How to Decorate a College Dorm

Summer is quickly coming to an end and incoming freshmen will soon be leaving for their first semester of college. There are many great things about college like making friends, seeing new places, and learning valuable lessons. However, there are some downsides such as sub-par cafeteria food, expensive textbooks, and dreary dorm rooms. When I saw my dorm room for the first time, I immediately thought: “How am I going to make this place not look like a prison cell?”

Many college students only have to experience the joys of dorm life for their first year of school, others live in a dorm all four years. Some dorms are nicer and newer than others, but most still need a decorative makeover to make the space more homey and fun. Luckily, we have put together a list of decor tips and DIY projects to help turn a drab dorm into a dream dorm – all while following a college student budget!

  1. Cover the Walls with Photos, Canvas, and Posters

No one likes to look at blank white walls in their dorm room. To give the space a more comfortable, soothing feel, adorn the walls with pictures of friends and family, movie posters, magazine covers, or even canvas prints! Not only does this personalize the room, but it can also help cure homesickness by having reminders of home on display.

72 How to Decorate a College Dorm


Don’t be afraid to get creative with photo displays. Try spelling out your name or create a shape (such as a heart or peace sign) with photos, magazine clippings, and postcards. Another inexpensive DIY way to display photos is to pin a clothesline across the wall and hang photos on the line with wooden clothespins.

If you’d like a statement piece to fill the white space of your dorm walls, consider ordering a canvas print! You can print any photo you’d like whether it be a picture of you and your friends, your beloved family pet, or even a snapshot of your college campus.

  1. Brighten the Room with Fun Lighting

College dorms are infamous for their fluorescent lighting. If you’re not fond of the fluorescence, consider trying out an alternate way to light up your dorm! Search your home for any extra Christmas lights that may be laying around. If you find some, this is a great way to not only light up the dorm but also give it a decorative flair. Try draping them around the bed or desk so you have some light for late night study sessions. For a cool take on Christmas lights, here are some fun DIY crafts using ping pong balls or dixie cups.

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Many colleges do not allow open flames in their dorms. If you’re lucky enough to have a dorm that allows candles, stock up on these cheap sources of light! There are also cute electric candles for those dorms that don’t allow the real deal.

  1. Get Organized with a Decorative Flair

Organizational items and projects don’t need to be boring! These organizational tools not only keep your stuff together but can also help add some pizzazz to your dorm. Try putting together an organization board that includes a to-do list, schedule, grocery list, or any other kind of memento that may be needed! If you want to make your own, try out this fun DIY project using plywood. Or you can get creative with clipboards for an easier DIY project. I personally was a fan of whiteboards in college because they were such an easy way to jot down reminders!

ELEPHANTSHOE DIY DIGITAL WALLPAPER 2012 01 How to Decorate a College Dorm


To keep your desk space in order, paint some mason jars to create a fun holder for your pens, pencils, and highlighters. If your electronics cords are overflowing into your work space, try making this fun charger station with a shoe box to keep all the loose wires stowed away. You’d be surprised how many cute organization tools you can make with common household items and some craft supplies!

  1. Be Creative With Your Furniture & Storage

Instead of breaking the bank on buying furniture and storage containers for your dorm, try creating some with items you may have lying around at home! A drink cart or caddy could easily become a makeshift nightstand. Plastic crates and foam can be made into cute chairs for whenever you have friends over to hang out or study in your dorm. If you’re looking for a creative way to store your chips and candies, turn your over-the-door shoe holder into a snack holder! When you’re leaving for class, you can easily just grab a snack before you head out the door.

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Apartment Therapy

We hope these decor tips and DIY projects help change your dorm into a fun space you enjoy living in! If you have some dorm decor ideas of your own, please share below!

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A Collection of Photo Inspirations

Back in the day, I dabbled in amateur photography. I’m talking old-school 35mm film, developing the photos in a darkroom all to create my often over-exposed black and white images. It was great to understand shutter speed and the rule of thirds so I could develop my photography skills. But, as the digital/color world is so much more interesting, I too have evolved.

As an amateur photographer, I now look for inspiration and articles on the web to help capture great photos. Pinterest and Pexels are two of my favorites. In this post, I’m highlighting some of my favorite photos from the web along with some of my own photos. The great thing about these photos is I can use them for sessions, develop an inspiration board, create prints or even hang them in my home as a canvas.


I spend a lot of time outdoors so most of my pictures include landscapes. I enjoy specific sceneries including mountains and beaches. These prints capture nature as best they can behind a lens.

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Photos that you can almost feel look great as decor. I love the uniformity in texture photos and depending on the colors, they can make quite an impact on a bare wall.

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I don’t have a good camera for capturing images at night, but I sure do try. The lighting from city lights or even the stars makes everything feel just a little more magical.

