Get Prepped on Dorm Room Décor This Fall at HGTV.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dorm rooms are quite valuable to a young adult’s growth —it’s often his or her first new “home” away from home. For ideas to transform what is often a drab, lifeless space to a warm, personal place ideal for studying and socializing, visit HGTV.com’s popular “Rate My Space” community. The Dorm Room gallery allows users to both showcase their dorm room décor and to share advice on other student’s college spaces. (http://hgtv.com/dorms)

Along with viewing the Dorm Room gallery’s hundreds of rooms for inspiration, HGTV.com users can upload pictures of their own space before or after a makeover for feedback from the Rate My Space community. HGTV.com users can also find designer dorm room ideas, including tips from HGTV hosts Kim Myles and Vern Yip, along with tricks of the trade to help optimize dorm room storage and space, two items often in short supply.

Last year, nationwide spending on dorm décor and college apartment furnishings reached an estimated $5.43 billion, with young adults 18-24 spending an average of $159 each.(a) Ready to help students ace decorating difficulties and maximize the money they spend, designer Angelo Surmelis– host of the HGTV program “Rate My Space”– offers some expert advice on creative dorm room decorating on a dime.

“Color is one of the easiest ways to make an impact in any room, and dorm rooms are no exception,”“Since painting walls is usually out of the question in most dormitories, finding new, inexpensive and creative ways to add color is the key.” Surmelis suggests the following ways to add color without ever having to paint: he said.

  • Get inexpensive canvases and paint them all a single color or a few different complimentary colors. Cover a wall with the canvases for added interest and a great color focal point. They are also easy to repaint if you get tired of the color(s) you used. Group a few canvases together for major impact!
  • Fabric can have a similar effect while adding texture. Stretching colored or patterned fabric over canvases, cork boards or simple plywood boards cut to custom sizes and shapes will not only give your room instant color, it will give you an extra design element that can influence bedding, pillow and accessory choices.
  • Most paint and wallpaper stores have remnant wallpaper that you can purchase quite inexpensively. Frame interesting papers with ornate thrift store or flea market frames to give your room instant style that not only feels personal but chic and unique.

“Another big dorm decorating issue is dealing with the small space,” Surmelis added. “Since dorm rooms can be quite small (and are often shared), maximizing storage is essential.” He offers these tips on utilizing space:

  • Get stylish by utilizing furniture pieces that can double as storage – like ottomans that open up, beds with pullout drawers and storage in the headboards, as well as vertical storage units.
  • Use your walls to their fullest potential. Simple shelving or even cubes (that you can customize with paint or wall paper) can add instant interest while providing storage that keeps surfaces neat and clean. And salvage yards are a great place to find alternative brackets for your shelving – plaster scones, for instance.
  • Think about scale of furniture. Try not to fill the room with a bunch of small pieces, as the result is usually a feeling of clutter. Fewer, well chosen pieces can create the illusion of a larger room. With fewer pieces you may be able to have something of larger scale, like a great comfortable chair.

According to Surmelis, “Using color in impactful ways and storage space in creative ways can make a boxy dorm room feel like it has personality – yours!” For more dorm room inspiration, visit hgtv.com/dorms.

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(a) National Retail Federation’s 2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey