- by Belle Frank
Room decorations

Being a senior in college, I have learned a few tips and tricks for dorm decor on a budget. (I like to think of myself as an amateur interior designer.) I have carried my own sense of style into my dorm so it feels more like a bedroom rather than a dorm room. So here are some tips to help you make your dorm room a bedroom too:


You’re a college student now, which means you should embrace the discounts! A lot of chain stores will give 15% or more off of a total order when you show your student ID at checkout, so don’t be afraid to ask. Remember:

  • Not everything has to be bought brand new. Thrift stores, garage sales, and Grandma’s attic are great spots to find some treasures.

  • Purchase things that you can change the look of depending on the season. Such as chalk boards, bulletin boards, or memory boards.


Your best friend for planning out your dorm room aesthetic will be Pinterest. Just search “dorm inspiration” on Pinterest to start your quest. Narrowing down one cohesive style is the first step. I personally like my dorm to have a base of light colors, being as my room has one window.

I start off with that ‘theme’ and then run from there. I also start off with looking in my own attic or around my house for things that I can steal for 7 months.


I know it is tempting to get into your dorm room and immediately unpack and get settled, but be patient. Survey the space you have so you can optimize it, and make sure to move your furniture around a few times to ensure that you’ve found the best layout possible. Then, put away your clothing, make your bed, and FINALLY start to decorate. You need all of your stuff put away so you can get the best work space possible. I personally tape or tack things up before committing with a command hook so I don’t waste anything. Keep in mind, you don’t have to only hang pictures and posters; think outside of the box.

I like to use parts of my wardrobe as decor. I hang my hats, scarves, and hair scrunchies to add some diversity to my decor. Also, don’t limit yourself to the dorm furniture. I know I am lucky and I’ve had single rooms the last two years, but you can also e-mail your RA to request some furniture be taken out of your room.


You’re not married to your design. As your mood changes, you may want to change your decor. I’ve found that I find more efficient ways throughout the semester to organize my things, and I ultimately end up rearranging my furniture or drawers at some point. To help you start planning how you want your dorm room space to look, take a virtual tour and see what some of our dorm rooms (SakacGuzmanCollege CourtsDC) look like!


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