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How To Look Online For Dorm Room Decor

Dorm decorating
Begin decorating by choosing colorful bedding in colors and styles you can repeat in the room.
Photo courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond
A simple How To with tips on choosing your dorm room furnishings and accessories online.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 60 minutes and up

Here's How:

  1. Get information from your school about dorm room sizes, existing closets and storage and recommended items to bring with you.
  2. Determine from your school if any furnishings are prohibited. For example, some schools don't allow candles, halogen lamps and flammable wallhangings. Find out now so you don't waste time and money.
  3. Discuss financial arrangements and room decor choices with your roommate. Be honest about your budget, be flexible and ask for ideas and opinions.
  4. Start a 'need' and 'want' list. (You need sheets and towels. You may want, but don't need, a mirrored disco ball.)
  5. Decide what items you already have (sheets, rugs, lamps, TV) that you can take with you.
  6. Prioritize your 'need' list so your budget gets spent on the basics first. Then start on your 'want' list.
  7. Browse lots of websites to get inspiration, see color schemes and find theme ideas.
  8. Bookmark some of your favorite items. Print out photos to compare colors, styles and prices.
  9. Research choices. Ask your friends or other students what's worked for them.
  10. Compare sizes and brands. Don't buy in a rush and find out later that something else would have been better or cheaper.
  11. Browse for handy storage options both online and in local discount stores.
  12. Buy what's on your list when you have a clear plan, know what you need, and have determined what will fit in your budget and in your room!


  1. Take some things that are familiar to you, such as your pillow, a bulletin board and family photos.
  2. Don't over-estimate the amount of stuff you can cram into a dorm room -- they're SMALL!
  3. Investigate storage solutions to fit your dorm room, including doubling closet rods, underbed bins, back of the door storage racks, totes, etc.
  4. Don't buy everything ahead of time. Sometimes it's fun to get to school and see exactly what you need. Then shop together with your new dorm friends.
  5. Sticking to a color or style theme will simplify choices and automatically coordinate a room.

More How To's from your Guide To Interior Decorating

 ~ Glenna Morton
Related Resources
• Top Ten Dorm Comfort Items
• Dorm Theme Ideas
• Dorm Decorating Ideas
• Online Sources for Dorm Furniture
• Futon Sources

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