Decorating Your Dorm Room on a Budget

Decorated dorm room
Shaylee Moon, an ENMU student, shares advice on how to affordably customize your living space.

Decorating Your Dorm Room on a Budget

When you move from your familiar, comfortable home to a dorm room with blank walls and furniture, the task of decorating can seem daunting and expensive. While decorating does take diligence, making your dorm room feel like home will enhance your college experience by creating a relaxing place to spend your time, and you can do it without breaking the budget.

Find a theme and stick with it.

A common error people make when decorating is having multiple statement pieces with different color schemes. Whether you want your room to feel like a cozy cabin, an island oasis or an uptown loft is up to you. Once you decide on your vibe, it will be much easier to create a room that looks cohesive and organized. You can pick a color scheme off of items you already have, throwing in various neutrals with pops of color. If you can't put the pieces you already have together to create a theme, consider repainting or recovering items to match.

Get creative.

There are many different items that can be repurposed to fit your decoration needs. Ask family members or friends if they have anything they were planning on throwing out or giving away, and flip it to match the style of your dorm room. Instead of spending your money at overpriced stores, check out local thrift shops and dollar stores. While the merchandise might take some love and creativity, you can save money while ending up with items that are original and unique.

Don't be afraid to rearrange.

Most students leave their dorm room with the original floor plan, but you can make your dorm more comfortable by simply moving around the furniture. Flipping your bed and desk to be opposite of your roommate's can help create the illusion of more space. You can raise your bed to the highest level to create extra storage space underneath, making your room feel less cluttered. Brainstorm with your roommate to create a floor plan that feels most fitting to your style.

Below are five budget-friendly ideas to get you started:

1. Personal Pictures

Order prints of your family, friends or anything you love for a great wall filler and personal touch. You can hang yarn, parachute rope or string in any pattern, then with a few close pins or clips, you have created an area to showcase what is important to you.

2. Throw Pillows

Find low-cost throw pillows to complement your theme and your bedding. Even better, reuse old pillows and make or purchase new covers online.

3. Tapestry

Purchase a tasteful tapestry that will fill a large amount of empty wall space. You can find tapestry at most stores or online for a reasonable price.

4. Rugs

While area rugs can be costly, they are worth it for the comfortable and homey feel they bring to your dorm. Lean towards neutral colors to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, or get a brighter color to make a statement.

5. Potted Plants

If you have a green thumb, look into purchasing a few plants for around your room. If you are not the best plant parent, buy fake plants and containers at a low cost to create a peaceful feeling in your room.