5 Easy Ways to Renovate Your Dorm Room

I’ve spent my fair share of time living in dorms so I understand that those cinder block walls can make you feel like your in jail, and even though we may wear stripes from time to time nobody wants to feel like an inmate. If you agree with me, here’s how to reclaim your residence!

Decorating your dorm can be difficult with all the rules that restrict how far a student can go when trying to personalize their space.

Can I paint or use wallpaper?
Will I be able to use push pins or nails?
What kind of furniture are we allowed to bring… help?!!!?

Just because these rules are in place—it doesn’t mean living on campus has to be a drag. Your dorm room is your personal space and that’s exactly what it should feel like!

If you’re in need of some decorative dorm room magic, check out the photos below to see different ways that students have personalized their rooms. There are many ways to incorporate your own personal style.

Plus, you can also see some of my budget-friendly tips on temporary renovations for your dorm room while staying within the rules. I’ve also created a fun DIY project that you can use to add your favourite saying, quote or phrase to your awesome space!

Before You Get Started: Dorm Room Rules

You’re going to run into at least a few of these rules when it comes to trying to decorate…

  • No painting
  • No trimming doors
  • No wallpaper
  • No nails, pins, screws or tacks
  • No removal of furniture

Use the tips below to renovate your room and get around some of the restrictions without getting sent to the Dean’s office!

1.Give The Walls Some Swag

Most people use paint as a way to add style to a space, but in a dorm room that’s not option. Neither is wallpaper! Don’t panic, there are ways to get around this.

Temporary Wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper can be removed and comes in a wide range of styles. It’s easy to apply and take down.

Friends + Pizza + Beer + Removable Wallpaper = Auto Wall Swag

Washi Tape

If wallpaper is too intimidating, adding a design to your wall using Washi Tape is easy, cheap and a quick take down. Check out some of the designs other people have created.

Patience + Time + A Good Design + Washi Tape = A Swagnificient Wall

2. Give Your Closet The Walk-In Feel

Not being able to add shelves or rearrange the closet in your dorm will make it hard to keep your space organized, so use removable closet organizers to give you a functional closet that will work with your fast paced life.

Hanging Closet Organizers + Neatly Stacked Clothing = A Closet Ready For Life on The Go

3. Make Your Bookcase Look Like A Built-In

Just because the space is temporary doesn’t mean it has to look that way. Try making your bookcase feel semi-permanent by giving it the built-in look (with stick-on crown moulding). This is also a great option, because unlike the walls in your dorm, your furniture is yours and you can paint it however you’d like!

Ikea Gersby Bookcases + Stick on Crown Moulding + Paint = A Removable Faux Built-in Bookcase

4. Give Your Floors Some Attitude!

Dorm floors can often look gross and feel cold, so use carpet tiles to clean it up and make it feel like yours. The nice part is that cleaning up food spills will be easy; just pick up the dirty tile, wash it, dry it and put it back. Bing, bang, boom!

Fun Carpet Tiles + A Little Creativity = Floors With Attitude

5. Add Personality with a DIY project

Overall, making a dorm room feel like your space is the most important thing to consider, so try a simple diy project like my Neon Sign Light. It will add your personality to the space and you can take it with you when you leave.

Your Favourite Saying + My Neon Sign Light DIY Tutorial = A Space With Your Personal Touch!

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Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian is the principal owner of Clovis Contracting, host of HGTV Canada's Save My Reno, and a resident home renovation and DIY expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. He believes everyone should strive to understand the mechanics of their home, tackle home improvement projects while at the same time being able to identify when it’s necessary to call in a professional.
Sebastian Clovis

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