Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room

Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room

Most college students are on a tight budget so when it comes to decorating a dorm, shoestring solutions are needed. The good news is decorating a dorm room really doesn’t require a lot of money, if you approach it creatively.

Covering a Dull Wall

One of the best ways to infuse a dorm room with interest and color for a dramatic look is with a wall drape.

This can be achieved by using an indoor clothesline strung from one end of the wall to the other. Suspend the line as close to the ceiling as possible.

Select a colorful pattern either from a fabric store or a couple of flat sheets. Use colored clothespins to secure the fabric to the clothesline for an instant covering over the dull wall.

Beaded Curtains

Tie-back beaded curtains on a window or closet to add a reflective element. This type of curtain is available in many color choices and bead designs.

Dress up the desk area with beaded curtains suspended on the wall. You can use tie backs and place either a poster/painting or mirror in the center of the curtained wall space.

Decorate with Layers of Lights

Lighting choices can enhance and add ambience to any décor and a dorm room is an ideal space for the layering of lighting.

The types of lighting include:

  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps
  • Novelty string lights
  • Paper lanterns
  • Outdoor globe lighting

How to Use Lighting Options

  • Lighten up dark corners with a cluster of colorful paper lanterns. Be sure to use varying sizes for a great design. Stagger the grouping to create a cascade effect. Suspend from the ceiling or a coat rack to create a unique floor lamp.
  • Highlight your wall drape with a string of mini-lights or globe lights, secured with clothespins.
  • Wrap battery-operated light strings around a grapevine wreath form and hang either inside or outside your dorm room. Add different seasonal and holiday florist picks.
  • Mason jars or vases either clear, colored or painted with designs. Fill these with battery-operated mini lights and place on a nightstand, desk and bookshelf for a great mood changer.
  • Use battery-operated candles placed inside the jars and vases.
  • Decorate a floating shelf with a festoon of lights. For added decoration, weave the lights into an ivy or floral garland.

Paper Flowers

Even if you aren’t a crafts person, you can create pompom styled paper flowers. If you’re good with crafts, then get creative with various cutout flowers. Use these to decorate an accent wall and/or even the ceiling.

  • Dress up a window with paper flower tiebacks.
  • Glue paper flowers to a wreath or picture/mirror frame.

Romantic Bed Canopy

You can dress up a bed with the romantic touch of a hoop canopy. Suspend the hoop over the bed. Choose either a gauzy netting, silk-like fabric or other choice of fabric. Next, select colored ribbons and glue paper flowers and/or beads. 

Other Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

  • Cover the edges of shelves with Washi tape.
  • Cut out different cardboard shapes and cover with decorative fabric for fun wall art.
  • Removable decals or wallpaper are fantastic ways to decorate dorm walls.
  • Create unique frames for wall posters with various washi tapes.
  • Repurpose various items, such as a wastebasket turned upside down for a table and a small framed mirror for a jewelry tray.

Making A Dorm Room Yours

Take a couple of select items from your room at home to give you comfort as you adjust to living away from home. Choose new items that you genuinely love and decorate your dorm room so you enjoy coming back to it after classes. Select colors and designs that reflect your personal taste and style for a great look.



AuthorSally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"