Dorms & Living

Dorm Design on a Budget

Even the most drab and out-of-date dorm can be transformed into a stylish and cozy sanctuary. Here are a few ways to spice up your space without breaking the bank!

Think Outside the Box

Dorm quarters can be tight, so maximizing your space is key. Look for furniture pieces that are multi-purpose, like storage ottomans. You can use them to prop up your feet, add extra seating, and stash your DVD collection. A short cabinet can double as both a nightstand and a clever storage place for your mini-fridge or microwave. A headboard can be a great statement piece— it brings height, color, and texture to a space. Instead of shopping for a fancy pre-made one, you can make your own with cardboard or wood, fabric, and a staple gun. Or, get even more creative and hang a fun tapestry in its place!

Shop Thrifty

You don’t have to purchase everything for your dorm from the big box stores. Save some money by doing a little thrift shopping at places like Goodwill, consignment stores, and Facebook Marketplace. Maybe Mom and Dad have some hand-me-down furniture that won’t cost you a thing! You can find excellent pieces to repaint and repurpose.

Get Crafty

Can you say DIY? With the help of Pinterest and other how-to sites, there are endless possibilities! Dress up those drab dorm walls by creating a collage of printable art and quotes, or by using removable wallpaper and wall decals.

Always Accessorize

It’s all in the details! Accessories really put the finishing touch on space. Start simple with your bigger staple pieces, like neutral-colored bedding. Then, dress it up with a fun throw, printed pillows, and a stylish headboard. Lighting makes a big difference in a room as well. There are tons of ways to hang white string lights for added ambiance. Remember to think about accessories for all surfaces: office supplies for your desk, a rug for the floor, string lights for the ceiling, and artwork for the walls. Designing the dorm room of your dreams doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. By following these simple tips, you’re sure to have a stylish space and save a pretty penny!


Danielle Brown is a Montgomery, AL native and owner of Danielle Brown Interior Design. Specializing in residential interior design, she offers a variety of services ranging from interior consultations to complete custom-designed homes.

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