11 Steps to Easy Dorm Room Decor

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Upon move in, the typical college dorm often looks cold and uninviting. "How can students eat, sleep, study and socialize here for an entire year?" someone might ask. But little things make a big difference. From bringing your own curtains to decorating the walls, you can transform your space into a true "home away from home."

Color Scheme/Theme

First things first, decide on a color scheme or theme for your room. Will your room come in shades of yellow or black and white tones? Take inspiration from magazines, movies, books or home decorating catalogs. You may want to coordinate with your roommate during the summer before moving in on this one.

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After a long day of classes and activities, there's nothing better than collapsing on your bed. Make it even more inviting by purchasing sheets and a comforter with colors and patterns to match the rest of your decor. Reversible comforters are a cool way to switch things up every now and then. Warning: the more homey the bed, the harder it may be to get up every morning.

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Loft Bed

Those dorm rooms can easily get extremely crowded, stuffy and hot. This one requires a bit of carpentry, but loft your bed and voila! Tons of more space to show off your dorm room decor and guests have plenty of room to socialize and study.

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Hate how you look under those fluorescent lights? Alternative lighting is a must-buy for any college dorm room. Buy a cool table lamp for those late study nights after your roommate goes to sleep: it’s practical and decorative! Other tips? String up Christmas lights for a festive look, hang lanterns or purchase a floor lamp for a softer glow to light up your room.

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Dorm rooms often come with drabby carpets or uninviting hardwood floors. Here’s a trick to making your dorm room more homey in an instant: spread out your own rug on the floor. Spice it up with a daring pattern or choose a simple solid-tone shag rug to match your theme. You’ll also be glad when that rug warms your feet in the winter. And peering at that questionable floor? No more.

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You wouldn’t want to be short of adequate seating for those study sessions or simple hangouts; beanbag chairs are a fun, comfortable and decorative addition to any dorm room. If you have extra time on your hands, you can even make it yourself with your own choice of fabric.

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Craving something that will add a pop of color and elegance to your room? Look for a vase that stands out from your color scheme, and create a simple arrangement. We know that college students may be unlikely to pick out new plants every week, so cut yourself a break and buy it artificial. It'll still add a nice effect to a dorm room.

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Framing a few photos to set on your desk adds a nice touch to any room, but why not make photo décor into a fun project? Arrange your photos into a discernible pattern such as zig-zags or a checkerboard across your wall, or cut and arrange photos into a collage. Another option that doesn’t involve lots of tape or tacky putty? Clip photos and memorabilia onto a clothesline stretched across the room.

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Riiiiiiing! There's nothing like facing the reality of time when your alarm wakes you up for a class after a late night of studying. Make waking a little more bearable with a fun and decorative clock instead. Maybe you'll actually have time for breakfast this morning.

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Many dorm rooms come with not-so-nice curtains or blinds that may be broken. Fix this by purchasing a curtain rod and your own set of drapes (or, make your own!). Don't be afraid on this one, you can go so many ways from Asian inspired brocade to sheer and light fabric.

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Adding a variety of throws with different accents is an easy way to decorate your dorm. You can purchase or make these at home; they add warmth, comfort, snazz, and instantly make your room feel like home. Set them on your bed as cushions when you study on your bed or spread floor pillows all around the floor as a seating alternative.

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