Dorm Design on a Dime


Many college students (and parents) obsess over what their dorm will look like. After all, this will be your home away from home. Finding furnishings and design pieces to accent your new small space can get expensive. Odds are you will not be in your dorm for longer than a year so don’t break the bank on items you won’t end up keeping. Below are some helpful tips on getting started on your new beautiful, budget-friendly bedroom.

Make a List: Make a shopping list with three columns: 1. what you REALLY need, 2. what you want, 3. unnecessary but coveted items. Withdraw the amount of money you want to spend in cash so that you don’t go over your budget. Cross all the items from column 1 first, then 2 and eventually 3 if you have extra cash flow.

Find Your Vision: By having a set vision or color scheme in mind, it will not only save you time but save you money as you won’t be buying things you don’t need or that won’t match. Don’t be afraid to go “simple”. If you do it right, you can pull off a trendy space with a few key pieces; remember less is more. If you aren’t design-centric, you can always look to Pinterest or design blogs for room inspiration.

Use & Re-use: If you look around your room, you may have things that can be re-used in your new room. If something isn’t in the realm of your vision, consider if changing something about it will make it work for you. Sometimes a coat of spray paint can change the entire look and feel of something. Take that old metal trashcan, spray paint it gold, add a lamp and you have a new bedside table.

Keep Looking: If you find something you love but know that will eat a large chunk of your budget, look other places first. Thrift stores may have similar pieces that you can paint over. Others may have small defects resulting in a discounted prices. Online retailers also tend to price their items more competitively and you can have it shipped straight to your dorm room.

This can be a stressful time but it shouldn’t be. Designing your dorm room on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing your design style, it just means a little extra effort. Challenge yourself!

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