As an incoming college freshman, the excitement of living on your own and having a space to make yours can be quickly overshadowed by the reality of your first dorm. White cement walls, fluorescent lighting and cold tile flooring doesn’t exactly scream hominess and warmth. Have no fear though! With a little DIY and a touch of TLC, you can turn your dorm room from drab to fab in no time… And for next to nothing!

Here’s how…

Dorm rooms are small; there is no way around that. Make your space feel bigger by hanging a tapestry of a landscape or outdoor scenery to give your space a more open feel.  A tapestry will also cover a good portion of that boring white wall.
Society6 carries a large selection of outdoor scenic tapestries starting at $39.

Jazz up your bed by creating an easy and inexpensive DIY headboard. All you will need is a large piece of cardboard, some of your favorite fabric, a utility knife and a stapler and you are ready to go!
Check out a tutorial on and make your own headboard for next to nothing!

Decorative rugs, carpet squares, or bound carpets bring warmth and personality as well as help hide cold, outdated tile flooring or carpet.
Create your own from old t-shirts or check out H&MUrban Outfitters or RugsUSA to find rugs under $20!

Get creative with the space you have. Dorms have very minimal space for anything more than the absolute essentials, so it is key to effectively utilize every inch of space you do have. Lofting your bed creates available space underneath for your desk and dresser or a futon and fridge. Take advantage of doors and closet hanging space to organize your shoes, hamper, towels and more. Mason jars are a cheap and stylish option to store your school supplies, tooth brush, paper clips, extra change, etc. Command strips will be your new best friend. They can support everything from shelves and coat hangers to bulletin boards and mirrors. The space hacking possibilities are endless. Figure out how much room you are working with, and then begin your storage search.

There are a million different ways to decorate and organize a dorm room, but the most important thing to remember is to make it your own. Make it a space that is comfortable and encourages productivity. Your first year at college and away from home is hectic enough as it is. Your room should be a place to go not only to escape the chaos that is freshman year, but to give you a quiet place to get work done and relax. Pinterest is an amazing tool for all your decorating and feng shui needs. Get creative, have fun and good luck!

Guest Blogger - Emily LaPlume. Emily is a senior at Champlain College pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and minoring in Event Management. Emily has been a seasonal intern at GSCU for over three years and has also interned at The Capitol Center for the Arts, Brandthropology and Fuse Marketing.