineapple Wall Decal from Etsy; $16.20 plus shipping
8. A Personalized Front Door
Welcome yourself home each day with something on your door that makes you happy—whether it's a washi tape "hello" (like this one from HGTV), or a bunch of photos of you and your friends. It's a budget way to make a big impact.