5 Easy Dorm Room Design Tips!

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August 16, 2019

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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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It’s that time of year! Either you, or your young adult are headed to college. Dorm life can be tough. Mom and dad are not there to help out and chances are, you have a roommate who may or may not have the same level of high style and organization that you have (or hope to have). Never fear, here are John McClain’s five tips for organizing and beautifying your dorm room so you’ll be acing that mid-tern and your social life! Read on…


1) Double Duty Pieces

Bring in an ottoman that has storage inside, raise your bed on risers to allow more room to store plastic containers, shoes, boxes, etc. Add a nightstand with drawers to hold everything from clothing, to books- but keeps them out of site for less clutter.

Raise your bed with these lifts from Amazon $19.99 (just make sure and have a large enough comforter to hide them!

2) Designate Zones

We know a dorm is small space, but zone it out with an area for study, an area for sleep, and a comfy chair (maybe from your old room at home) just to relax in, and rugs to zone out an area. If you have the space, add a room divider for even more privacy.


3) Use decorative cork and felt as art and function!

Cork & felt come in a variety of shapes and colors these days. Add it to the wall with removable command strips and arrange in a cool pattern. Voila! You have art that you can also pin photos, lists, add pins to hang jewelry on, etc.


4) Lighting

This is an easy way to add ambience and functionality to your dorm room. Place a desk lamp with an articulating arm and a focused light beam to not disturb your roommate for those late-night study sessions. String LED lighting behind your bed for some extra excitement; they even come in battery operated versions these days. Best part: low voltage and no heat emitted, so they’re safe. Lastly, a clip-on bedside reading light is a great way to curl up with that good book.

String LED lights for fast and easy decor!

Doggie Desk Lamp from Amazon $49.90
Clip-on Adjustable reading light from Amazon $15.98

5) Personalize It

Bring your favorite blanket, stuffed animal, coffee mug, and friends and family photos. You will be amazed at how these simple things you used to take for granted, mean so much more when you’re out on your own.


Happy Designs!
xo John

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