College living spaces: new semester, new look


At the beginning of every semester, I like to start with a clean slate. That includes throwing out any old school papers or assignments I no longer need and giving my living space a new look. I find that changing my surroundings gives me a positive outlook to start the semester, and a chance to put my creativity to use. It’s also an excuse to do one of my favorite things – shop!

Since my student bank account is typically quite limited, I have found a few tricks that help me to indulge in my desire to change things up without putting myself in the hole financially. So, if you want to spruce up your college living space, check out these great tips and tricks for making over your dorm room or college apartment for under $100.

Starting Blocks

I always use bedding as my starting point for decorating. Stores like Target and Kmart often have bed-in-a-bag deals for under $60. This usually includes a comforter, sheets and pillows. If you can find one with a reversible comforter, it’s even better because you can use the same item twice (simply flip it over). Once you have the comforter in place, you can change the sheet colors for a quick new look or pick up some decorative pillows to add a nice touch. If you have some basic sewing skills, you can actually get some cheap fabric ($2.99 a yard) and make your own pillows. Perk them up with lace, ribbons and other items to make them all yours. I sometimes use old t-shirts to make pillows too, and they look great. The trick is to start simple and add from there.

The Walls Have It

Most colleges do not allow you to place nails and other items in the walls, but there’s a great product out by 3M that makes it easy to hang things on your walls without damaging them at all. You can get a variety of different hooks and tabs, too. Take photos of your friends and favorite places, put them in a cheap matte (under $2) and glue a piece of dental floss on the back to hang them with ease. You can also find art and other decorative items at flea markets or local thrift stores for a few bucks. If you need some extra space, find an unfinished piece of wood and use it as a shelf.

If you don’t have a lot of money, consider rearranging the furniture in your room (check with your school first) for a new perspective. Switch your pillow and bedding to the opposite end or reorganize your closet and desk, too. Sometimes it’s the little changes that make a difference in the feel of a room. Other tricks include using a sheer piece of fabric draped from a hook on the ceiling to create a canopy for privacy or adding risers to your bed for additional storage space underneath.

For some other inexpensive and creative dorm ideas, be sure to check out Happy decorating!


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