In our mid-high-school-geometry-class daydreams about our fabulous future life in college, we tend to gloss over the fact that we'll be living in glorified cinderblock boxes called "dorm rooms." But don't let the linoleum floors, minimal storage space, and Twin XL beds get you down! There are still plenty of ways to class up your dorm room.
1. Fix up some faux-frames
Whether you're going to hang up images of your favorite bands or a picture clock of your 12 beloved cats, make your photos and posters look super fancy with Washi tape! It comes in all sorts of colors and patterns and automatically brightens up a room.
2. Create your own corkboard
You'll need somewhere to pin up your to-do lists, tickets for the cool events you'll be going to, and your class schedule to keep your life in order. Save your money for books, sweaters or your life-size collection of Hunger Games character sculptures, and make your own cork board to keep everything in order. Using the Washi tape you have left over from making your own photo frames, create a fun design on sheets of cork and hang them on your wall.
3. Hang your pictures out to dry ...
Pick up some twine or colored ribbon and clothes pins the next time that you're at the arts and crafts store (totally a regular stop on your errand-running route). String the ribbon or twine across your wall, then hang pictures along the lines using the clothes pins for a "cobblestone streets of Italy" clothesline look, or an "I can't be bothered to go down to the common laundry, so this is how underwear changeover day is going down, peeps."
4. ... or light them up!
If you're not into the whole twine thing, here's an alternative way to display photos of your loved ones and pet iguana: Clip them onto the string part of some spare Christmas lights. Not only is this a nice way to show off your selfie collection ("Me and my sister," "me and my burrito," "me and a brief flirtation with clip-on bangs" ...) but the twinkly string lights offer a classier ambiance than the harsh fluorescent overhead bulbs.
5. Repurpose your kitchenware
Since (sadly) most dorm rooms don't come with a kitchen, you can leave your cookbooks and "Kiss the Cook!" apron at home. But instead of letting your cookie sheets collect dust, you can spray paint them your favorite color, find some cute magnets, and use them to hang up reminders, song lyrics or instructions for how to skin a chicken. Since you can't use your cake stand for actual cakes, use them to store your perfumes, lotions, and various other girly things in an organized fashion.
6. Make your own headboard
The simplest way to dress up your bed (other than a bedspread designed to look like a tuxedo) is with a headboard. Instead of handing over your hard-earned moolah to some Swedish home decor empire, make your own headboard using cardboard and fabric. Bonus: you can change the pattern or color of the fabric any time you get bored. Win.
7. Get a garland
Or make one! Garlands are like auto-parties. Whether you're actually throwing a fiesta or you're just watching Supernatural in your pajamas, a colorful or sparkly garland will add some class and pizazz to a boring white cinder block room.
Any good tips for swanking up your dorm room?