How To Decorate Your Dorm Room Without Going Totally Broke

Decorating my dorm was one of the things I looked forward to most when going to college. My roommate and I started a shared Pinterest board and let our imaginations run wild. It can be overwhelming to decorate your dorm room when college itself is so expensive. Here are a few tips to get a look that pleases your aesthetic and your wallet.

Simple ways to decorate your dorm room on a budget!

Agree On A Color Scheme

When my roommate and I began brainstorming dorm decor, our first step was to collaborate and decide on three colors that we would stick to. Two main colors and one accent color. The key here is collaboration. If you and your roommate work within the color scheme it will really pull the room together. My roommate and I constantly receive compliments on the cohesive style our dorm has.

Picking a color scheme is a cute way to decorate your dorm room!

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Party Supplies Are Your Friends

I really like banners and garlands. A lot of quirky ones are available for sale for a pretty penny at Urban Outfitters or on Etsy,  but I found some very similar ones in the target dollar spot and in their party supplies section. My roommate and I layered two tassel garlands over each other, both were $3 in the dollar spot, and it looks just like one we found on Urban’s website!

Hanging tassel or garland is a cute way to decorate your dorm room!

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Keep The Big Things Simple

When choosing a bed spread, it is so tempting to get a very busy patterned one or a bright one. I chose not to do this because dorms are small as it is, something as big as your bed should be relaxing, not overwhelming. I chose a white comforter and accessorized with four throw pillows which are great for getting comfy and reading at night or watching a movie. My roommate went a similar route and chose a grey pleated comforter. Another reason we decided to keep our comforters neutral so that we could use them for more than one year, which saves us a ton of money.

Simple bedding is a cute way to decorate your dorm room!

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Use Memories As Decor

The main piece of wall decor in my dorm is a huge mass of Polaroids taken here at school and at home. It was so comforting the first few weeks living away from home to look up at all the smiling faces of the people who love me and the places I loved to go. Plus, you can arrange them and add to them as you go, making it a “living” work of art.

Using photos of your family and friends is an easy way to decorate your dorm room!

Things To Splurge On:

A Brita filter was something that I used everyday to fill up my water bottle before class and before bed. Definitely something worth investing in!

Keurig/Coffee Makers are so important to keep you up through those long study sessions after the caf is closed. Also, is saves you a lot of money during the week.

Silent Fans will help both you and your roommate. Do not be the inconsiderate roommate who has the loud fan! It’s the worst.

Mattress Pads are an absolute must-have. College is stressful enough, make sure you can get a comfy night’s rest!

Keeping organized is the best way to decorate your dorm room!

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Things To Save On:

Lamps are an easy way to save your money on. TJ Maxx and Marshalls have really cute ones so you don’t overspend!

Wall Decor can start to add up. Using photos of family and friends is the best wall decor in my opinion. Don’t spend a lot on framed sayings unless they are very important to you.

Storage can get costly when you are buying special organizing bins. Keep it simple with a plastic, no need to get fancy.

Rugs can be overpriced, especially for dorm rooms. Our rug was basically trashed by the end of the year, even with vacuuming it once a week! Unless you plan to keep yours in tip top shape, don’t spend too much on it (try Walmart or Ross for cheap rugs).

Hanging pictures is an easy way to decorate your dorm room!

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Do you have any other tips to decorate your dorm room?! Share in the comments below!

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How To Decorate Your Dorm Room Without Going Totally Broke

Comments, Questions & Rants
Betsy Podsiadlo

Obsessed with organization, music, and feminism. A freshman Voice Performance major at Rider University's Westminster Choir College.