Issue 20 / Cool Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Cool Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Sep 19, 2015

Settling into a new place for the first time can be daunting. Check out our guide to simple, cheap and stylish dorm room digs.

Dressing up your dorm to suit your tastes is a great way to make your room a cozy home away from home. The key to small spaces is to give everything as many uses as you can or to dress up what's already there with something that is easy to take away when it's time to head back home.

Simple Things

Washi and duct tapes are a great way to either make something a little more fancy or double up on its use, and it's super budget friendly. Frames, notebooks, shelves, headboards and tons more stuff can get a jazzy touch with brightly decorated washi tapes like Scotch Expressions Washi Tape ($2.94 CDN) from Staples. Available in a huge array of colours and patterns, the tapes are an easy and cheap way to personalize your stuff. The Mint Flowers pattern of washi tape will help add that Bollywood touch with its paisley pattern. It's also perfect for decorating furniture, like a DIY shelf (see Editor's Tip at the end of the story).

Scotch Expressions Washi Tape Family
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Canadian Tire also boasts a ton of stuff that are dorm and small space approved. Check out the For Living Closet Set ($79.99 CDN), a customizable closet kit that allows you to add racks to fit more clothes in a small space (think one level for shirts and another for pants). Another great customizable but hidden storage gem is the Bella Under The Bed Tote ($11.99 CDN). It's the perfect way to put extra books, seasonal clothes, shoes away and slip them out of sight. But before you tuck these bins don't forget to label them to remind you what's inside.

For Living Closet Set
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Bella Under The Bed Tote 
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Double Duty Decor

Dorm rooms aren’t the most spacious of rooms, so make the best use of things by picking key items that have multiple uses. Whether it's a huge pile of pillows doubling as your reading corner or headboard, or a decorated reminder cork board that doubles as art, double duty items are great for small spots.

The SVÄRTA loft bed unit (frame, $239 CDN; desk, $100; and pull-out bed, $100) from Ikea, is a great way to keep your bed and desk in a cozy nook and free the rest of the room for other furniture or hanging out space. Add sheer curtains to the lowest bar of the bed and use them to hide your desk or dirty laundry when friends are over. And maximize the bottom of the bed, by using it to hang notes or reminders.


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SVÄRTA Bed Frame
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Another simple, double-duty decor piece is the Twelve South BookArc Möd or the MiPow Playbulb Candle – Colour LED Flameless Candle with App from They are a great way to merge technology, function and fashion and a budget-friendly addition to a space.

MiPow Playbulb Candle – Colour LED Flameless Candle with App
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 Twelve South BookArc Möd
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Editor's Tip

To make your own cheap yet stylish shelf, all you need are some milk crates, regular duct tape and some fancy washi tape. You can line the crates up next to each other, stack them or put them in a fancy pattern (Google for some unique ideas). Use regular duct tape to fasten the crates to each other. Once all the crates are fastened and sturdy, go over all the duct tape with a layer of the good looking washi tape or use it to create a pattern. Et voila, a wicked handmade shelf. Use your new shelves to stash everything from clothes, to snacks, to shoes and of course books.


Cool crates.
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Main Image Photo Credit: 

Geeta Wahab


Cultivating a life she loves, Geeta (@geets.suites) is chasing all her passions, including her love for home décor. As a brand new home owner, her current journey has launched her further into that world - check out her Instagram @geets.suites for tidbits of her story and other decorating pieces. A...


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