If it feels like the chaotic back-to-school “season” crept up on you suddenly this year, you’re definitely not alone. Across the country, thousands of college and university-bound kids are scrambling to find last-minute decor ideas that will help set their dorm rooms apart from the crowd. Well, say goodbye to the usual beige walls and uncomfortable desk chairs because we’ve rounded up some of our favourite trendy – and affordable – last-minute dorm room decor ideas that will be the envy of your friend group.
A dorm room should ultimately reflect your personal style. Luckily, there’s a plethora of budget-friendly options to help you get your space from drab to fab. Throw pillows, like these feather-lined ones from HomeSense, are a simple way to add pops of colour or funky patterns that are pleasing to the eye. They’re also great for leaning against as you tap away on your laptop or hang out with friends.
Related: 10 Design Tricks to Make a Small Bedroom Look Much Bigger
Instead of lugging a large bookshelf to display all your favourite reads and assigned textbooks, opt for smaller floating options – like these wall-mounted square charmers from IKEA – that will force you to keep clutter to a minimum.
Related: How Many Students Store Their Clothes on a Chair? And 18 Other Interesting Back-to-School Stats
Please Leave Me a Message
A single dry erase board, like this gold-framed version from HomeSense, can go a long way toward adding a personal touch to your dorm room. Leave yourself a reminder, daily affirmation or even scribble down an inspiring quote if you’re feeling down.
Related: 11 Things Every Stylish Home Has (It’s Not What You Think!)
From abstract designs to bright graphics, bold wallpaper ideas will immediately transform your space. But considering your dorm room is only temporary for the school year, opt for removable wallpaper – like this hexagon design from Home Depot – that you can also stick to dresser drawers and other storage spaces.
Having ample storage space is key to a stylish dorm room, allowing you to tuck away a variety of odds and ends to keep your area in pristine condition. Drop by your favourite department store and check out their storage solutions – especially ones geared towards organizing small living spaces for maximum storage.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
This bamboo mirror from HomeSense is like a burst of sunshine – and can magically make your dorm room look a whole lot bigger simply by hanging it on your wall. To help maximize natural light and give your space an airy feel, you can even place the mirror across from a window.
A simple way to liven up a dorm room is to cover the floor with area rugs. Whether you opt for solid colours to match the room’s palette or go for a more zany pattern, it’s a budget-friendly solution to the drab floor situation. For a little more inspiration, find out how this small and stylish space is a lesson in maximizing square footage.
Think Happy Thoughts
Give yourself some desk-side reassurance with a black and white sign letter board that you can use to spell out your favourite inspirational quotes. Looking to break a few design rules while you’re at it? Check out these small space decorating rules to break now.
Combat the occasional bout of homesickness by bringing along your favourite photos of family, friends and pets and attaching them to fun clipboards – like these handmade ones from Etsy – and hang on the wall or lean against a desk. They’re easier to pack compared to hefty frames and allow for easy swaps if you want to change up the images.
Soft and Cushy
Usually, there is not a lot of room to work with when it comes to dorms. Instead of lugging in a clunky couch that will take up the majority of your space, try something a little more fun and low-key like floor cushions you can move around and offer as seating for friends.
Chalk it Up
are a simple and inexpensive way to liven up your dorm space. Attach them to walls, mirrors or cabinets for fun ways to note down daily reminders or have your friends leave you messages and inside jokes.
Related: We Love These Novel Ways of Turning Book Collections Into Works of Art
Elevate your plant game and introduce a little greenery into your dorm room with hanging terra cotta plants that will brighten up your space in no time. If you’re looking for something even more low-maintenance, try one of these easy-to-care-for indoor plants that go beyond succulents.
You can’t go wrong with a little washi tape. The bold, colourful decorative adhesive tape is great for decorating cabinets, scrapbooks and picture frames – so stock up on supplies and don’t forget to pack them for the school year.
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