Ahh, dorm living. For many a college student, sharing a 15 x 15 space with one window is an unavoidable reality of the higher learning experience. But your room does not have to be a dull, lifeless crash pad! It can be a warm and inviting space where everyone wants to hang out. And for the first time ever, you don’t have mom and dad’s silly rules to abide by — go buck wild! Make your dorm room your own little spot of heaven on earth, dangit. Here are 30 dorm room decorating tips we’ve culled just for you students who are headed back to school this month.
1. Fill your walls with pictures of friends, family, idols and your dog. Having pictures of the people (and animals) you care about the most is really uplifting to look at when you are drowning in homework and on the verge of hysterics.
2. Get a snazzy comforter that will last. You won’t want to buy a new one every year, so spending some money on a comforter is ok. Colorful comforters will allow you to expand your rooms color range. Anthropologie bed spreads are always a hit and Target comforters are nice, too.
3. Stepping stools prevent leaps into beds. For us shorties, a stepping stool can be vital when forced to loft our beds to inconceivable heights! No more running jumps onto your cot!
4. Temporary wallpaper can transform your white walls. If your school allows it, try spicing up your drab dorm room with this.
5. A headboard can add style to your room. Check out these awesome DIY headboards!
6. Posters are key! Invest in some great posters, because they will travel with you throughout college. This one is super inspirational. For more affordable posters, allposters.com will do the job well!
7. Decals come to life on tired walls. Wall decals are another option for decorating if you aren’t into posters or wallpaper.
8. Throw blankets are more than ornamental. Throw blankets can be useful when you’re room gets too cold, or when your friend comes over, plops down on your newly made bed, and demands a “blankie.”
9. Show off where you’ve traveled. A world map poster with markings of all places you’ve been is a great conversation starter with guests.
10. Cute speakers are essential for jamming out. When the dreaded Sunday rolls around, and you and your roommate are in dire need of some room cleaning, blasting tunes from these cute little speakers will have you dancin’ with the vacuum.
11. Make your own pencil holder! There are a ton of different ideas for DYI-ing your own pen and pencil holder. Here’s a great idea using the toilet paper rolls you already have. Dig ‘em out of the trash now!
12. Cold tile floors are begging to be covered. When your little footsies get cold from the floor, you’re gonna wish you had a nice rug. Any rug will do, just don’t get a white one! Believe me, I already made that mistake.
13. Your jewelry is art in itself! Your earrings should be framed in this cute DIY jewelry hanger. This would look nice on either your desk or hung on the wall.
14. Initial your space. These vivid alphabet letters can be the color inspiration for the rest of your room!
15. Let there be light! If you are like me and recently found out that your dorm room is lightless, without any overheard light, then it’s time both of us buy a lamp. This one from Target is cheap and funky.
16. Lounge like a Queen. If your dorm room is big enough, a comfy chair will be a nice addition to the movie nights with the girls.
17. Get organized. A dry erase calendar is a great way to keep track of your ridiculously busy schedule.
18. Fun food storage. Even if you don’t have your own kitchen, study and late night snacks are essential. Keep them fresh with stack-able air tight containers.
19. Utilize all of your space. This bunk bed shelf provides just enough space for the essential water bottle or cell phone.
20. Sound proof. Dorm room walls are often paper thin. Use rugs as wall art so your neighbors can’t hear your every word.
21. Invest in your bed, inside and out. Chances are your mattress isn’t a pillow top. Do yourself a favor and get a nice mattress topper. It maybe pricey but sound sleep results in better academic performance.
22. Play it smart, protect your stuff. Bed bugs are no joke. Make sure to enclose your mattress before you put anything on it. This will lock in any bed bugs or dust mites from the previous owners.
23. Need a little privacy? Put a cheap room dividing screen near the closet as changing space or next to your bed for a private slumber.
24. Create your own side table. Find a fun wastebasket and buy two. One for your trash and the other as a matching side table.
25. Get yourself a signature mug or glass. You will most likely walk from room to room with a favorite cup or mug, make sure yours stand out.
26. Secret storage. Create your secret storage inside of a book. Keep this on your desk or on your night stand for everything from cash to condoms.
27. Get majorly inspired. Let the subject you’re majoring inspire your dorm theme: here are some ideas for art history majors, math majors, bio-chemistry majors, and creative writing majors. Undeclared? No problem!
28. Twinkle-twinkle. Add ambiance by tacking up clear Christmas lights to the ceiling.
29. Mirror, mirror. Lean a full length mirror against the wall so you can A) give yourself a head-to-toe once over before you leave for class everyday, and B) to create the illusion of a bigger room. Works like a charm!
30. Add some greenery! Nothing brightens up a dorm room — or any home, for that matter — like something that grows. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, a cactus garden on your windowsill will be near impossible to kill and requires little water or care.
Original by Sophie Leon & Daley Quinn