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How To: Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget


Cramped rooms with white walls and tiling under foot. Having to share a room with another girl (or more). For some, this sounds like torture. For others, this is a sign of dorm life and the joys of college. But when it comes to decorating many seem overwhelmed by the abundance of stuff and trying to stay on a budget. Using this guide you can have the most stylish dorm room on campus without breaking the bank.


Contact Your Roommate

One of the first things you should do is contact your roommate. While doing this, you should go over who is bringing the big items like a mini fridge, TV, and rug (if you two decide to get one). It’s probably the best idea to agree to either split the price evenly down the middle or decide who will bring what. It is much easier than having multiples of large things and having to send stuff home.

Setting a Budget

After doing that, talk to your parents or set out a personal budget for how much you are willing to spend in order to decorate your dorm. Once you do that, it should be easy to come up with solutions as to how to decorate your place. Remember, that for the most part, you are only decorating half a room.  Don’t bring too much because you will not have room for it all.


Most likely, the most expensive thing other than a mini fridge will be your bedding. For most, bedding is the easiest way for one to express one’s self. Twin or twin extra-long bedding is generally the norm for a college dorm bed.  Due to the fact that a dorm bed generally doubles as a couch, a place to study and pretty much everything else, do not buy a solid white comforter. They aren’t fun to wash when laundry isn’t free. Marshalls, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Kohls have great bed sets for all budgets. It’s also a good idea to have an extra set of sheets (or two).  If you need a soft bed in order to fall asleep, buy a mattress pad. Without a mattress pad, dorm beds are unbearably painful. Do not buy a new mattress in order to replace the one in your dorm you will be penalized if you try to trade them.

Audrey Hepburn Poster $6.99 at

Wall Decor

Some other great ways to decorate your dorm is to have posters, wall decals and picture frames. For colorful frames on a budget, go to Marshalls or TJ Maxx. has really awesome posters from $5.99 and up. Wall decals are generally more expensive but do wonders if you are looking for something different. Although it would seem like wall decals would strip the paint off of the walls in your dorm, fear not, wall decals come off with ease and do not strip paint.


Colleges provide you with furniture. However they don’t often provide enough storage in a dorm room. In order to stay budget friendly, try going to Walmart or Target.  Both stores provide multiple storage options in all colors for any budget. They also have storage units that can hang in closets, under beds or over doors.


The biggest concern in dorm decorating is lighting. Generally either there is fluorescent lighting or no lighting at all. There is another way to have stylish lighting. For about $20, Bed,Bath and Beyond sells a multicolored standing lamp. You can also consider going to Target for great alternatives.

Using these tips you should be able to have the most stylish dorm on campus, without breaking whatever budget you have set.


One comment on “How To: Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

  1. Beverly
    August 5, 2011

    I love the colors in this room. It looks like a place you would want to lounge in.

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