19 Easy Hacks To Decorate Your Student Dorm Room

Tired of how your room looks? Learn how to decorate your student room with our top tips:

1. Add strings of fairy lights

student room - fairy lights

A string of fairy lights is essential for any student looking to create a snug bedroom worthy of Pinterest. These can be draped around a room and are also perfect for holding up photographs from home with pegs.

2. Customise your bookshelf

dorm rooms - stepladder

Anything can be transformed to hold your belongings if you get creative. Even a small stepladder can become a cute storage feature with a bit of love and attention. If your bookshelf has a plain back panel, you can personalise it by adding photos into the empty spaces behind your books. That way, you’ll have all of your friends there (in spirit, at least) to support you through your next essay deadline.

3. Don’t forget your drawer space

dorm room - organiser

Simple measures can transform your storage space to make it look organised and attractive. Take these dividers, for example, which can quickly jazz up an underwear or sock drawer in seconds.

4. Poke holes in lamp shades

decorate student room: lights

Everything can be personalised – even plain lampshades! If you poke holes in them, you can project any pattern you want around your room. Word of warning – only do this to lamps you own though or you could face losing your deposit.

5. Create your own deadline board


It’s no secret students have a lot to remember, what with all the essay deadlines, exam dates and lunches with friends. You could cover every inch of your room with post-it notes, but a much better (and tidier) solution is creating your own deadline board. Our favourite is this one, because it’s a really simple design using a cork board and some string. Alternatively you can even use an old tray.

Looking for student accommodation? Find your perfect home with Student.com.

6. Make your own removable wallpaper

This one sounds scary, but hear us out. It turns out you can make temporary wallpaper using nothing more than sheets of fabric and liquid starch. All you have to do is choose your favourite material (the wackier the colour, the better) and then use a sponge roller to stick it up using the starch – you can find the full instructions here. When you’re ready to move out, you can just peel it right off.

7. Failing that, add a tapestry 

student dorm room - tapestry

Add a splash of colour to walls like interior designer Paigebrowndesigns did on this dorm room. She attached this dreamy, blue tapestry to the wall using double sided tape – an easy decorating solution if you are not allowed to make holes in walls.

8. Hang accessories on a cork board

student rooms - cork board

There is no reason why storage options can’t be attractive too. Take this jewellery board for example, which is a simple way of keeping track of necklaces and making use of space in a room. These can be attached on the inside of wardrobe doors if you wish to keep a minimalistic look for your bedroom.

9. Make your own headboard

student room - head board

If your bed is looking a little dull, you can design your own headboard to add a touch of personality. All you need to do is head to the nearest hardware shop to pick up a decent-sized plank of wood to decorate with lights, fabric or anything you fancy.

10. Spice things up with cushions

dorm rooms - cute cushions

Slogan cushions or those with a colourful or quirky design can bring a bed area to life. These Harry Potter-inspired wonders can be found online here, but Etsy also has a diverse selection for any student room.

11. Paint your own rug

dorm room - rug

An easy way to get a unique, personalised rug is to paint one. There are lots of cheap rugs out there in thrift stores and other secondhand shops for you to use, but you’ll get the best results if you use one with a low pile. To find out how to do it, check out this tutorial.

12. Use Washi Tape for… everything!

decorate student room: washi tape

Washi Tape is a magical Japanese masking tape that is completely removable and reusable (so don’t worry about your deposit!) Use it for making photo frames, crafting (more) removable wallpaper and, our personal favourite, using it to create imaginative pineapple-themed wall art..

13. Personalise your hangers

dorm room - hangers

If you have an open wardrobe with a visible hanging rail, things can look messy really easily if you use a load of mismatched hangers. Instead, try buying a set of cheap hangers and then customising them so they match your room. Add sequins, cover them with fabric or spray paint them gold for a luxurious touch…

14. Add some greenery

dorm room - plant

There’s not much to this trick, we’ll admit, but adding a few plants here and there is an easy way to bring life to a room. They also come with a surprising array of health benefits, like making the air cleaner and helping you study better (seriously!). Aloe vera, jade plants and rubber trees are all really easy to care for, or you could start with a few of these.

15. Organise messy wires

student dorm - charger

You’ve got your phone, your tablet and your laptop… all of these things need to be regularly charged. With so many wires it’s easy for your favourite electronics to pile up and begin to look unsightly. But we’ve got a fix for this, too: make your own charging station! You’ll be surprised how quickly things look tidier without all the wires.

16. Make your desk a creative hub

student bedroom - desk

You will probably be spending at least some of your year working away at your desk, so why not make it a place you actually want to sit at. Spruce up the area with colourful lanterns, photos or plants. If you wish to attach items to the wall, try UHU’s white tack, which is great as it doesn’t leave stains.

17. Use your furniture to break up the space

dorm room - studio

If you’re living in a studio apartment, it can be hard to know what to do with the open space. But there’s an easy fix! You can use your furniture to create different ‘zones’. Put a bookcase along the side of your bed and you can create a bedroom area. Set up your desk along the side of the living room to separate it from where you sleep. There are lots of ways to do it (and it’s quite fun thinking of them), so check out Houzz for some inspiration.

18. Switch your handles

dorm rooms - knobs

If you’re bored of the fittings that came with your room, there’s a really easy way to change things up a bit. Unscrew the old handles on furniture like your chest of drawers, and screw in different ones that you’ve chosen yourself. There are loads of options out there, and you can easily put the old ones back at the end of your tenancy so you won’t get in trouble!

19. Use removable mounts

dorm room decor - wall mount

If you want to hang something heavy and Washi Tape just won’t cut it, you can invest in some Command Hooks. These removable wall mounts come in a range of sizes, so you can hang up everything from your favourite artwork to your winter coat without leaving a trace behind on the wall when you leave.