How to Decorate a Dorm Room

Decorating a dorm room can be a major challenge since most dorms tend to be small, drab, and institutional. Domestic CEO to the rescue! These 6 tips will help students feel at home in their new space, without paying a high price.

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #73

Moving into a college dorm is the first time many of us get to live on our own and experiment with our design style. But let’s face it, dorms usually aren’t the best spaces to work with. They're often drab, institutional, and can be tough to really decorate because of the school’s rules and limitations.;

In today’s episode, I’m going to give you 6 tips on how to decorate a dorm room to make it feel like home without spending a fortune or angering the authorities:

Dorm Room Tip #1: Cover the Floor

The first thing you want to do to make your dorm feel like a real home is to cover up the ugly flooring. Yes, I am assuming that your dorm room has ugly flooring, because unless you go to a fancy college that has recently updated all their living quarters, there’s a pretty good chance your new dorm room has some pretty ugly flooring, like tile, laminate, or industrial grade carpet. They put these types of floors in because they know these materials will last through anything college students can throw at them. The problem is that they're usually pretty sore on the eyes.

Depending on how much effort you want to put into your new space, you can completely change the look of your room with this one step. There are wood-looking laminate floor coverings that you can simply roll out onto your floor, cut them with a box knife, and snap together to give your room the appearance of having wooden floors. If that sounds like too much work, you could look into purchasing a few boxes of carpet squares and fitting them together to cover your entire floor. Or, at the very least, you can get a huge throw rug that will cover almost the entire floor and give your room a quick update. Whichever option you choose will likely look better than the standard dorm flooring at most colleges.

Dorm Room Tip #2: Bring Your Own Furniture

When you're touring your college, take a good hard look at the furniture they provide for your dorm room. Most colleges give students the standard wood or metal bed frame, with a mediocre mattress, and a very basic wooden desk. If that furniture isn’t built in, you may be able to request that your dorm room come empty. This will allow you to bring in your own bedroom furniture and immediately make it feel homier. Before packing up all your furniture into a moving truck though, make sure to read your college’s rules on this. You may need to request weeks in advance that the furniture be removed, or you may find that this isn’t an option at your school. Be sure you check with them before getting your heart set on this tip.

If you get lucky and the college allows you to bring in your own bed...


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