6 Dorm-Inspired Decorating Tips

Take some tips from your aspiring scholars and try these 6 dorm-inspired ideas for creative and inexpensive storage and decorating solutions. Even if your college years are long gone, you can still benefit from the practical solutions inspired by the small quarters on campus.


Here are 6 easy, ingenious ideas inspired by clever dorm room décor:

  1. Multipurpose furniture is great because it’s easy to move around, provides extra storage and adds more function to small space design. When you don’t have a lot of room, no item or space should be wasted. Think chairs that turn into beds, or poufs and ottomans that double as extra seating. Have a closet that you want to put to good use? Add extra shelves or a small desk and turn it into a hideaway craft center or office.
  2. Add cheer to your space and banish boredom with pops of color and bright patterns. Don’t have time to paint?  Hang a bold tapestry or piece of fabric behind a couch for a fun punch. Or try adding a few easy-to-remove wall decals to add interest to plain walls. Removable wallpaper is another fun option to try, without having to make a big commitment. s
  3. Casters on everything! Add wheels to your furniture so it can be rearranged easily, depending on your changing needs. Repurpose a rolling bar cart into an end table, nightstand, or bath cart. Wheel your coffee table aside for cozy sleepovers or movie night. Add casters to cubed bookcases for mobile storage for everything from kitchen gear to bath essentials to office supplies and more. They’re amazing room dividers, pop up bars, consoles behind a couch, or tuck small items into colored bins for a sleek storage solution.
  4. Soft textiles warm up cold impersonal dorm rooms, and can do the same for your space. Place a pretty throw rug next to your bed, add curtains to soften windows or use them to divide a space, hide storage, or create a canopy for a bed or reading nook. Anchor and warm a sleeping space with a make-and-mount fabric-covered “headboard.” Colorful throw pillows work magic on tired couches, side chairs, benches, and beds.

Combat clutter and streamline your space with smart solutions. Use bed risers to give yourself extra storage space for bins of off season linens, clothes or extra blankest and pillows. Bath product totes don’t have to stay in the dorm hallway; use them to corral hair sprays and gels, styling tools or even kitchen spices. And, don’t forget the inside of closet doors as prime storage space!

Despite the trappings of the texting era, a cork board, whiteboard or chalkboard on a door is still the hallmark of college living. They’re great for jotting down notes, leaving messages for roomies or tracking to-do lists. Incorporate the idea throughout your home in clever ways. Either buy pre-made boards or consider trying out fun, functional chalkboard paint on a wall or back of a door.

What’s your favorite dorm decorating tip?

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