Dorm Room Decorating

Decorating, Education, Home & Family
on September 3, 2009

College students wanting to make a splash with their own personal style often find that furnishing their dorm room can be a challenge. The institutional furniture, fluorescent lighting and commercial-grade carpeting of the typical residence hall are far from cozy, and strict rules hinder decorating options.

“You really are limited where dorm rooms are concerned,” says David Bromstad, host of HGTV’s Color Splash. “You can’t hang things from the ceiling, and you can’t paint the walls or the furniture.”

Bromstad was challenged to decorate a dorm room at Georgia Tech for The Oprah Winfrey Show last spring. His solution: bright, inexpensive fabric, used in unexpected ways.

“I bought five yards of fabric for $30 that had a big, bold pattern, and wrapped the wardrobe (closet) in it, using double-stick tape,” he says. “We used a big flower pattern, but you can use any bold graphicyour favorite sports team, anything that adds a big, bold punch of color.” The result was a hip, colorful transformation of a once bland space.

Here are a few more ways to personalize and add style to a dorm room:

  • Dress your bed. Brightly colored bedding often is the best way to add color and personality to the room, Bromstad says. Consider a bold print-and add lots of throw pillows.
  • Don’t ignore the floor. Inexpensive throw rugs add instant color, style and warmth.
  • Soften the lighting. Fluorescent lighting “drains the energy out of you, and isn’t good for studying,” Bromstad says. Opt for inexpensive, stylish floor and desk lamps.