How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home For Less Than $300

You don’t need to be a college student to know that dorm rooms are notoriously difficult to decorate. Between the extremely limited square footage and the fact that you’re sharing the space with another person (or three), making a dorm room feel elevated (let alone comfortable) requires planning and creativity.

Fortunately, there are a few relatively low-lift and inexpensive ways to add a touch of luxury to your college dorm, from the linens to the bath towels and beyond. Ahead, find our complete guide to styling up your dorm room without breaking the bank.

5 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

1. Invest in High-Quality Bedding

Let’s face it: your bed takes up nearly 50 percent of your living space in a dorm room. Why not invest in some high-quality linens to make it as cozy and beautiful as possible? You can pick up a twin-size 100% flax linen bedding set for $230, or invest in a sheet set, fitted sheet, throw blanket, or duvet cover separately to further cut costs. The key is to create a layered “bedscape,” so to speak — top it off with decorative throw pillows and a cozy blanket for a warm, textural look.


2. Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa

Just because you’re sharing a bathroom with three other people doesn’t mean you can’t have a spa moment. With a few linen waffle bath towels, a tonal face towel, a linen robe, and your favorite shampoo and conditioner, you can make your tiny tiled bathroom feel luxurious. Lean into the spa theme even more with some fresh eucalyptus or a humidity-loving hanging plant, like a fern.

3. Stock Up on Your Favorite Candles

Scent is inextricably tied to memory — a waft of the right fragrance can transport you to your childhood bedroom, your best friends’ backyard, or a favorite vacation spot in seconds. In other words, scent is one of the most efficient ways to make your dorm room feel comforting and homey. If you have a favorite candle or incense that you always burn, stock up on it for your dorm room. 

4. Add Greenery & Fresh Flowers

Adding nature to your dorm room is a no-brainer: it’s budget-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing, and stress-relieving. If space allows, consider a large statement plant like a Majesty Palm or Bird of Paradise for a sunny corner. Windowsills, desks, and side tables are perfect homes for small succulents and plants like a pilea, pothos, and peperomia. If florals are more your speed, scatter a few vases throughout your space and pick up a bouquet once a week or so. These little touches will lend a warm, inviting feel to your space.

5. Hang Artwork & Photos

A house is not a home without artwork, and the same goes for a dorm room. Keep things budget-conscious with a few prints of family and friends housed in thrifted frames, or invest in a few long-term pieces from a favorite artist (we love Claudia Miranda, Maggie Stephenson, and Amber Kingi!). Finally, it doesn’t hurt to mix in a few art books with your school books — they’ll add personality and pops of color to your dorm! 


Need some more inspiration? We've toured over 100 homes - here are the 15 design lessons we've learnt. 


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