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Confession: 75% of my pictures include photos of my dogs (one of them featured here). I’m a fan of my pets but love to capture images of wildlife as well.

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With all this talk about photography and these interesting photos, I’m ready to go out and shoot. What inspires your photos? Any specific photo categories you look for? Let us know in the comments below.

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4 Decor Tips for a Happier, Homier Office Space

Because There’s No Place Like Home The Office.

Let’s face it: sometimes the last thing we want to do is leave the comfort of our home for the obligatory trek to the office, no matter how friendly the co-workers or fresh the coffee (I’m looking at you, Mondays). Even Leslie Knope had her off days and she’s, well, Leslie Knope. That’s why we’ve put together these 4 decor tips to bring a little more happiness to your cubicle, open office, or if you’re really lucky – home office.

1. Break Out the Inspiration Board

Memento or inspiration boards can serve many purposes. For writers, artists, and other creatives, an inspiration board can be constantly updated to reflect current projects, brainstorming sessions, or first drafts. For the rest of us, these boards may serve as a more static representation of self – a collection of pieces that highlight our favorite memories or remind us why we do what we do, that we can occasionally add or subtract to as we see fit.

InspirationBoardExample 4 Decor Tips for a Happier, Homier Office Space

Better Homes & Gardens













My own memento board is a combination of family photos, inspirational quotes, career keepsakes, and dinosaur cut-outs (to each his own, right?). On those days when one too many deadlines pile up or emails go unread, having a reminder of your life outside of work can be incredibly helpful. My Aunt keeps a picture of her niece with special needs front and center, it reminds her of what is most important to her, and when it really gets rough – it motivates her to push through.

Your board can also be a tribute to all that you are accomplishing at work. When I worked with nonprofits, I kept thank you letters from clients and donation or impact stats constantly on display. Just remember that you are making a difference, in one way or another, and you can’t help but feel a little happier at work.

2. Not Ready for a Whole Board? Try a Poster, Photo, or Canvas

If creating an inspiration board is a little too daunting, or you fear overwhelming a limited cubicle space, smaller posters or canvases are excellent alternatives. Have no fear – there are plenty of tasteful options that move beyond the cheesy “TEAMWORK” posters of yesteryear:

EleanorRooseveltQuote 4 Decor Tips for a Happier, Homier Office Space

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You can also go the photos route, and find some unique frames and displays for your desk. If you’re working with a small space, order wallet-sized prints and choose photo displays that will allow you to showcase more of your favorite memories in a smaller area. If you’re in the DIY spirit, here are some displays you can make yourself for under $5:

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3. Get Cute with Your Office Supplies

Sometimes it’s the little things, and when it comes to office supplies, there are a ton of options for injecting some personality into otherwise mundane work tools. Want a panda stapler? You got it. A tape dispenser shaped like an otter? Not a problem. There’s even a hedgehog pencil holder! I could go on, but these are just a few little additions to your desk that guarantee a daily smile, or at least a great conversation starter.

Looking for something a little more professional? Treat yourself to a chic new planner or desk pad over at Rifle Paper Co. Or, better yet – DIY via damask love:

GoldLeatherOffice 4 Decor Tips for a Happier, Homier Office Space

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4. Inject Some Cozy into Your Work Day

Nothing says “home” like snuggling up on the couch with your cats, chai tea in one hand and the TV remote in the other. While cats and television aren’t the most productive additions to your workplace (sorry, Netflix), that doesn’t mean you can’t get cozy at work! Especially if you are also subject to the sub-arctic office temperatures we experience every summer, a shawl or decorative blanket may be just what you need.

Pick out a decorative blanket to drape over your chair or store by your desk. Better yet, get sentimental with a custom photo blanket of your cats. It will be just like snuggling up with Fluffy at home! Not ready to break out a blanket? Another option is a comfy but fashionable shawl or chunky scarf. Go with a neutral color that will work with any outfit:

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We hope these decor tips help bring a little bit more heart to your office space. Have some ideas of your own? Share below!

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July: National Blueberry Month

It’s not too late to celebrate National Blueberry Month the proper way! A blueberry is not only a delicious fruit but pumped with nutrients as well such as antioxidants and vitamin C. Here are some recipes you can make using the fruit of the month!

Lemon Blueberry Bread (

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1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8×4 inch loaf pan
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir into egg mixture alternately with milk
4. In the same bowl, where you combined the flour, add blueberries and toss them in 2 tbsp of flour
5. Fold in lemon zest, and blueberries into the batter. Pour into pan
6. Bake for 60 mins then let cool

5-min Blueberry Coconut Frozen Yogurt (

frozen yogurt July: National Blueberry Month

4 cups frozen blueberries
3 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup coconut-flavored yogurt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 sweetened flaked coconut

1. