8 Stylish Dorm Room Updates

Interior designers Vanessa De Vargas, Summer Thornton and Lana Kole share their tips for creating a chic dorm room that expresses personal style and is the perfect space to get all of that schoolwork done.

By: Jeanine Hays

Make a Personal Statement With Art

Dorm rooms lack architecture and detail, so add some of your own by framing your favorite prints. Shop sites like Etsy for fun and motivational prints, or create a DIY piece.

Summer's tip: Contemporary artwork can be a great way to add life to an otherwise boring space. Photo courtesy of Jen Ramos

Maximize the Entire Space

Maximize your living space by going vertical. Use shelving to store books, computer equipment and paperwork that needs to be filed away.

Summer's tip: Use height anywhere and everywhere possible. Bookcases and wall racks can help de-clutter and maximize vertical space. Photo courtesy of Jen Ramos

Organize Your Space

Dorm rooms are small, so make your space as efficient and organized as possible. Customize your closet to effectively use space. Create extra wardrobe space for things that won't fit into small dorm room closets.

Vanessa's tip: Use storage bins that can be placed beneath your bed to save space. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas

Buy Pieces That Are Multifunctional

Invest in furniture that serves more than one purpose. An ottoman can give you seating and storage in one piece, while a trunk can also function as a table.

Summer's tip: Use a filing cabinet as a side table that holds papers and pencils and offers space for a reading lamp. Photo courtesy of Summer Thornton

Invest in Study Aids

Good furniture is one of the most important study aids you can have. An ergonomic chair is a wonderful investment in a piece that you will use often.

Vanessa's tip: A chair in a cool color like green or turquoise can also liven up your space. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas

Bring Diverse Styles Together

Find ways to merge your style with your roommate's. Maybe you're into modern. Maybe she's more traditional. Pick colors and pieces that incorporate the best of both styles.

Vanessa's tip: When you share a small space be clear about what kind of style both of you can live with. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas

Create a Home Away From Home

Whether your dorm is far from home or just around the corner, you want a space that's comforting. Buy textiles in graphic patterns and colors to make your space feel personal and cozy.

Vanessa's tip: Stores like IKEA, Target and Kohl's sell affordable sheet sets and accessories to customize your bedding. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas

Decorate Your Walls

Wall decals are a great way to add style to your space. They're affordable and can be customized for just the right look.

Lana's tip: Apply wall decals to doors, windows, mirrors and furniture. They'll look like they're painted on but can be easily removed when it's time to move out. Photo courtesy of Lana Kole

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