Part of the excitement of going off to college is living on your own for the first time. If you’re in a dorm or living off-campus, then you’ll be facing a blank slate when it comes to décor. Whether you’re looking to dress up the standard-issue dorm furnishings or you’re working with your apartment’s empty canvas, incorporate some of these dorm room inspiration tips to up the wow factor and make your new space feel like home.

Rearrange the Layout

Don’t think you need to keep the furniture layout as is. Before you add any decorative touches, experiment by switching up the bed, dresser, and desk to various spots in the room. Shifting the layout gives the room a different feel and can even add some much-needed space.

Dress up the Basics

Just because your furnishings are the same as everyone else’s in the dorm doesn’t mean they have to appear that way. Add a portable headboard to your bed for an instant makeover, or embellish your closet door with washi tape. Accessorize your dresser with removable wallpaper and add a furry seat cover to your desk chair, and your room is instantly transformed.

Accessorize Carefully

A few accessories go a long way in a dorm or off-campus apartment. Add colorful artwork or wall decals to display your sense of style and cover up the typical boring beige paint. Use other pieces like lamps, hanging plants, mirrors, and tapestries to add some oomph to the room.

Maximize Your Space

Student living usually means you’re short on space. Use under-bed storage containers to keep things neat and orderly, or make the most of vertical wall space with shelves and drawers to stow your stuff. This lets you focus on your room’s style and not the clutter.

Pick Furniture Wisely

If you’re purchasing your own furniture — and especially if you’re living off campus — it helps to get pieces that do double duty. Whether it’s an ottoman that offers storage, a bookcase that works as a room divider, or a futon that functions as both a sofa and a bed, you’ll get the best use out of multifunctional pieces when you’re working in a small space.

Add a Touch of Home

No matter how excited you are to start out on your own, the change requires a bit of an adjustment. Bringing a few decorative pieces from your childhood bedroom into your new space can help ease the transition and bring a feeling of familiarity to your surroundings.

Don’t Forget the Floor

It’s easy to focus on the furniture and walls, but the floor adds its own statement to the room. Warm up hardwoods or tile with an area rug in a bright color or trendy pattern. If your floor space is too small or an unusual size for a traditional rug, then place several small rugs together to create the illusion of a bigger rug.

For more tips and tricks like these, feel free to keep exploring the Matador Furniture blog!