13 Amazing Ways to Brighten Up Your Dorm Room


It’s hard to imagine that you have had a perfect dorm room or that you never thought about redecorating your dorm room. Let’s face the reality: dorm rooms are just like small prison cells, dirty and tiny. Living in that kind of dorm room with a roommate can be rough; you may not be able to study or have your friends over.

When it comes to decorating and organizing your dorm room, it’s better to keep it simple since you have limited space. Even if you seem to have little to no space left in the dorm, no worries, you can still decorate your dorm without using much of the area you have.

Here are the best cheap and easy ways to brighten up your dorm room to make it a comfortable living space for you to study and live.

1. Clean Up First

cleaning the dorm to brighten it up

Before you even think about decorating your messy little dorm room, you ought to thoroughly clean it first. It’s not going to be expensive at all, or it won’t even cost a dime (if you could find the cleaning equipment).

Cleaning doesn’t mean just brooming the floor; you should clean windows, walls, and furniture too. It might even prove that you have a little more space to play within your dorm room.

2. Let the Natural Light In

If you have a dorm room that doesn’t allow much natural light to come in, you should open up the blinds to get at least a little bit more light in. You don’t have to spend a dime to brighten up your dorm room if you have enough natural light.

Let the sunlight come in in the morning to warm your room a bit; it removes your room’s terrible odor and brights it up a notch. Seeing the outside, if you have a beautiful view in the morning, will help your day go much better.

3. Choose a Good Color

The first step you must take to brighten up your dorm is by picking a proper and organized color scheme. It’ll help you to make a severe transformation in the dorm room. Choosing a color/color scheme for your dorm can be extremely difficult. You can either go with a light-colored (recommended) or dark-colored dorm room theme.

The dark color theme in your dorm can look impressive and attractive, but it won’t let the natural light in much. So, you should go with a light-colored theme if you care about needing more natural light in your room. No worries, if you are not good with colors, you can get your roommate’s or your friends’ opinions.

4. Light Up the Dorm

lightning up your dorm room

Lights brighten up the room; everybody knows that. It takes a particular part in decorating a dorm room. Especially, if you have a dark dorm room that doesn’t let in much natural light in or if you choose to go with a dark dorm room theme. There are several lighting items you could use to lighten up your dorm room.

01.Christmas Lights

What?? Christmas lights to brighten up the dorm? Yes, you could use Christmas lights to add more light to your dorm room. Since they are quite affordable, you won’t have any budget issues when decorating your dorm.

Note: Before you buy, some schools/colleges’ policies might not allow Christmas lights in your dorm room since they are considered a fire hazard. So, you might want to check your college policy first.

02. Floor Lamps

When you don’t get enough natural light in your dorm room, using a floor lamp or a few would be a great solution. Let’s face it, having fluorescent ceiling lights are good, but those are pretty much ugly to look at. You could start to use floor lamps; they’ll add more light to your room and make your dorm look beautiful.

03. Letter Marquee Lights

Wouldn’t it be cool to have your name in flashing lights on your dorm wall? Letter marquee lights are super cute and can and will bring out powerful light into your dark dorm room.

04. Neon Sign Lights

If you don’t like letter marquee lights, you could get neon sign lights as a replacement. They add more look to your room, and they are super cheap to buy too. Most of all, they are super cool for a gamer’s dorm room.

5. Use Curtains

Sometimes you get too much natural light in your room, and it gets harder to read a book or take notes, or sleep. If that’s the case, you should use curtains in your dorm room’s windows to limit the natural light that comes in. Also, using curtains, you can add a more beautiful view to your windows.

6. Wall Decorations

wall brighten up the dorm

Hanging too many decorations on your dorm room’s walls will make it look overwhelming. But, a few(usually one or two) wall decorations won’t hurt the look of your dorm room. Be warned tho, choose the wall decorations that go with your dorm room theme.

01. Photo Murals

Having too many photos on your dorm’s wall can ruin the inside view. But having a few small or medium-sized pictures or one large-sized photo can add a beautiful look to your dorm room.

