Monday, July 28, 2014

Dorm Room Décor On a Budget

Happy Monday my friends! I hope you all had a splendid weekend!

It’s getting to be “back to school” time, which has got me thinking about when I started college 10 years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long, eek!).

me and renessa

Me during my first semester in college, look at that long blonde hair!

I loved college, and even though dorm living can be challenging I kind of loved it. I lived in the dorms for the first 2.5 years before moving into a house during my senior year. My dorm room freshman year was not very cute though: I had a solid red comforter with yellow jersey sheets and very little wall décor. I don’t know what made me think the red and yellow combo would look good, but it sucked. Sophomore year I upgraded to a really cute light blue floral bedding set I bought on clearance from Urban Outfitters and lined the wall above my bed with pages from a Monet calendar. Much better Smile 

So in the “back to school” spirit, here’s a mood board for a colorful girl’s dorm room with a few things I would love to have if I was going back to college. And since most kids don’t have a ton of money for dorm room décor, I kept everything on a budget: everything pictured below adds up to just $208!

colorful dorm decor

  • Paisley Birds on Wire Wall Decal, $32 from Urban Outfitters. This is a great way to add some big impact style (literally, it’s 60” wide!) to your walls for very little money. The vinyl decal should work on most dorm room walls and shouldn’t violate their rules about what you can and cannot hang.
  • Magical Thinking Triangle Chain Duvet Cover, $20 (on clearance) from Urban Outfitters. Love the bright pink geometric design balanced with the white, and $20 is an absolute steal for a duvet cover!
  • Chevron Sham, $10, and Embroidered Leaf Toss Pillow, $17, both from Target. It’s fun to mix and match your bedding a little bit, plus it’s good to have extra pillows to make your bed a comfy place to study or watch movies.
  • Squirrel Jewelry Tree, $20 from Target. A jewelry stand is a great way to store and display your jewelry without taking up a lot of desk space. Bonus points if you know why I picked the squirrel one!
  • Cavallini Vintage Eiffel Tower Gift Wrap, $4 from Paper Source. Cavallini gift wrap is one of my favorite sources for cheap wall décor. It might be slightly more delicate than a poster, but it looks just as nice, if not nicer, and the designs are fantastic. I would have loved this Eiffel Tower print (I was a French minor and I studied abroad there during my junior year), but there are a ton of other options if French isn’t your thing.
  • Locust Neon Denim Rug Rug, $10 (on clearance) and Kilim Arrow Rug, $20 (on clearance), both from Urban Outfitters. I never had a throw rug in my dorm rooms but I think they’re a great idea, especially when they’re as cheap as these are. Use the denim one as an oversized welcome mat and the kilim in the middle of the room to add pattern and comfort to your floor.
  • 4-drawer storage cart, $20 from Target. Storage is very limited in a dorm room, so an extra cheap dresser like this is essential. I lofted my bed just high enough that the plastic drawers would fit underneath and it worked perfectly. You’ll especially need the extra storage if you join a sorority or any other college association from which you’ll accumulate approximately 195 t-shirts.
  • Pink & Gray Marble paper, $8 from Paper Source. I’d recommend dressing up the plastic dresser with a pretty paper like this one. One sheet should be all you need to cover the front of the drawers, and it will make a big design impact while also hiding the contents of the dresser. This tutorial from LW Designs does a great job of walking you through the process.
  • White 3-shelf Bookcase, $22 from Target and Pink Fabric Bins, $10 for 2 from Bed Bath & Beyond. Like I said earlier, storage can be a huge problem in the dorms. A cheap bookshelf like this was a huge help for me. It can pull triple duty as a side table, bookshelf, and extra storage for small items when you add the fabric cubes.
  • Microfleece blanket, $15 from Target. A comfy throw blanket is essential, especially during the colder months (which in Missouri was 7 out of the 9 months we were in school). If you’re a good kid who makes her bed everyday (I was definitely not), this would look good draped across the end of the bed and it would help break up the big hit of pink from the bedspread.

This mood board obviously doesn’t include everything you’ll need (sheets, pillow, sham, duvet, bathroom storage, laundry basket, etc), but it gives you a great start.

For more info on how to cleverly outfit a dorm room, check out this Buzz Feed article, “17 Super Simple Dorm Room Organization Tips.”

What was your dorm room like? Is there anything you especially loved or hated about how it was decorated? Are there any essentials you think I left off this list?

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