Save Space and Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

There’s nothing more exciting for high school grads than going off to college. It isn’t as commonplace to go off to college in a whole different city in Canada, but it does happen and it seems to happen quite often in the US.

We all know how small dorm rooms can be. They are squishy and tight, and sometimes you have a roommate that makes the walls seem even more close together.

On top of that, students tend to be on a tight budget considering that they are generally unemployed (or have part time or low paying jobs) and have school to pay for.

dorm room pic

 Photo from

Here are some tips to settle into your new dorm without going bankrupt and losing space:

Use Texture

Texture is something that can create an interesting focal point without taking up space. If your rug is woven and your sheets are linen and there is a different texture on your window coverings, it can create a visually appealing space on a budget and with space.

You need to buy these things anyway so using texture is a great way to decorate while saving money.

Avoid Clutter

One of the things that some students do which tend to hurt instead of help them more often than not is over decorating. They bring in posters from their teenage years, clutter from classes and memorabilia from their lives back home.

Pictures are hung up on walls and sometimes even just thumb tacked.

Avoiding clutter is a FREE way of keeping your space interesting, and visually appealing. Plus, it’s hard to study with clutter distracting you.

Stick to One Accent Colour

I went to a friend’s dorm room one time and she had pink, purple, green, blue, and grey everywhere. It was all bright colors and it was overwhelming. She was in such a small space and I can’t imagine how she was able to live like that.

One of the best ways clean up a room is by sticking to one accent colour and using neutrals for the rest. Greys, blacks, whites, and wood tones are great neutrals.

Use Classifieds

There are so many people out there that re-decorate every year, and list their old décor on Craistlist, Kijiji or equivalent. Why not snag some free or cheap deco there and save some money?

Desks are everywhere, so you can get them usually for free, and if it’s it not-so-great condition, slap a coat of paint on it.

Ikea & Target

I’m a personal fan of Ikea because it’s got $0.75 hot dogs, and who doesn’t like that? But in all seriousness there is plenty of great, cheap décor perfect for a dorm at Ikea.

It doesn’t’ matter that it’s not the best quality since you are decorating a dorm room, not a mansion.

These are all tips to decorate your dorm room on a budget and saving space all at once.


Save Space and Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget — 11 Comments

  1. Love IKEA and Target. Its cheap and does not last a long time, but sometimes, you just need something to work for a few years.
    I also shopped at Goodwill a lot for decorations. They were cheap and I could afford them and a lot of times, they were in great condition, which was awesome!

  2. Use of texture is very interesting. I’ve never thought of using texture to accent a design. And I do love IKEA – where we live we don’t have hotdogs though, only meatballs!

  3. Rugs are so underrated. I went years without a rug (the single years) but when I met my wife and she started “rugging up” the hardwood floors, it really made the rooms feel comfortable. I haven’t bought a lot of furniture at Amazon. I like to see it in person. But I could window shop and price check on Amazon. Love Ikea though. My wife… not as much as me. :)

  4. I had so much stuff when I was in college – way too much clutter. I did make my own curtains for my dorm room though lol. I tried to bring my entire room from my parents house to college which was a mistake.

  5. Pingback: Getting Your Home Ready for Selling It | Suburban Finance

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