Home Sweet Dorm: 6 DIY Ways to Make it Your Own

Dorms are generally a very bland place to live, typically with bland beige painted over cinder block walls, florescent lighting and boring carpets. Want to paint the walls? No way. Want to rip up the carpets and lay down a hard wood floor you’d actually enjoy looking at? Forget about it!

While you are limited on what you can do with your rental, you don’t have to let these no-remodeling rules prevent you from making your dorm your own space that’s customized to your tastes. Check out these tips to transform your rental into a space you’ll love.

Decorate With Plywood and Wallpaper

Another innovative way to spice up your rental is to spruce up your walls with a plywood and wallpaper combination. Since most dorms don’t allow you to paint or wallpaper your walls—and in some cases you can’t even hang pictures—taking this approach can bring color to your walls without upsetting your RA. How do you do it? Simply find a wallpaper design you love, cover a piece of plywood with it, and prop your creation against the wall.

Improve Your Furniture

Once you have everything moved in and you realize your place doesn’t feel right, perhaps it’s not the white walls and neutral carpeting throwing off your style. Your furniture, after all, is the centerpiece of each room, so if you can upgrade these pieces, you can improve the overall ambiance of your rental.

Need some ideas? Here are a few easy ways to spice up your home’s style with your furniture:

  • Paint the wood. Need more color to the room? Get rid of the neutrals and brighten your home with various pieces of bright furniture.
  • Reupholster your furniture. Are your couch, love seat, and chair too normal? Does it take away from the chic appearance of your living room? You don’t have to completely replace your furniture, but you can opt to reupholster it instead.
  • Make your furniture shine. Sick and tired of a dull kitchen table or a worn coffee table? Make your home sparkle by using a furniture polish.

Bring Nature Inside

While you may not be allowed to house a pet when you living in a dorm, you can still place plants along your windows. This gives you the chance to add color, improve your environment, and bring your favorite plants indoors to make it really feel like home.

You might also consider taking care of a vertical garden so you can enjoy the food from your plants, too. Since vertical gardens don’t take up much space, they’re the perfect alternative to a back-yard garden or patio garden when you’re limited on space in your dorm.

Lay an Area Rug

If your dorm’s carpeting is too awful to deal with, cover it up with an area rug. Even if you don’t have enough rug to cover the entire floor, it will help you feel at home with the style and color of carpet you love. Need some ideas? Start at Area Rugs to discover a plethora of rugs to spruce up your rental.

Improve the Lighting

There’s not much you can do for overhead lighting to brighten up your rental, but you can place lamps around the home to maintain a happy ambiance. You can sometimes install your own curtains, too. Opt for a set of curtains that add color to the place while still letting in the sunshine.

Make the Walls Your Own

Depending on your landlord’s guidelines, you may be able to hang photos on the walls. In this case, take advantage of this and personalize your walls with photos of you and your friends so that whenever you come home, you know this place is yours.

You can also customize your space by installing shelves, hanging artwork, or displaying other keepsakes. What if you aren’t allowed to use nails to hang photos? Consider using wall decals to personalize your rental, or use 2 sided tape or even Velcro tape rolls, so in case you wanted to, you could switch up where your pictures are on your wall with ease.

No matter how strict your dorm rules are, you can make it your own by using these mentioned tips. Need more ideas? Check out these other ways to make your dorm feel more like a home.

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