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Top 10 Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

April 26, 2011
Filed Under Decor 

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One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideasContributed by Cara Hartley, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

Ah, dorms. The majority of students live in dorms during their first and second years of college, enjoying all the privacy and comfort of a jail cell.


However, a dorm room needn’t be a place to escape from. With a little work and creativity, students can transform their tiny living compartments into cute and homey establishments.

The following is a list of the top ten ways to recreate your dorm room.


10. Shelving

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

Adding shelves creates space in a cramped environment. Shelves can be made from anything from milk crates to shoe boxes to books (!). Shelves are simple to put together, relatively cheap and great space savers.

9. Bright bedding

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

Bright comforters add a splash of joy to your cell and help to give any room a new personality. A neutral pattern or solid color is a good choice, as it is easily matched to other items in your room.

8. Paint

One of the top ten dorm decorating ideas

Painting your room is a quick and fun way to make it stand out from the hordes. Paint your room a bright color, if the dorm allows it, and see a world of change. Avoid darker colors (no black, no matter how emo your musical tastes) that are space-suckers, go for light and bright to make your dorm room a brighter and more cheerful place. Remember if you paint you will have to return the room to its original issue white. Another option is to cover your walls with removable wall stickers or a temporary stick-on mural. If allpied correctly, neither one will damage your walls, which is great when it comes time to reclaim your damage deposit.

7. Curtains

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

Get creative! Sheets, towels, and flags have been donned by many a dorm room window. Curtains are a great way to express your love for a sports team, political viewpoints, or hatred of sunlight to the rest of the world.

6. Art

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

Put up a bulletin board with actual photographs (remember those?) of your friends and family, postcards from back home, anything that reminds you of home and makes your room feel more like a room and less like a crash pad. You can use collage frames to create personalized art that shows off your great times and popularity. Funky tapestries are also a great wall to turn your blah walls into cool walls.

5. Mirrors

One of the top ten dorm decorating ideas

Mirrors can make a room seem larger and brighter. According to the ancient art of feng shui, wall mirrors are great for repelling negative energy and maintaining a positive chi flow. Combine a pretty mirror with storage cubbies for a real dorm room double-duty decorating coup.

4. Lighting

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

Collect interesting, colorful or quirky lamps and faux-candles to create soft lighting for hanging out. Find a great task light for your desk. Upgrade your lighting with a trip to the fabric store. Purchasing a brightly designed piece of fabric (if it matches your comforter you get bonus points) and sewing it around a boring lamp shade is a great way to spice up a dorm room.

3. Seating

One of the top ten dorm room decorating ideas

There may not be room for a couch, but invest in a couple of bean bag chairs, exercise balls (you use this one to work the kinks out of your back after pulling your nose out of your books!) or square ottomans and give your friends a place to sit other than your bed.

2. Throw pillows

One of the top ten dorm decorating ideas

Throw pillows instantly pull a room together, and you can individualize yours with a little determination and creativity. Beads and fabric from the fabric store can jazz up a throw pillow in less than an hour. Or, buy great funky pillows to toss around the room and save an hour. For studying.

1. Rugs

One of the top ten dorm decorating ideas

A rug is essential for any student with a tiled floor. Even those who have been cursed with crummy carpets can improve their room with the simple addition of a rug. A thick, comfy fur rug is retro ’70s and cool enough for all your dorm buddies to stretch out on for a study session. Choose a rug that matches your bedding and curtains and your room will look fabulous.



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