Moving away from home for the first time is an exciting experience. Part of the experience of going to college is living on your own (or with a roommate). Even though you are coming to the U.S. to study, you also probably want to have fun and be comfortable. Decorating your dorm room can be a great way to personalize your style and bond with your roommate. However, the cost associated with decorating your dorm room can really add up. To help offset your expenses, be sure to check out our ideas on dorm room designs on a budget.
Get Creative with Your Wall
There is nothing more depressing when you first move into your dorm room than a blank, colorless wall. There are tons of different ways to decorate your dorm room wall and be economically responsible at the same time. If you are looking to cover a larger wall space, tapestries can be a fun and colorful way to personalize your space. Another of our dorm room designs on a budget that you may like is hanging photographs on the wall. You can purchase some Christmas lights or lanterns and attach photos with clothespins to hang on your wall.
If you are also looking for your way to consolidate space, you can consider hanging bookshelves. You can either stack books or even fill up mason jars with different objects, like sand and seashells. There are many DIY (do-it-yourself) crafts that can look great at little to no cost. Also, if you have a lot of jewelry, you can display your necklaces on your wall. Simply stick a push pin or a command hook in the wall and hang your accessories there.
Rent Furniture with Cort
Practically speaking,buying extra furniture pieces may not be your best option. If you are an international student, chances are you will return to your home country for summer and when you graduate. This means that any furniture you do buy will either need to be shipped back to your home country, sold or given away. Shipping overseas, especially heavier items, is outrageously expensive. Even though selling and giving away furniture is an option, you probably will not receive the full value of the item.
To get the best bang for your buck, Cort Furniture Rental is a great option. Whether you need to outfit an entire apartment or only a few essentials for your dorm, Cort has a variety of options to meet your needs. You have the option of monthly payments so that you do not have to pay all at once. If you are interested in buying just a couple of select pieces, Cort also provides clearance furniture at a reduced cost.
Furniture hunting can be fun! Keep in mind, though, that your school may already have furniture in your dorm. You should be sure to reach out to your school to see what types of items they recommend you rent.
Let’s take a moment and be honest with ourselves. Dorm rooms do not provide a ton of space. Whether you overpacked or like a lot of open space in your room, storage becomes super important (especially when you have a roommate). However, storage is about more than just efficiency. It is possible to have aesthetically pleasing storage that is functional. Consider purchasing some nice baskets to put books and magazines. Also, vintage-style trunks can hold some bulkier items like a spare set of sheets, towels and extra books. They also look super cute stacked and can be easily found at used goods stores or garage sales.
You can also find smaller storage organizers that fit in your desk drawer for smaller items. These are typically useful for items like paper clips, thumb drives, pens/pencils and paper. Drawer organizers can also be used for staying organized, which is great on days when you are running late for class. You can also purchase decorative storage bins to slide underneath your bed to hold certain seasonal clothing.
Another key point to consider about storage is that it may be very helpful as you are moving in and out of different dorm buildings. As international students, you probably will not be taking your belongings back to your home country. Keeping everything together in one large storage bin may also help when you move in and out of your dorm. Be sure to ask what you can do with your items in between each academic year if you are moving out of one room to another.
Buy a Plant
When in doubt, buy a plant. Plants instantly and effectively tend to brighten up a room and add some color. If you are a nightmare at keeping plants alive (no judgement here) an aloe vera plant or cacti are fairly low maintenance plants. In fact, they only need to be watered periodically and can be left near a window in the sunshine. Trust us, if a cacti can survive a desert, it can survive dorm room. You can easily purchase an aloe vera plant for around $8 and a set of cacti for $15 at Home Depot.
Science will also support the case for buying a plant. Indoor plants can actually improve the air quality within your dorm! Indoor plants can absorb pollutants through their leaves and roots. This means that plants not only look nice, but can allow you to breathe cleaner air and promote healthier living.
Loft Your Bed
Dorm rooms typically do not have a ton of space. Lofting your bed, however, instantly creates extra room for storage, study or seclusion. If you loft your bed high enough, you can always put your desk underneath your bed to create a small study center. Try to place your bed near an outlet so that you can include a small desk or floor lamp for those all-nighters you may have to pull. You can also design your own small, private living area. Throw some cushions or some pouffes on the floor and light up the space with some lanterns! This can be a great area to relax or do some needed reading for class. If you are concerned about how much each of these items can be added up, there is no need to fret! Check out some of the items for some common “fort” necessities below:
- Globe String Lights
- Small Desk Lamp
- Throw Pillow Sets
- Shag Rug
- Pouffes/Bean Bags
The best part about these items is that they can typically be purchased for $25 or less!
When decorating your dorm room, keeping the price low and doing as much as possible with the space you have is key. These dorm room designs on a budget are a great way to start thinking about how you would like to personalize your dorm room. It is important to keep in mind any restrictions that your school places on hanging items in your dorm. Most importantly, remember that this is your dorm room for the next year. It is important that you are comfortable in your surroundings and have a positive work and study environment.