A Boho-Chic Dorm Room Makeover You Have to See to Believe

A Boho-Chic Dorm Room Makeover You Have to See to Believe

Ivory Knit Throw
Faux Headboard
Whether you’re styling an over-the-top dorm space or plan to keep it simple, a headboard really transforms the look of the room and makes it feel more put-together. I ordered this upholstered, stick-on headboard from Room 422 , but you can find faux headboards from a variety of online retailers. Peel-and-stick strips allow students to safely adhere these to the wall behind their bed. Alternatively, you can just rest the headboard on the back of the bed frame.
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Pile High With Pillows
Pillows are a great way to add comfort to your bed while providing enough back support to study. An oversized 28x40 pillow serves as the foundation for this look while two larger taupe and white accent pillows (with zippers for easy cleaning) add to the layered feel. For a pop of color, we added small, boho-inspired, tasseled pillows in one of the richer hues in our palette.
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Rumi Shag Throw Pillow
Add Style Underfoot
A rug is the easiest way to transform the look of a dorm room and disguise industrial-grade carpet or tile. This textured, bohemian-style rug complements the blush color in the inspiration art and adds visual appeal with its fringed trim. Don’t forget to bring a roll of rug tape to help secure it in place.
Carpet Tape
Double-Duty Desk + Vanity
With so many shared spaces in college, grooming areas are often crowded and unpleasant. The solution? Have your desk pull double duty as both vanity and workspace. To create a vanity on a working desk, I rested a mango wood round mirror against the wall, stashed skincare and makeup products in acrylic drawers and organized brushes in a geometric, metallic canister from the craft store.
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Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer
Upgrade Bedside Furniture
In a small dorm room, every inch of space is valuable, so it's important to pick furniture that's both stylish and functional. As an alternative to the common square cubby system seen in many dorms, we chose this Alex 9-drawer unit from Ikea to serve as both a nightstand and a dresser. Although we had to put it together ourselves, it was large enough to hold undergarments, socks, rolled T-shirts, leggings and small electronics. Worth it!
ALEX Drawer Unit
Skirt Your Storage
Disguise the storage space under your bed with an adjustable, three-paneled bed skirt. Many dorm room beds are often raised to accommodate large items underneath, so a standard bed skirt won't cut it. Seen here, an extra-long Room 422 bed skirt tied easily to the bed frame and allowed us to customize the length to evenly hide a small chest, empty bins, a foldable dolly, tool kit (much needed during move in) and suitcases. We also added a bit of double-sided hook-and-loop tape to keep the skirt from sliding.
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Extra Long Dorm Bed Skirt
DIY Chandelier
Naturally, my daughter was nervous to move out of state to attend college, so I wanted to create a statement piece in her room that really made it feel special. To combat the many negative side effects of overhead fluorescent lighting — including migraines, melatonin suppression and eye strain — I created an easy DIY light fixture using battery-operated puck lights, a trick I learned from my mother, an art teacher. These inexpensive lights cast a warm glow and are often used on desktops or as accent lighting.
SEE MORE: 100 DIY Dorm Room Decorating Ideas
Let the Light Shine
To create this pretty chandelier, I used hook-and-loop tape to attach a remote-controlled puck light to the hardware inside a seagrass pendant . Then, I tied white rubber-coated electrical wire to the pendant and hung it from a brass screw hook (twine and removable hooks would also work). In less than 10 minutes, this easy DIY lighting project took the space from a basic dorm room to a stylish retreat.
Geometric Art Prints, Set of 2
New Chair, Who This?
Be prepared to replace the desk chair, especially if it's broken or stained like the one in Grace's dorm room was. Instead of covering the old chair, we swapped it for a chic, bamboo accent chair from HomeGoods for under $50. To complete the look, I styled it with a textured, fringed throw and accent pillow. For events or sports games requiring clear bags for entry, a Purseption purse is easy to hang on the chair and is required at most collegiate events.
Reduce Stress With Plants
Dorms are often small, sterile spaces that feel very institutionalized. Style a faux plant, like this fiddle leaf fig, in a dark corner or add a real plant next to a window. Research has proven that indoor plants can boost your mood, increase productivity and reduce stress.
4' Faux Fiddle Leaf Tree
Laundry Smarts
Make the long walk down the hallway to the laundry room easier with a rolling hamper. A taller laundry cart can also store detergent and dryer sheets in a small bedroom.
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Closet Solution
While waiting on closet doors to arrive, I hung tufted shower curtains on removable hooks to create a more polished armoire. Various neutral, textured baskets and file holders hold important documents and smaller items while a hanging organizer stores shorts, T-shirts and jeans.
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6-Shelf Hanging Fabric Storage Organizer
Mini Mudroom
To free up space on the desk area, a multi-hook wall shelf and mirror is a perfect spot to keep those last-minute items needed before heading off to class. The hooks can hold keys, a light bag, necklaces and scarves while the shelf is the perfect spot for a small jewelry box or diffuser.
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Ella Mirror Multi-Hook Wall Shelf
Dress Up Windows With Drapes
In addition to adding softness to a space, curtains can block out light and serve as an extra privacy barrier. We hung a geometric curtain rod and textured, neutral curtains that coordinate with the bedding. If screws are not permitted, rods can be hung with removable stick-on hooks. Alternatively, spring loaded curtain rods can also be used within the frame.
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Linen Curtains
Common Space Design
Many dorms now offer four-bedroom suites where students have their own bedrooms but share a common area. Using the same ideas and principles as I did in the bedroom, I hung a set of three coastal water color prints in the living room and used those colors to inspire the rest of the design.
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Coastal Beach Wall Art
Common Space Details
An inexpensive rug, textured throw blankets, a faux plant, neutral curtains and decorative accents were added to create a space where new friends could gather and cheer on Alabama!
Sweet Goodbye
Watching my oldest daughter walk back into her dorm after our final hug was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a parent. To let her know that I am always there in spirit, I left a secret note in permanent marker on her pillowcase. She found this shortly after I left and it's comforting for both of us to know that I’m always the last one to say goodnight.
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