Dorm rooms are notoriously lackluster in design and tight on space. Despite the limited conditions, it’s possible to take your dorm room from drab to polished with the functional décor that speaks to your unique personal style. 

Interior designer Nikki Klugh, who owns an award-winning eponymous design studio, understands the importance of having a dorm room you can be proud of. Klugh is the lead designer for Move-In Day Mafia, an organization which provides underserved HBCU students, who have aged out of foster care, with free dorm makeovers. 

Today, she provides EBONY with 5 tips for bringing your dorm room to life with shoppable, budget-friendly shopping suggestions.

Play Up Your Personality

Klugh says, “Create personality by pulling inspiration from your interests and hobbies. Using smaller decor pieces that pay homage to everything you love instead of one large poster or art piece will be more cost effective and provide the opportunity to spread your personality throughout the entire room.”

Image: courtesy of Dormify

Dormify Good Vibes Only Neon sign $79,

Choose A Cohesive Palette

“Play with colors you love while incorporating colors that can promote learning and relaxation at the same time” she instructs. “For example: Green promotes relaxation and focus. Not to mention, bringing greenery into your dorm room provides many health benefits.” 

Image: courtesy of Dormify

Dormify Devon Washed Cotton Comforter and Sham Set $129,

Coziness is Essential

“Add plush textiles to your room to create the feeling of a warm hug. Dorm rooms can be cold and made out of unwelcoming materials to make them easier to clean” remarks Klugh. “Add comfort and pops of color to your space through carefully placed area rugs, throw pillows, and curtains.”

Image: courtesy of Anthropologie

Anthropolgie Sophie Faux Fur Pillow $38,

Mobility is Key

“Configure your furniture to make it fit your lifestyle” Klugh instructs. “Most dorm room furniture is moveable, so you can create your own layout that allows you to look out the window when at your desk, make a gathering space for friends or move your bed to a more preferred wall.”

Image: courtesy of Amazon

3-Tier Slim Mobile Shelving Unit on Wheels $20,

Keep it Simple

Image: courtesy of Bungalow

Decorate with pieces and materials that don't require power tools. Most dorm rooms don't allow you to drill into the walls which can limit what you put on them. For example: If you plan on hanging curtains, use a tension rod that fits in the window opening."

Jungalow Coral Sunset Raffia Wall Hanging $139,