There are tons of cute, kitschy products for your dorm room, designed specifically for college students. The selection is in high demand, so some are overpriced, but others are inexpensive - mostly because they're made of cheap materials and feature overused color schemes. These are furnishings that rarely make it out of the dorm and into your first apartment, either because they fall apart or look childish by graduation. You don't want to break the bank, but you want a stylish dorm. Save money by buying discount window treatments and scouring flea markets for mature looking decor. Here are some more ways to achieve a stylish dorm.
Get "adult" furnishings
Rather than opting for the brightly colored polka-dotted curtains, buy well-priced window treatments to maximize both privacy and the mature look you desire. A good set of blinds for less are more likely stay intact and in vogue over the years than shades from a dorm collection. Roller shades are another durable option to keep light out on those days you get to sleep in. After all, sleep is precious in college after all-night study sessions.
Avoid overhead lights
The overhead lighting built into in most dorm rooms features stark white bulbs that often omits an unpleasant buzz when turned on. Steer clear of using them, as they cast the room in an unflattering light, and use string lights and desk lamps to get soft, relaxing light. Ask your parents, older siblings, and family friends if they have any lights that they're not using. Putting sophisticated lamps in your campus housing helps your dorm look like that of a senior, not a freshman.
Organizational products are your best friend in college. Not only do they help you keep track of items, they also cut back on clutter. What's more adult than having a place for everything, and keeping everything in its place? There is a wide variety of containers for your desk that will help you catalog your papers and files, as well as arrange your basic supplies. Woven baskets are perfect for keeping makeup, nail polish and other accessories organized and neat while adding a mature element. Try using shoe hangers and under-bed storage to tidy up your clothes - this will also make getting dressed in the morning more efficient, so you can get a few extra minutes of shut-eye. Ottomans are another option for grouping items like magazines, DVDs and books while maintaining a second function. Search flea and open air markets to find unique vases to hold pencils and antique dishes to keep change in.
Strive for neutral colors
Bright colors are exciting to decorate with, but too many will make your dorm room look like something out of a Pottery Barn Teen catalog. Try using one or two colors to highlight fun aspects of the room, or stick to a tried-and-true color scheme such as black, white and turquoise, or coral and teal, as suggested by HGTV.
Don't sacrifice fun
Just because you have a grown-up dorm room doesn't mean you have to be all business! These are said to be the best years of your life, and your college abode should reflect your youth. Go crazy with decorations and adorn your walls with quirky posters and collages with photos of friends, movie tickets and other memorabilia. You can avoid homesickness by lining your shelves and window sills with photographs of hometown pals and your family, and try getting creative with textiles with subtle patterns.