For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 09 2016
by Parul Jain

15 Quick Ways to Decorate Your Dorm Room

By Parul Jain - Sep 09 2016

Oops, you did it again: procrastinated looking for ideas till the last minute and now you don't have the time to follow through all the elaborate DIYs you see on Youtube. Or maybe you're just not that artsy but still want to make your new dorm room look nice. Well, whichever type of person you are, you have come to the right place. Here are a few super quick and easy ways to decorate your dorm when you neither have the time nor the artsy skills to make something creative.

1. Photos

Flickr Creative Commons - Ozzy Delaney

Use photos to decorate walls or other areas in your room to give it a more personalized touch. The photos will also serve as a nice reminder of some of your most cherished memories. 

It is really quite easy to put up pictures in your dorm room. You can either tie up a string and use colorful clothespins to pin up the pictures or just simply stick up the pictures on a wall using a non-damaging adhesive. Here are more than 1,000 ideas to give you some inspiration.

2. Plants 

Flickr Creative Commons - Rosalba Tarragona

Having small plants in your dorm room gives it a lot more human touch. Apart from getting fresh air, they also add life to your room. Studies have shown plants in your room can reduce stress and make you more relaxed and productive. Having plants also makes one more responsible, as they require the right amount of water and sunlight. If you're planning to keep some plants in your house but not sure about which plants to get, here is a good place to start.

3. String Lights 

Flickr Creative Commons - Tama Leaver

String lights are a super easy and a go-to idea for a lot of people when it comes to trying to decorate your dorm room. It is easy to put up using just a few command hooks and can REALLY improve the way your room looks. It also saves you from the harsh overhead neon lights (which are almost a constant in every single dorm room). It helps your rooms look less empty as well as put some life into you otherwise simple and some-what bare room. You can get a variety of affordable options here.

4. Cushions/Throw Pillows/Comfy Pillows

Flickr Creative Commons - Wicker Paradise

Use funky colored or patterned pillows to add texture to your plain and dull dorm room. Cushions are a super easy and affordable way of making your room look more lively and even luxurious. You can get a number of cute vibrant throw pillows at Dormify or Bed Bath and Beyond.

5. DIY Canopy Bed

Its probably not possible to fit your old canopy bed into a tiny dorm room, but that shouldn't be a reason to bring you down. Using this video, you can learn how to create a DIY canopy over your dorm room bed. While this isn't as quick and easy of a method to decorate your room as the other methods mentioned above, it is definitely worth every minute it takes.  Having a canopy will also give you a sense of privacy and  add some depth into the room. 

6. A DIY Headboard 

Flickr Creative Commons - Stacie

Adding a headboard to your simple twin bed is a super simple and quick way to make your bed look majestic. All you really need is a big enough piece of cardboard and some fabric. It makes the bed look bigger and even helps cover up the plain white walls (to some extent). Learn to make one for yourself  here.

7. Removable Wallpaper Sheets/Washi Tape to Make Wallpaper 

Flickr Creative Commons - Peter

Buying wallpaper may not seem like a very affordable and efficient option to everyone. Some dorms even have rules against damaging the walls. However, using removable wall paper sheets or wash tape to create designs is a more affordable and creative way. Some affordable options are here.

8. Hanging a Tapestry/Rug on the Wall 

Flickr Creative Commons - Kylie Jaxxon

If you're not really into wallpapers, hanging a tapestry on the wall also exponentially improves the overall ambience of the room. It is also a much easier way to cover up the bare hospital-like walls of a dorm room. Some vibrant and eye catching options for tapestries are available here

9. Carpet 

Flickr Creative Commons- Nicolás Boullosa

A carpet is a quick way to hide any ugly stains on the floor or just add colour to the dull basic tiled floor. Carpets come in a variety of colors, sizes and patterns to suit everyone's needs. However, it might be a good idea to consult with your roommate first, so that you both agree on a design before it is used in your shared space . Some vibrant and colorful carpets are available here.

10. Containers

Flickr Creative Commons- Reilly-Butler

Since space is very limited in a dorm room, storage methods are very important. Keeping an organized room will make it seem much bigger and better. However, investing in expensive containers and organizers is not really necessary for this. 

All you need is a few empty jars in a variety of sizes and a bit of paint or other kinds of decoration. You can then paint or decorate these jars and use them to store a variety of stationary or even brushes. You can get some cheap containers here or maybe even at your nearest dollar stores.

11. Floor/Desk Lamps 

Flickr Creative Commons - Linh Nguyen

Using a floor lamp or desk lamp is good for times when you need to pull an all nighter without disturbing your roommate's sleep. They help improve your focus and concentration span as you don't have to worry about not having the right amount of light. They tend to make your room look more organized and sophisticated. Some great options for lamps are available here.

12. Ottoman/Poufs 

Flickr Creative Commons - Bethany

These are super efficient ways of increasing both storage space and seating area in your room. Having a patterned pouf in the room will add texture and colour to the room. This is a smart storage option for those tiny dorm rooms and is available in a variety of patterns and colors here

13. T-Shirt Doormat 

 Using a door mat really helps keep your room's floor more clean. A t-shirt doormat is a DIY that is super easy and fun and you don't even need to finish it before moving into college. This is a very good use for all the free shirts you received at orientation or any other old shirts you want to get rid of. You can learn to make it below.

However, don't think of this as an alternative to cleaning your room every week!

14. Pillow Cover Laundry Bag

For people who forget to buy a laundry bag or hamper for their dirty clothes, this is a convenient alternative. A pillow cover can act as a good laundry bag and if you decide to use a printed one, it would also add texture to the room. Learn to make a hanging laundry hamper here.

15. Shower Caddy as Storage

Flickr Creative Commons - Wicker Paradise

Using a shower caddy as storage is another great way to make your dorm room look more organized and neat. Learn how to use a shower caddy as a hanging storage here.

These are a few of the many quick and easy ways to decorate your room when you don't wish to invest a lot of time or money on it but still want to start your year with a good looking room (even if its about to look like trash by the end of the first quarter). Try some of these and don't forget to post it on Instagram and tag @freshuonline to share your creations! 

Lead Image Credit: Gabriel Beaudry via Unsplash

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Parul Jain - University of California, Davis

Parul Jain will be a freshman at The University of California - Davis in the fall with a Biochemistry major.She loves dancing and singing. Loves anything that's blue in colour or involving dogs. She's also an avid reader and a shopping enthusiast.

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