Winter is approaching and college students are settling into school work and dorm life. You might think your dorm room is doomed to yet another year of uncreative decor and standard furniture, but there are little ways you can make your space unique and stylish without spending a small fortune. Use these tips to transform your dorm room into your chic home away from home.
Hand-Me-Downs and Second Hand
Most college students can’t afford brand new furniture, but with the right eye and a little creativity, you can find some fabulous treasures among family hand-me-downs or second-hand shops. Ask your parents and grandparents what kind of furniture, lamps, throws, pillows, side tables or trays they may be willing to part with. You’ll possibly find some singular vintage treasures that are not only free, but a special part of family history.
Scouring second-hand stores like Goodwill or thrift shops is another good way to find some diamonds in the rough, not to mention you’ll be contributing to a good cause. Many thrift stores donate a portion of their sales to charities, and Goodwill works to supply jobs to thousands of people every year. For an extra bargain, check store calendars for special sales and 50-percent-off days.
DIY Wall Art
Wall art can cost a fortune and, let’s face it, frameless band posters are out of the question. Luckily, pretty much anyone can be an artist and make their own unique and self-expressive wall art. Sites like Pinterest and Apartment Therapy can walk you through simple and elegant wall art to match whatever theme you want. Check out these collections of easy and trendy wall art from Better Homes and Gardens and BuzzFeed that you can do in an afternoon for about the price of a cup of coffee.
Light It Up
Dorm rooms are notorious for being dark, cave-like spaces that seem more like a cold office than a warm, welcoming home. A few subtle changes can help bring light into your room and brighten up the mood. First, consider changing out traditional slatted blinds for some more stylish roller blinds. They are simple and practical, yet elegant. Plus, they let in just enough natural light to warm up a space.
Another cost-efficient option is simply changing out the standard incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent lights are known for being cold and unflattering, not to mention they are not ideal for studying or working on the computer. Consider LED or CFL bulbs, which emit a brighter light, save energy and last 10 times longer, according to HGTV. For a softer glow, peach or rose-colored light bulbs are easy on the eyes and will help create a relaxing, cozy atmosphere.
There’s no doubt that going green is in right now, and using recycled goods to make furniture and home decor is a popular way to be Earth friendly and save money. CountryLiving gives some simple and cost-saving ways to reuse your old items to make some stylish accouterments for your unique space. For example, use a foam brush to paint old jars and create an elegant vase, or stamp a design on the jar lids to make kitschy beverage coasters. Mismatched silverware can be used as eclectic cabinet or drawer pulls and old shirts and jeans can make throw pillows.