Photo Credit: Liz Evans/SXC

Photo Credit: Liz Evans/SXC

Dorm rooms are notorious for lack of space, but with a little imagination, you can turn a drab room into a fab room. Here are some ways to work with what you have.

First and foremost, your bed is the focal point of the room. Dressing it up in a bold comforter is a must. Go economical with a bed in a bag—the ones that come with a pillowcase, sheets and comforter in one package. However, make sure you do your research. Sometimes you can get higher quality bedding separately for only a little more cash.

Once you decide on a color scheme, hang matching curtains to complement your bedspread. Since most dorms don’t allow drilling or nailing, these can be put up with pushpins or Velcro tape. To glam things up, you can create a faux-canopy by hanging sheer fabrics from the ceiling above your bed. Showcase your personality by adding fun throw pillows with your favorite sayings or designs. If you’re the DIY type, grab some fabric, a needle and thread or sewing machine to create a one-of-a-kind accent.

Next, dress up those dreary walls with tapestries. Use a funky blanket or something eye-catching from the fabric store—you’ll be amazed by how much this can brighten up a room. Once again, Velcro tape is a good way to hang these since this kind of tape is removable and doesn’t damage walls. If tapestries aren’t your thing, temporary decals add flourish. With one quick peel and stick, you can have an instant chandelier or inspirational quote above your bed. Large mirrors also have a way of making any room look deceptively bigger. Pick up a fun-shaped one to give your walls a unique look.

For crafty people, scour vintage shops or even your parents’ basement for old furniture and decorative items you can refurbish. A dab of paint, rhinestones or stenciling can bring discarded goods back from the dead. That unassuming chair in the attic may become your new favorite spot to curl up and read once it’s reupholstered, sanded and stained.

Don’t forget the small things either. Keep clutter at bay by storing items in brightly colored crates, cartons or shoeboxes decorated in wrapping paper. By keeping unnecessary belongings out of your way, they will take up less space and make the room feel less cramped. For more tips, check out our story on organizing any dorm room.

Finally, don’t forget the little touches that bring a room together such as candles, little trinkets and vases of silk flowers. Essentially, you want to create a space you can thrive in and that will feel like home. Surround yourself with things that make you happy, whether it’s blown-up photos of your pets or soft floor cushions to lounge on. Pin up posters of your favorite movies or postcards from exotic trips and throw a brightly patterned rug on the floor. The possibilities are endless.