4 out-of-the-box decorating tips for dorm rooms

Posted at 2:33 PM, May 05, 2016

Attention incoming college freshmen: don’t settle for a boring and bland dorm room!

You may have institutional furniture (a bed, a desk and chair and a dresser), but look beyond the basics and a blank canvas awaits your creative and personal touch.

If you haven’t found a personal style, yet, or the thought of starting to create a living space seems a bit overwhelming, here are a few potential sparks of inspiration to get the imagination going.

Let an expert guide your design

Freshmen ladies: do you want a dorm room that reflects your personality, but have no idea how to pull individual elements together to make a statement? Then, you should check out

This website presents a quick, 10-question quiz about your personality and some of your favorite things, such as colors, types of music and activities. Based on your answers, the designers present a number of room packages tied to your preferences. Then, just pick a favorite package to customize the items needed for the room.

Like the bedspread, but don’t need the sheets? Simply remove them from the package list to make your own room bundle. Other decor packages include items tailored for Greek life, color palettes and graphic design lovers.

Cover it up

Nothing may be more depressing than being surrounded by four walls of painted cinder blocks or drywall. The worst part: most schools do not allow items to be secured to the walls (by pins, screws, etc.)

You can move beyond a few favorite posters on the wall with the classic wall putty with these practical — and temporary — solutions that won’t sacrifice the room deposit.

Removable wallpaper and art: Get all the style and color of wallpaper without the goopy mess and destroyed walls. Companies such as Chasing Paper and sell peel and stick wall decorations that are easy to put up and move around on dorm walls. Some of the wallpaper options can get expensive, but consider covering up one wall as a design accent to make the room more visually appealing.

Bonus decorating tip: Chasing Paper’s Twitter feed suggests using their product on other pieces of furniture, such as dressers, to give a modern look to a basic piece.


Sticky-note style

Here’s a cool DIY project for dorm room decor: sticky note art.

With countless colors and shapes, the only limit is your imagination.

Two common ways to create sticky note art includesdrawing pictures on individual notes and "pixel art" using many colored notes to create one large image.

Hang it up without holes

If you’re looking for something more three-dimensional to hang from the walls then removable hooks should be your new best friend.

Many students use these hooks to hang up string lights and picture frames. Another interesting idea is to use the hooks to hang baskets, memo boards and storage containers to make something like this organization center.

There are even hooks strong enough to use to hang up bicycles and sports equipment, perfect for guys needing to maximize room space.