Cheap and Chic: How to Decorate Your Dorm Room

When I first looked at my freshman dorm room, I have to admit, I was a little excited. Yes, it was a 7’ x 9’, room with a small window and doorless closet, but I saw it as a design challenge. I did bring with me what I could from my room from home, but in the spirit of starting over, I decided to do something new and fun with my room and on a limited budget. It’s easy and inexpensive to make your dorm room the haven that it should be.

First things first, the bed. It acts as not only your place of slumber but also as your couch and dining chair, too. Make it cozy and bright with a fun and colorful bedspread that matches your personality. Throw on a few throw pillows on top of your regular pillows and set them up along the wall if your bed is against one. You can either buy a bed skirt to cover up the bottom of the bed (which makes a great storage space) or buy an inexpensive shower curtain or window curtain instead.

The window is my next favorite focal point. Adding curtains can really warm up your room and tie everything together. You can buy inexpensive curtains at the dollar store or even pay a visit to your local resale shop. Just make sure you wash and iron them before you hang them up. You can use a simple tension rod to hang up your curtain or, if your walls can take thumb tacks, buy plain silver thumbtacks and space the thumbtacks along the top of the curtains into the wall every four or five inches. Extra points if you can pleat the curtains in place for an extra chic look!

Walls can always be a challenge. You can skip the posters from the bookstore or poster fair and opt for more fancy and inexpensive options. Try a wall decal with a cool pattern or a funky design like tree branches or bird silhouettes. Another cool option is taking old frames from a garage sale or resale shop, spray painting them a solid color (try red or royal blue or even gold!) then cover a piece of cardboard in a fabulous fabric and inserting it into the frame. You can also do a frameless look with a fabric-covered canvas. Just take a used canvas, even if it has something on it, and cover it with fabric. Wrap the fabric around and use thumbtacks to keep the fabric in place.

If you don’t have doors on your closet, hang up curtains, again with a tension rod, or use sliding panels that clip on to a clothesline for a more modern look.

Don’t forget to add a rug!

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