5 Quick Ideas to Decorate Your Dorm

Back to school and looking for great ideas for your new dorm room or apartment this year? Look no further — take these ideas as inspiration and make your space your own.

1. Refinish That Found Couch

Before + After: Mid-century sofa reupholstering.It doesn’t have to cost a lot to refinish or reupholster a large piece of furniture like an armchair or a sofa (there are so many inspiring ways to customize and refinish furniture), so don’t be deterred when your great aunt offers you a loved piece from her 1970′s home decor collection. Does it have a great shape? Is it the perfect size? Follow Kelly’s lead and reupholster a mid-century sofa for use in your own dorm suite or apartment.

2. Invest in Fun Organizational Accents

DIY push pins for the office, dorm, or apartment.Educational studies (proven only by my own personal experience) read that when you make a comfortable and pleasant work environment for yourself, you can become more focused, and therefore keep that 4.0. Make fun binder covers using artwork reproductions. Embrace inexpensive boxes for paperwork storage. And make custom push pins for your bulletin board.

3. Add Accents Using Washi Tape

Use colorful washi tape to update your boring dorm furniture.It’s temporary, multipurpose, and will allow you to add endless personality to your university-provided furnishings. If Ellen’s picture shown below doesn’t make you want to buy every single color, maybe her post on washi tape inspiration and these 10 ideas for washi tape from HGTV.com will do the trick.

4. Think Ottomans

Use ottomans for functional dorm seating and storage (learn how to make your own!)Let me point out that there is no need for all of your friends to sit side-by-side on your XL twin-size bed. Ottomans are perfect for casual seating, and can easily double as a coffee table or bedside table. Best of all, if you make them yourself like I did in this series of tutorials (making a wooden ottoman frame, making a custom slip cover), you can customize the dimensions to fit your available space.

5. Go Salvaging and Craigslist Scouring

upcycled crochet tableLook for deals in your hometown and in your new college town. Whether the pieces you find are like new or need a lot of work, remember to consider ways to refinish your finds and make them yours. If you need tips on how to shop for secondhand goods, DIY Network and Made + Remade are great, fresh sources. (P.S. You’ll probably find that you want to bring in your own lighting sources too, so be sure to check out these inspiring lighting projects).

For more dorm decorating ideas, be sure to check out HGTV.com’s new Back to College section! These are some of my favorite projects:

8 Stylish Dorm Room Updates

Make a Pretty Fabric Pouf

Make a Multifunctional Room Divider

For more design inspiration for small spaces, check out the photo gallery below.

2 Responses

  1. Natalie Diaz says:

    Really awesome ideas to decorate the room. The use of tapes is really a new thing for me. I havn't used it before, but will try it this time.

  2. Sue. says:

    None of this is in a dorm room. Just sayin'.

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About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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