Dorm Makeover

Dorm rooms are notoriously bland, often old, and rarely cozy. As a result, I made it a priority to decorate my dorm, and make it as comfortable and homey as possible. The best part? My entire dorm 'makeover' cost lest than $100! And, it can be translated into any room, dorm or otherwise. 

The dorm I have is 'en suite', meaning that I don't share my room and I have a private bathroom. The only thing I share with my flat is the kitchen, which actually works out really well because my flatmates are fantastic and we've become really close as a result! (Tonight is Nigerian food night, Indian food is next week, and Russian food was last week. It's pretty sweet). 

The majority of my decorations for my room I purchased in the US and packed with me. It was also the major reason I was nearly over the weight limit on my luggage [worth it]. The one thing I can't change in my room - a nagging misfortune - is the brown striped drapes on the windows. I mention this as a disclaimer, so that you're aware I have slightly better color-matching abilities than what it may appear ;)

Anyways, I did my best to decorate on a budget, but to still attempt to have a room that felt like 'me'. I think I did a pretty good job at accomplishing just that - even in my teensy-tiny bathroom! 

Bedding: $30
Photos/Posters: $15
Potted Plants: $15
Bathmat/Towels: $30


1. Add some greenery. Potted plants not only add a bit of color, they'll also help to freshen up your room and keep you responsible. I purchased these from a grocery store, and I've managed to keep them alive for 2-weeks, so I'm feeling like I'm on top of the world. I personally enjoy terrariums of succulents and cacti, but I have yet to find a place to purchase these in my area.
2. Hang posters with washi tape. Many dorms have rules against damaging the walls with thumbtacs or nails, making hanging things nearly impossible. Rather than resorting to poster putty that might fall off over time, a more colorful solution is to use washi tape. I had rolls in a few different colors that matched my color scheme, which I used as borders around each of the prints I hung. If you're feeling extra creative, you could even 'paint' with the washi tape by using it to write things or form images on your walls. 
3. Use bright colors. Dorms are typically pretty cramped and rarely have good lighting. Plus, staying in a room alone for hours on end of studying can get a bit depressing. To combat all these issues, try using bright colors. While mustard yellow, coral, and turquoise might not be your jam, there are lots of lovely hues to suit anyone's tastes. 
4. Organize everything. Minimal space in a dorm is a given, so it's important to use all space efficiently. I use baskets for holding my hats/headbands, school supplies, and other miscellaneous items. I label things with washi tape (seriously, washi tape is the solution to everything), and keep some table-tops clear to avoid looking cluttered. 

What are your dorm decorating tips?

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  1. I'm really digging your bulletin board (especially your headphone-hanging solution). Very cute! My room has a designated area for wall-hangings, so I can't be as creative as I'd like in here (I brought my favorite artwork to hang, but oh well). I'll just have to save up my decorating mojo for when I get my own place :)

  2. Your place looks adorable and so cheerful :) I'm actually awful at decorating and adding personal touches. And I'm so absent-minded that I usually never notice the lack!

  3. My wide angle lens makes this all look deceptively large ;) I really can't complain - it is quite a nice dorm! You're welcome to move into all the extra space I have ;)

  4. Thank you! It was pretty sparse for a while, but I'm slowly filling it up! And that's too bad. But washi tape for hanging will definitely work in an apartment or future house ;)

  5. Thank you! I tried not decorating in Egypt, but I was just sad until I put things on the walls. I'm preemptively curing my sadness by brightening things up! And no worries - decorating is whatever you like it to be :)

  6. So cozy! My dorm rooms always looked a bit like prison simply because I wasn't able to ever make up my mind about decorating :)

  7. They have little potted cacti and succulents at Kew Gardens that you can buy, which is not too far if you live out west!

  8. Such a cute dorm room! I wish mine looked like that when i was at uni :)

    Lizzy at Nomad Notebook

  9. This looks incredible! I love the idea of using the washi tape for the large posters.


  10. You're so sweet! Thanks so much for the lovely compliment :)

  11. Ahhh thank you! The washi tape seriously saved my dorm; using a dozen tacks would have been much less aesthetically appealing, and I love the pop of color it gives.

  12. Looks great- which is quite impressive for dorm rooms, it's not easy!


  13. My dorm room was very similar to yours size-wise and I so appreciated having my own space! Another girl and I shared a mini kitchen and bathroom, but because it was just between 2 of us it wasn't bad at all. I love how you have pops of yellow in your decor - you did a great job of personalizing the space considering you weren't allowed to change curtains or add paint! The washi tape looks so good.