Keep it clean.The first and possibly one of the most important ways to make your dorm look good is to keep it clean. Living in a small room, you have to keep everything organized and clean if you want the space to be functional, pretty, and if you want anyone else to be willing to spend time in it with you. The easiest way I've found to keep my room clean is to make the bed each day, spend 10 minutes in the evening putting things away, and take out the trash at least once a week.
Choose a color palette.My freshman year I had a rainbow striped comforter and random brightly colored storage containers and pillows. It didn't really look that great. Between then and my junior year, I settled on a 3 tone color palette of blue, pink, and white which looked much more put together. When picking out your decor, have a set color palette in mind so it looks like everything in your dorm goes together rather than looking like you just grabbed whatever you could find.
Use light colors and white.Building on that idea of a color palette, be sure to include some white or lighter colors in your palette. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to tell you that you can't have bright colors in your dorm. I love having lots of color in my room! But to keep it from getting to crazy in your small space, balance out the color with some white or other lighter, muted tones. In my dorm I had a white comforter with pink and blue pillows, along with pink and blue touches elsewhere in the room.
While you shouldn't be using nails to hang things up, you can go crazy with command hook strips! Hanging up some wall art makes the dorm feel like it's yours whether it be DIY canvases, photos, wall decor from your favorite store, or posters. I always like to put up canvases and paintings I make myself along with lots of photos. Be careful with taking command hooks off the wall, but you won't get charged too much if you take a few little chips of paint off the wall so don't stress about it.
Hang wall art.
Put down a rug.If your dorms are like the ones I stayed in, the carpeting is probably pretty hideous. An easy way to fix that is with a rug! You can get an area rug for as little as $15 and it will make all the difference. I went for a white rug (back to using those light colors to make your space feel bigger) that was super soft for my room. There's also lots of cute patterned rugs and different textures so you're sure to find one that fits your style.
Use cute but functional storage.With being in a small dorm room, you have to make sure that everything you put in your room serves a purpose. One way to do that is with cute but functional storage options. A drawer unit can hold your beauty and craft supplies while giving you extra space on top to show off your tsum tsum collection (because let's be real, that needs to be on display). A cute mug can be a little desk decoration while holding all your pens and pencils. A pretty dish can hold hair ties, chapstick, and other small items plus add a little something to your nightstand.
Those are my best tips to help you make your dorm look good. I hope they help as you plan out how you want your dorm to look in the fall!
How do you decorate your dorm or bedroom (I really want to know the answer to this, so don't be shy)? Any tips for decorating a small space?
Related Posts: College Apartment Tour: Bedroom, DIY Wall Art, What to do when You're Annoyed with Your Roomate