College dorm room decor ideas for moving back to school

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s back to school time which means dorm rooms around the country are filling up with storage trunks, Ikea, and mini fridges. If you’re looking for some ideas that might take your design one step further, we’ve got your back with just the person to talk to.

Joining us Sunday on Good Morning Connecticut, Charlotte Smith, the blogger behind, shares some fun suggestions for temporary and simple décor when moving into a new dorm room.

You can watch the full discussion between News 8 anchor Stephanie Simoni and Charlotte Smith by clicking to video above. Below are many of the points they discuss:

1. Multi purpose storage. It can be a challenge to squeeze an entire wardrobe, books, accessories AND some design into a 10 foot box… so everything needs to have a dual purpose.
  • Ottomans that double as storage crates. You can buy these ready made at most home décor stores: Bed Bath and Beyond/ Homegoods, etc. But they’re also easy to make. Find a milk crate and cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than your crate (any large hardware store will cut for you). Add some foam padding to the top and wrap a piece of fabric around it, stapling underneath the board to secure the fabric.
  • Cork board canvases. Transform a plain brown cork board into something more decorative with some fabric and spray adhesive. Simply spray the cork, wrap the fabric around, and tape or glue along the back. For added glam, use some brass thumbtacks around the edge to hold the fabric in place.  If you want to go one step further, most printers will print an image onto a pillow case… you could then upholster your own image onto the cork board.
 2. Highlight your BED
  • Find some fun and colorful bedding as the centerpiece for your room
  • Bed risers… gives you an extra 8 inches under your bed for seasonal storage, etc.
  • Use washi tape for a headboard outline… give the illusion of furniture!
  • Throw pillows… never underestimate! With a bunch thrown along the back… the bed can be more functional seating (You can make these too with your hot glue gun… pick up some table runners or placemats and clue the seams to make some custom pillow cases!)
 3. Wall décor that won’t make you lose your security deposit
  • fabric wall paper: Buy inexpensive cotton fabric, and apply to your walls with a paint roller and liquid starch. Pin the fabric to the edge of your walls, roll starch directly onto the wall, then roll ontop of the fabric. Once fabric is dry, use a box cutter to trim the edges. It’s repositionable and harmless!
  • Staples engineer prints: For $5, you can get a gigantic black and white print made at Staples. Inexpensive frames from Walmart or Ikea or a craft store will add some easy glamour to your walls!  If you’re worred about nailing anything onto the walls, check out command strips for suitable options.
  • Also keep an eye out for poster printing specials at your local drug store/ photo outlets!
 4. Extras
  • A. No sew sewing: Curtains or a bed skirt (check for fire code restrictions)
    • hot glue gun/ fabric glue will be your friend. Use command strips or Velcro and create curtains by ‘hemming’ with the glue gun, and attaching to your window or bed frames
    • Not motivated? Find a fun sheet or duvet and use as curtains OR have a local tailor help hem or sew into panels
  • B. Reusable wall labels and wallpaper
    • they now make temporary wallpaper… gentle adhesive for just this situation. Target or check it out online.  Similarly, other vinyl type reusable labels can adorn
    • Reusable wallpaper can decorate and adorn ratty bureaus or gloomy desk tops… don’t limit yourself to walls!

Smith says many of these ideas will also work if you’re renting a space and unable to consider permanent solutions like paint or construction. For more information, check out her website at 

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