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The 15 Best Ways to Decorate Your Dorm

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Aly Asks: Hi Mr. Kate! I am going to be starting my sophomore year of college in September and will be an RA. I’ll have a ton of people coming in and out of my room so I wanted to know if you had any tips/tricks for styling a dorm room so it doesn’t look so typical and average. Thanks!

My Answer: Hi Aly! I totally get it! College is the time where you get to experiment with your style and that includes how you decorate your dorm! I think the trap when decorating a dorm is to let the rules dull the finished product. Lackluster bedding and some posters taped to the wall is waah waaah. You have to get creative with how to hang stuff and not use nails, etc. but it is possible! Command hooks and strips stick really well and then remove easily off the wall. I also recommend bringing in real-life pieces of furniture to make it feel homey. By that I mean textiles like tapestries, rugs, change out your desk chair, bring in a cute side table, etc.

See below for 15 of my favorite dorm room decorating tips!

For a completed dorm room all styled with fun DIYs, check out DIY Dorm Room Design.

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1. A DIY Tapestry Headboard adds color and texture to a wall and if you let it swag it will give your bed a canopy look. Attach something like this by using a curtain rod through the fabric and attaching the curtain rod to the ceiling with twine and command hooks.

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2. Apartment Therapy’s DIY Dorm Bed Canopy. Love the tassel detail!

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3. Do something funky to your walls like Objects and Use’s Washi Tape Patterns made to look like gems. Love this! Get Washi tape here!

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4. Organization is key and Beach House In the City has a great fabric DIY Cork Board to add some color, pattern and a place to tack up important stuff!

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5. This middle school teacher, Life in Middle School, had the clever idea of hotglueing tacks to clothes pin for a cork board. Genius!

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6. Another easy way to add color would be a DIY Ombre Tassel Garland like we made for the Mr. Kate office. These are really inexpensive to make so you can layer a bunch. Look how cool this tassel garland backdrop was at the A Hot Glue Gun Mess book launch party!

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7. Crab+Fish solved the boring door dilemma!  Another Washi tape solution.

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8. We Are Scout’s DIY Confetti Mural is so colorful and fun!

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9. I love how Dormify used dust ruffles and duvets to cover the dorm room bed frame. It makes the beds look very inviting and cozy. Light colors are also nice if your dorm doesn’t get a ton of natural light.

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10. A Beach Cottage solves the ugly florescent light problem by making their own DIY Vintage Mason Jar Pendent Lights. Perfectly adorable.

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11. Gimme Some Oven’s tutorial on a DIY Instagram wall is a must for those of you who have some awesome Instagram pics.

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12. Click the link and get a whole dorm room’s worth of DIY and styling tips! DIY Dorm Room Design.

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13. Pottery Barn Teen has some adorable desk accessories! DIY this look by spray painting some dull desk organizers metallic gold. Perfect for adding some glam to a drab dorm desk.

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14. DIY Dipped Paper Art to add some visual interest to a blank wall. You could also put a photo on each one of these for a funky photo wall.

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15. Why not spruce up the floor with a DIY Why Not Rug?

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