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6 Ways to Build Your Dream Dorm Room & Not Break the Bank


Welcome to your new home! It may not seem like much, but your college dorm will be a place you will dearly miss when you graduate! While your dorm is probably pretty small and perhaps not the most private, you’ll be spending a lot of time there studying, hanging with friends and recharging after long weeks. With a couple of tips and tricks, you can make the most of your small space. We’ve partnered with IKEA to show you how to build your dream dorm without killing your wallet.

Obviously, dorm rooms come with furniture—usually a twin bed, a desk, a wardrobe or dresser and a chair. What you can customize, however, is all of your decorations—and you’d be surprised at how quickly your room can go from drab to fab with a few personal tweaks.

1. Make the most of every square inch

Dorm rooms aren’t known for their roominess, but you can actually fit quite a haul if you think strategically. That awkward space under your bed? Use it to store shoes, extra school supplies and more. Use IKEA’s TJENA Box with lid under your bed to seriously maximize space! The top of your dresser can easily double as a vanity or bedside table depending on the room’s layout and your needs.

2. Craft the perfect bed

Your dorm room bed is going to be the center of your living space—not only will it be where you recharge every night, but it will also end up operating as a makeshift couch when you host friends. It’s also a great place to showcase your personality. We love IKEA’s SMÖRBOLL Duvet cover and pillowcases

3. Get creative with lighting

Lighting is another place where you have more control—you can never have too much light, so bring a lamp or two for your new crib. We recommend getting at least one for your desk, as the light that your college probably provides won’t be sufficient for hardcore study sessions. Try IKEA’s JANSJÖ LED work lamp —not only is it minimalist chic, but you can easily adjust the lamp arm and head.

4. Bring reminders of home 

Trust us—you’re gonna be homesick at some point or another. Bring a couple of reminders from home, like photos of your high school bestie or family, or even hometown memorabilia. Make your decorations even classier with some grown-up frames from IKEA. These VIRSERUM Frames can be used standing or hanging up. The best part? They’re super affordable.

5. Create the illusion of more space

This is design 101, but it’s worth repeating: mirrors can make your space appear way bigger than it actually is. Hang this IKEA GRUA Mirror on your door to make your space feel just a bit bigger. It really will make a difference!

6. Up the cozy factor

Make your room cozy with the help of some cute rugs, like this IKEA PANDRUP low pile rug. It’s an easy way to make your space feel a little more personalized—and it works wonders by covering up unattractive carpeting. What else creates a cozy space? Lots of pillows, mood lighting and a couple of warm throw blankets. You may not have a lot of time to sleep in college, so you’ll want to make the most of what time you do have by creating the coziest space possible!

Looking for more back-to-college tips? Check out IKEA for everything you need to create your dream dorm this fall!

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