19 Pretty Dorm Room Ideas On A Budget

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Instagram image credit: @dorm__decor

Dorm rooms don’t have to be dreary and drab. You can decorate them in a way that transforms them into a warm and inviting space. 

We’ve put together some of our favourite ways to bring life back into a dorm room that all have a tight budget in mind! Keep reading to discover some of the best dorm room ideas.

19 Pretty Dorm Room Ideas On A Budget

1.Use Red As A Fun, Bright Accent Color

Red has had a resurgence in the world of interiors and it no longer has an outdated reputation.

Pair red with pink for a contrasting combination and to make a dorm room feel fun and vibrant.

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Instagram image credit: @collegeandrooms

2. Keep Things Minimal With Cosy Fairy Lights

An easy and affordable way to make a dorm room feel more cosy is to add lighting. Fairy lights are a fantastic option as they feel romantic and whimsical. 

You can pick up a pack of battery or plug-in fairy lights from the high street for as little as $5. Make sure you choose ones that have a warm white glow to avoid your room looking too stark.

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Instagram image credit: @dormlights

3. Combine Greys & Navy Blue

If color isn’t your thing and you want to stick with a neutral color palette, then grey and navy blue is a sophisticated option.

This color combo feels grown up but still has depth to it. Pick up a new bedding set and some cushions for an affordable update.

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Instagram image credit: @collegeandrooms

4. Create A Chic Look With Fun Wall Art

Dorm rooms ultimately shouldn’t feel too serious and should always exude youthfulness. We suggest collecting some fun wall art to adorn the walls with.

This could be anything from postcards that you picked up from travelling or antique style signs.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

5. Cocoon Your Bed With A Gallery Wall

There’s no getting around the fact that dorm rooms are quite compact. Make your bed area feel warm and cozy by zoning it with a gallery wall.

You can pick up affordable digital prints from online marketplaces such as Etsy. Or, consider scouting out your local vintage shops for some antique gems.

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Instagram image credit: @emmyfleshood

6. Pink & Gray Is A Timeless Combo

For a soft and feminine feel, pink and gray is a winning color combination.

Accessorise a plain gray room by adding in a pink throw and cushions. Also, a neon sign is bang on trend and can transform a plain room into a space that feels more alive.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

7. A Cloud Neon Light Creates A Pretty Aesthetic

On the subject of neon lights, they come in lots of different shapes, sizes and colors.

This cloud neon light is a lovely addition to this dorm room and creates a pretty aesthetic. Alternatively, you could choose a neon sign that spells out a motivational quote.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

8. Design An Accent Wall

If you’re allowed to decorate your dorm room, then consider creating your very own accent wall using either paint or wallpaper.

This geometric design can easily be achieved with some masking tape and some paint. Simply use the tape to sketch out where you want your lines to be and paint different sections with different colors for a striking statement.

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Instagram image credit: @myinteriorlooks

9. Use Bright Pink As Your Main Accent Color

We know what you’re thinking, this dorm room screams Legally Blonde…and you’d be right! Bright pink is a bold color choice that can liven up any white or neutral scheme.

Try to add in pops of bright pink rather than drench your room in it, so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

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Instagram image credit: @dorm__decor

10. Line The Ceiling With Fairy Lights or Strip LED Lighting

Outline your dorm room ceiling with strip lights to make it feel cosy and more like home. 

You can pick these up for an affordable price on Amazon or your local DIY store.

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Instagram image credit: @sydneyyhoover

11. Oranges & Terracottas For A Cosy Bedding Scheme

Warm colors and tones naturally make a room feel cosier. Terracotta shades in particular give off a rustic feel that is soothing and inviting. 

Add texture to an orange themed bed with a faux fur throw or blanket.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

12. Make The Space Personable With Prints

Dorm rooms can sometimes feel pretty lifeless so it’s important to add your own personal touches.

A great way of doing this is to hang up some photographs or polaroid pictures. Attach them to a piece of string and use them as bunting to adorn one of your walls.

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Instagram image credit: @kayla_hejlik

13. Add A Calming Look With Blues

Blue is a wonderfully versatile color and comes in lots of different tones and shades that can give off lots of different vibes.

Pastel blue is restful and calming whereas a brighter teal shade is more invigorating and uplifting.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

14. Dusty Pinks & Gold

Add a touch of glamour to a plain dorm room with touches of gold. Pink and gold feels elegant and luxurious and doesn’t have to cost a fortune to put together.

Choose a gold framed mirror and table lamp to dress up your desk and decorate your bed with soft pink bedding.

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Instagram image credit: @collegeandrooms

15. Hang Voile Curtains & Fairy Lights For An Ethereal Feel

Instead of hanging curtains made out of a heavy fabric, which can feel quite oppressive. Go for a whimsical vibe instead and hang voile curtains. 

Amp up the romanticism by draping fairy lights around them.

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Instagram image credit: @featured.design

16. Pick A Bold Wallpaper

Consider using peel and stick wallpaper to decorate your door room with. You can choose from an endless variety of cool patterns and textures including this fun monochrome spotted design.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

17. Use Prints, Postcards & Photos For A Unique Touch

There’s no doubt that you’ll want your dorm room to feel unique to you. An affordable way of doing this is to collect things over time that you personally love and that you would enjoy looking at every day.

This could include free samples of wallpaper and fabric as well as some personal photos that you treasure.

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Instagram image credit: @dormroomdupes

18. Top Your Bed With The Cosiest Throw!

Adding layers of texture to any space is key for making it feel warm and homely. 

An oversized textured through is an easy and affordable way of doing this to a dorm room. Pick a throw in a color that you love and won’t get bored of.

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Instagram image credit: @dormify

19. Hang Strings of Flowers & Lights For Mess Free Wall Art

We love the idea of hanging flowers and fairy lights to create a striking piece of wall art.

You can pick up some faux flower stems from your local craft store. Simply attach these to your string of fairy lights to make a dorm room feel extra special.

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Instagram image credit: @tiffany_studies
Photo of author


Becca Cullum-Green

Becca Cullum-Green is a freelance interiors content creator and stylist. She fell in love with interiors when she landed her first job as an editorial assistant at a leading UK homes magazine fresh out of university. You can find her renovating her 19th-century cottage in the Suffolk countryside, consciously trying not to paint every wall with Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pitch Black’. Her signature style is a mix of modern design with traditional characteristics. She has previously worked for House Beautiful, Grand Designs, Good Housekeeping, Red, Good Homes and more.

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