Five easy ways to transform a dorm room

Five ways to turn a dorm room from drab to dazzling. Photo courtesy of Samantha Theisen.


From DIY projects to splurging on decorative pillows, the majority of Butler students are back on campus and ready to make their space a home. With many dorm decor options available, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding on decorations for a room. Here are five methods to spruce up a dorm room!

Beautify the bland with prints and color

Many Butler students show off their fun and free spirit through incorporating animal print, florals and pastel plaids into their dorms. Senior health sciences major Allison Kinsinger loves building onto her signature simple look with bold prints and colors, which can add life to a once-dull room. 

“The color scheme that I always try to go with is more neutral, that way I can accent with artwork,” Kinsinger said. 

Sophomore marketing major Samantha Theisen believes that pastels are currently ‘in,’ but likes to have vibrant colors in her room. Regardless of trends, Theisen encourages students to go with their personal preferences.

Add personality with wall art

An easy yet personal way to add some spice to a room is to tack up a poster, some wall decals or fun pictures of friends and family. Reagan Markland, a sophomore entrepreneurship and innovation and marketing double major, enjoys doing DIY crafts with her roommates as a way to make memories with her friends while adding a personal touch to her room. 

“I love taking a bunch of photos from home and making cute little collages. It’s a fun little DIY and super easy,” Markland said. 

Theisen agrees that pictures can fill smaller walls, but opts for vibrant tapestries to fill bigger spaces.

Plants liven up the space

Butler students are spoiled when it comes to the scenic Atherton Mall to study on, and one great way to liven up a room is to bring a little bit of the outside in! Adding plants to your space is inexpensive and great for the atmosphere — plus, they’ll give you something to focus on during the modified shelter-in-place requirement.

Plants also help to lighten the mood and create a sense of serenity. Many students opt for faux succulents, while others take on the challenge of raising a real plant baby. 

“You don’t have to take care of succulents like you do a regular plant, which I think as an irresponsible college student is sometimes very helpful,” Kinsinger said. 

Theisen believes plants are a good way to add something personal and an extra way to liven up the room. 

“Adding your own personal flair and stuff that means a lot to you [is important],” Theisen said. Give the green a go!

Pillows with a pop 

Throwing a few decorative pillows on a bed or chair is an effortless way to add some color and comfort to any dorm. Markland explains that pillows are one of her go-to decorating hacks. 

“They give your room a pop of color and they’re super comfy,” Markland said. 

Markland suggests students look out for decorative pillows during after-holiday sales. “It’s really easy to throw a pillowcase over an old seasonal pillow,” Markland said. 

Getting creative with decor is one way to spruce up a dorm room while also saving money.

Light it up

Lighting is an essential part of setting the mood. Bright lights can make students feel energized and ready to knock out a few assignments, while softer lighting can signal that it’s time to wind down and relax. Markland also said lighting can help give a room more flare. 

“I have string lights with little photos on them. I love them because they’re fun and they add more light,” Markland said. 

Other popular ways to add some spark to a dorm are night sky projector lamps and LED adhesive lights.

Decorating a dorm can be surprisingly easy and fun. With these five tips, Butler students can start the semester on the right foot and start to make Butler feel like home.


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