But picture frames can be a bit expensive, so you could hang photos on a line with clothespins or you could use washi tapes. Be careful tho; you should choose photos that match your wall color. Otherwise, the view of your dorm room walls will be ruined; also, and you’ll end up losing money and redecorating.

02. Mirrors

No matter how many lamps you have or let in so much sunlight into your small dorm room, there will be places that don’t get that much light. But you can use simple mirrors to bounce the light you get from the lamps and the sun to the dark places. It’ll brighten up your small dorm room a little bit more.

7. Multi-Purpose Items

Saving space is crucial when you want to make your dungy dorm room a happy tiny home. So, you could start using multi-purpose items such as canvas storage bins, which look beautiful and adds color to your dorm.

When we talk about multifunctional things you could add to your dorm room; ottoman storage can not go unnoticed. You could use them to store study snacks or use them as a stool whenever you need them.

Using multi-purpose items in your dorm room has more advantages than you would think. Most importantly, by using multifunction items in your dorm room, you could save up a lot of space, while you add a bit more decorations.

8. Stay Organized

organized brighten up your dorm room

Keeping everything organized looks like a ‘mom’s job, right? It’s not. Staying organized will make your life much more comfortable and will make your dorm room a place you want to live in. Especially it’ll help you to keep your dorm room clean and smelling nicer.

Using multi-purpose items such as storage items can also help you put stuff so that you can stay organized. While it seems hard to keep coordinated, mainly for a boy, it’s not that hard. It’ll take some effort to stay organized, of course. However, it’s worth it.

9. Washee Tapes

Washi tapes are a kind of Japanese masking tape that people are going nuts for. They are an adorable and functional alternative to sticky tacks. You could use them to stick photos on your wall, and if you can get a bit creative, you could also add more colors to your dorm room’s walls.

Washi tapes are pretty much easy to use, colorful, inexpensive, and removable when you don’t want them. So decorating your dorm room with washi tapes is an excellent way to brighten up your dorm room.

10. Change the Beddings

beddings and pillows to brighten the room

Choosing light color bedding will highlight your bed when someone comes to your dorm room. But, you should select bedclothes that match your dorm room’s color or theme. Using light-colored bedding, you’ll be able to brighten up your dorm room.

You should always make your bed in the morning and should be the first thing you do when you wake up. Since the bed is the focal point in small dorm rooms, you should always keep it clean and organized.

11. Using Rugs

The great thing about rugs is that there are so many styles, and you can add more looks to your room with anyone of them. They’ll help you to keep your dorm room much cleaner.

Sometimes, rugs that don’t big enough for your bedspread can add much more look to your dorm room. Taking care of carpets and cleaning them can be a bit hard for colleges. But you’ll only have to do it every few weeks.

12. Add a House Plant

house plants to brighten up the dorm

When decorating rooms, people hardly ever thinks about adding a green house plant into their dorm room. Adding a house plant will give a more natural feel to your dorm room. Also, they can purify the air, reduce stress, and allow you to sleep much better without costing you a dime.

There are a ton of houseplants you could use in your dorm room and not that hard to take care of. You have to keep adding water and setting down it in a place that gets sunlight.

13. Customized Decorations

Adding your personalized decorations can make a significant impact on anyone who walks into your dorm room; you might even get a ‘wow’ out of that person. Using personal decorations can make your dorm room look much better.

You can design photo murals yourself, or make DIY decoration items out of thrown-out things if you have them in you. It’ll save you a ton of money that you would’ve used to decorate your dorm room. Also, you could make custom-order photos to hang from someone who will design the way you want them to be.

Since these decorations are made according to your personal taste, they’ll make you much happier than using decorations you could buy from the stores or online.

In a Nutshell

While it seems no matter what you do in the beginning, you’re going to end up with a dark and small dorm room; there are a ton of cheap and easy ways to make it a livable happy place.

It’s essential to decorate your dorm room since it’s where you’re going to live, study, and sleep. Using these 13 ways is much more comfortable, and it won’t even take much effort or time to brighten up your dorm room.

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