By Rachel Besser

Published on September 4, 2018

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Courtesy of Walmart

It’s officially that time of year when college students begin to move out of their childhood homes and into their dorm rooms. While it comes at no surprise, dorm rooms prior to move-in are typically lackluster. The bed frames, desks, and other furniture tend to lack aesthetic prowess, which is why it’s important to take the time to make sure your dorm is an oasis and a respite. The good news is that with the right decor, it’s pretty easy to transform any dorm room into a home away from home. Moreover, there’s no need spend a ton of money to make your dorm room feel special. Ahead, a peek at the awesome, college budget-approved ideas.

In order to make your space feel like home, it’s important to utilize wall space. Fun neon lights are an easy way to add flair to your dorm room. They don’t take up a lot of wall space, but add a lot of value.

You’ll inevitably have late nights working at the desk in your dorm room. A lamp that will illuminate your space without waking up your roomie is a must. Some of our favorite desk lamps can get pricey, which is why we like this option, which looks the part but won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Keep your things organized in super chic wire baskets. They’ll add a cool design element and help keep your room in order. These wire baskets come in either rose gold or iridescent colorways. We’re loving both.

Bedding is an important aspect of any room, especially a dorm room. In a small space, your bed is one of the bigger canvases you have to express yourself. Go for bedding you absolutely love both in aesthetics and comfort.

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Making new friends can be hard. This decorative pillow will add a welcoming touch to your desk chair or bed. Plus, the pillow’s shape is perfect for giving you lumbar support while you spend long hours at your desk studying the night away.

If there’s one place to feel comfortable getting cheeky with decor, it’s in your college dorm room. This inspirational rug is a good reminder to make it happen every time you get out of bed in the morning. At just $24.99, you’ll still feel like you can swap it out for something else if the message doesn’t resonate anymore.

Many dorms don’t have much room for a good piece of furniture, which is why we recommend adding in a pouf instead. It’s the perfect space-saving piece that can provide extra seating for your friends, all the while doubling as a cool decor accent.

A mirror is another great way to utilize wall space for your benefit. While there’s an obvious practical use for mirrors, this heart mirror can also act as a wall hanging that makes your dorm room feel bigger.

It’s unclear just how much light you’ll get in your dorm room until you settle in. That being said, the more light the better. While there’s not always ample space for table lamps, if you can find space it makes a huge difference. Go for an option that is minimal and sleek to add a sophisticated design element to your room.

A storage rack is a very helpful piece to have in a dorm room. Utilize each tier for storage, or set up pictures and other aesthetically pleasing decor items if you have extra space to spare.

While some dorm rooms are too small for any furniture bigger than a pouf, others have a lot of room to spare. If your dorm airs on the bigger side, a futon that doubles as a couch is a wonderful addition to your space. This upholstered futon, in particular, is the perfect place to have friends who visit stay the night.

Most of the time, dorm rooms come equipped with lackluster desk chairs. While they’re functional, they don’t add anything to the decor. Swap in a desk chair that will actually add to your decor, not detract from it.

A small storage box can go a long way in a dorm room. Keep this one on your desktop, fill it with cotton swabs to easily remove your makeup, and at the end of the night, you won’t have to walk all the way down the hall to the bathroom to do so.

While big decor choices like your bedding and artwork are super important, it’s the little things that really count. Make sure to have a chic vase somewhere in your space. Flowers can really brighten up any room, even a dorm.

Never underestimate the power of a catchall. When you’re in college there are a lot of important things to keep track of, like your school ID, keys, and wallet. Give them all one home, so when you’re in a hurry you don’t have to dig around your room to find everything.

Most of us rely on our phone alarms to wake us up in the morning, but if you’re a heavy sleeper, or tend to press snooze one too many times, then you’ve probably slept through a class or two. A good-looking alarm clock can be your backup plan and decor piece to boot.

A laundry basket is a must for dorm living (and regular living). Instead of going for a hamper that you’ll want to keep hidden, try a cute woven basket that you won’t mind people seeing. This basket is handwoven and features a washable liner.

As we said before, your dorm room is your oasis. One thing that can help make it feel like a reprieve is with an oil diffuser that keeps things smelling fresh. This option is ideal because it stays quiet while you work.

 

More dorm ideas:

What to Do With Ugly Dorm Room Walls

A Peek Inside College Dorms Around the World

Your Personalized Dorm Room Design Guide