If you’re heading off to college this fall, you’re probably packing up your clothes, school supplies, and personal items. But what about decorative accessories? Chances are that you’ll be confronted with an uninspiring, empty dorm room when you get there. If you want to perk up your college living space, you’ll need a little dorm room décor.
Although cramped dorm rooms are not the easiest spaces to decorate – especially when you’re on a student budget – there’s no reason why your college digs have to be boring. So to help you create an appealing and comfortable room this semester, we’re sharing our top picks for affordable and practical pieces that transform compact spaces into stylish places. And, best of all, you can find each item for under $50 on Amazon!
This is the Original Bedside Shelf as seen on Kickstarter and Business Insider (and shown above). Beware of low quality, untested imitation knockoffs – this one has the largest, strongest clamp on the market. Best of all, it attaches to bed frames with no tools required. It even comes in two sizes. Made of eco-friendly bamboo in a Scandinavian minimalist design with two wire slots for charging. CLICK TO BUY
Do you like the look of leather but not the price tag? These trendy and affordable faux leather throw pillow covers are a great way to dress up an ugly or worn throw pillow that you already have. The pillow covers come in several different sizes for beds or seating. There are also a variety of colors and texture designs. The covers are easy to remove and wash, with an invisible zipper. The material is sturdy and all seams are overlocked for durability. These pillow covers are a classy decor item for men, women, teens, boys, girls, moms, dads, RV, patio, living room, bedroom, den, dorm. CLICK TO BUY
This bedside caddy is the ultimate solution for handy storage at your fingertips. It’s durable and built to last with 12 storage pockets of various sizes – including deep and wide open slots, gathered mesh pockets, and a zippered concealed area, so you can find the right spot for all your storage needs. This organizer will even hold your laptop, books, and other heavy items thanks to the added stability flap. The mounting flap holds firmly and stays in place under a mattress. Perfect for college dorm rooms, bunk beds, hospital beds, small apartments, hostels and traveling. CLICK TO BUY
This 13-watt folding task lamp features a unique fold-up design with multi-position shade, swivel base, and handle for easy portability. It’s a cute little lamp for homework, reading, or craft projects. Great for dorm room, bedroom, office, travel, etc. With its compact footprint, this lamp fits easily on small desks, night stands, workstations, piano, etc. The lamp adjusts in several ways, including parallel to the desktop, straight up to illuminate larger areas, or attach it to the wall to save space. The OttLite’s energy-efficient, low heat, natural daylight illumination reduces glare and eyestrain while letting you see details and colors more clearly and accurately. It turns on automatically when you flip it open, and turns off when you close it. CLICK TO BUY
Not quite sure what lava has to do with it, but here is a novelty trash bin that’s also a conversation piece! It comes in white, red, and black. The white one is best because it looks just like crumpled paper, perfect for next to or under a desk. Maybe the red one is supposed to look like hot lava and the black one like basalt lava? Anyway, it’s a clever design that adds a little functional fun to your work area. CLICK TO BUY
The Sofia + Sam Multi Media Memory Foam Lap Desk with USB light is the ultimate flexible workstation for anyone using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The mouse deck can slide out on the left or right side. Cool and comfortable design with a cushioned base, large work surface (fits laptops up to 15″), wrist rest, and a handle for portability. Comes in black or silver. CLICK TO BUY (You can also get one with an oversized woodgrain surface for laptops up to 20″.)
These string lights are a fun way to personalize and decorate your walls! Ideal for hanging photos, artwork, notes, and other lightweight items for display. The string light is flexible and moldable into any shape. 30 sturdy clips are spaced 4 inches apart. Energy-efficient LEDs won’t overheat, and the warm white light will make your room romantic and stylish. Easy to install on most surfaces: walls, windows, doors, floors, ceilings, glass, wood, metal, plastic, Christmas trees, etc. CLICK TO BUY
This fancy-looking aromatherapy diffuser with color changing effects is a fun way to make your room smell amazing without the hazard of candles. It doubles as a humidifier as it refreshes and purifies the air. The diffuser is not overly large so it fits well on a nightstand or bathroom counter, and it’s easy to move around. It burns cold, meaning that the steam leaving the top of the diffuser is not hot, so no worries about burning yourself. The oils are NOT included, so you will also want to buy Anjou Essential Oils. (Tip: choose peppermint oil to help with study focus.) CLICK TO BUY
The Original Bongo Bag pop-up hamper and multi-use collapsible nylon storage unit comes in 12 different colors to suit your preference. Hot Pink, Lime Green, Classic Navy, Chocolate, Camo, Natural, etc. It has a zippered lid, meaning that you can zip up your stuff for added privacy if you wish. A laundry hamper is a necessity for college students, yet this one is designed to be a more fun and flexible version of the basic dorm room hamper. (Make sure you get “The Original Bongo Bag” by REDMON and not a cheaply made look-alike.) CLICK TO BUY
These are the best hooks because they’re strong stainless steel and not cheap plastic. They stick on tightly and yet can be easily removed. The package contains plenty of hooks in two different sizes. These hooks are super versatile and easy to use. Plus they look good with a modern minimalist design. A must for home, foyer, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, closets, office, dorm, etc. for holding a variety of items like keys, bags, towels, hats, coats, etc. CLICK TO BUY
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For more dorm room essentials, see:
- Ten College Dorm Room Essentials
- Dorm Essentials for Students Heading to College
- Dorm Living Prep: The Six Basics for Clothes You Will Want in Your Closet