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15 things that will give your dorm room the glow up you deserve

It's much easier living in a dorm room if you've got all the right stuff in it.

Studying overseas or out of town comes at the price of living in a dorm room or an apartment. While the prospect of staying in a hostel is in some ways appealing, in other ways it’s dreadful.

Once you’re away, you’re without family and friends to guide you through difficult days, you have to make your place among new people, and you’re expected to find your way around new cultures and traditions as well – it won’t be wrong to say that your life changes completely.

And while all of these struggles are real, they can be much easier to manage once you furnish your dorm room – the place you’ll be calling home the next few years of your life.

Below is a list of things that will help make your dormitory or apartment more homely and fun to live in.

1. Paintings

4 floral paintings hanging on a wall.
[Image description: Four floral paintings hanging on a wall.] Via Amazon
I love paintings – of all things, in all mediums. They’re the best way of making empty white rooms feel fuller and brighter. They’re personal. They’re meaningful. They describe moods. I personally love flowers and if it were up to me, I’d cover the whole wall in paintings of flowers.

Get the four-panel wall art here for $27.98.

2. Curtains

White sheer curtains hanging in front of a window.
[Image description: White sheer curtains hanging in front of a window.] Via Amazon
Hanging light-colored curtains that let the sun fill the room during the day are perfect for an apartment or a dormitory. They not only look nice but can also make the place look more spacious.

Get white sheer curtains here for $12.99.

3. Pictures in frames

A set of black picture frames featuring a white family.
[Image description: A set of black picture frames featuring a white family.] Via Amazon
All of us miss our family and friends while we’re away from home. It’s always a nice idea to get a bunch of your favorite pictures framed and then hang them on the wall. Your family will always be close to you then.

Get this 10-piece set of black frames here for $21.99.

4. Fairy lights

The word 'Dreamer' is spelled out in fairy lights over a cosy bed in a dimly, yellow-lit room.
[Image description: The word ‘Dreamer’ is spelled out in fairy lights over a cosy bed in a dimly, yellow-lit room.] Via Amazon
Who doesn’t like a fairy light-lined room? They’re are a must if you want to make your room glitter at night and add in a magic touch.

Get white LED fairy lights here for $7.99.

5. Hanging lamp

 A hanging lamp.
[Image description: A white-shade hanging lamp.] Via Amazon
Lamps are essential if you’re a person like me who likes dim light. Get a couple of hanging lamps as they will not just look great but also fulfil your need of living in a dimly-lit room where you can easily catch a peaceful night’s sleep.

Get a hanging lamp here for $16.62.

6. Books

Book cover of Everything I Never Told You.
[Image description: Book cover of Everything I Never Told You.] Via Amazon
Books are an important part of every student’s life. Stack some up on your table and read them when you find time in between classes. Shelves filled with books also look aesthetically appealing.

Now that we’re talking about books, I’d rather you pick up Everything I Never Told You. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about relationships. It’s about struggles. It’s about three siblings suppressing their feelings and dreams because their parents don’t understand them. It’s relevant to most of us as students.

Get Everything I Never Told You here for $11.58.

7. Bed and pillow covers

Two mustard yellow cushions placed on a sofa.
[Image description: Two mustard yellow cushions placed on a white sofa.] Via Amazon
Fun bed and pillow covers can instantly change the vibe of the room. As students, we’re usually switching between classrooms that look the same. We need change and for that, adding a pop of color to our dorm room is completely necessary. This can be achieved by using funky bed sheets and pillow covers.

Get a set of mustard yellow pillow covers here for $14.99.

8. Full-length mirror

A floor mirror in a brown finishing.
[Image description: A floor mirror in a brown finishing.] Via Amazon
All girls reading this would agree with me when I say that full-length mirrors are the most important item in any room, so how can you miss having it in your dorm room? It’s always a good idea to fix that strand of hair flying out from your ponytail or see if your shoes match with your outfit before going out.

Get a full-length mirror here for $55.64.

9. Motivational posters 

A set of six motivational posters.
[Image description: A set of six motivational posters.] Via Amazon
Motivational posters will not only add a tinge of color to your dorm room but will also provide you with fresh motivation when you’re feeling low (which happens quite often at college). Sometimes, just one sentence can change everything.

Get a pack of six motivational posters here for $10.99.

10. Fridge magnets

A colorful set of alphabet and number magnets.
[Image description: A colorful set of alphabet and number magnets.] Via Amazon
If you own a fridge then you can work with this idea to add a touch of fun to it. I personally love fridge magnets. My fridge door is littered with souvenir magnets as they always remind me of home.

Get these alphabet magnets here for $11.99.

11. Storage ottoman

A woman in a white striped t-shirt and blue denims is spring books inside a gray ottoman. Behind her are two more ottomans atop each other.
[Image description: A woman in a white striped t-shirt and blue denim is spring books inside a gray ottoman. Behind her are two more ottomans atop each other.] Via Amazon
I can tell from experience how useful an ottoman is. Living in a hostel means little space for storing a large amount of things. Putting in an ottoman is the simplest and most convenient solution to this problem. Also, it looks great and you can even sit on it.

Get this storage ottoman here for $16.52.

12. Rug

A soft, gray rug is spread across a hardwood floor.
[Image description: A soft, gray rug is spread across a hardwood floor.] Via Amazon
Rugs add a finishing touch to the room. They make the place look complete, and more homely. Hence, adding a trendy little rug that fits in your dorm room is always a great idea.

Get this plushy rug here for $26.99.

13. Shoe rack

A shoe rack hanging over a door holding a few pairs of shoes.
[Image description: A shoe rack hanging over a door holding a few pairs of shoes.] Via Amazon
Shoe racks are especially important if you’re a girl who loves shoes and has a lot of them because then it is likely you’ll run out of space to put them in. Shoe racks will help you organize all your shoes in one place and save you the hassle of pushing them under the bed or squeezing them in your wardrobe.

Get this over-the-door shoe rack here for $26.67.

14. A whiteboard

A white board with notes scribbled on it.
[Image description: A white board with notes scribbled on it.] Via Unsplash
Having a whiteboard in your room, especially if it’s hung outside the door, can make your life a lot easier because then you can make important notes on it. You can also have fun with making drawings or playing games on it with your friends whenever you find time in between classes.

Get a whiteboard here for $15.39.

15. Laundry basket

A laundry basket with blue unicorns and rainbows on it.
[Image description: A laundry basket with blue unicorns and rainbows on it.] Via Amazon
A laundry basket should be at the top of your list of items that you’ll be bringing from home. You can throw all your dirty clothes in it instead of piling them up on your bed or in your wardrobe.

Get this cute laundry basket here for $9.99.

September is almost on us, and some of us will be leaving for college in a few days. Before then, quickly add these things to your shopping lists. They will, after all, give your dorm room the glow up you (and it!) deserves.

Prices were accurate at the time of publishing.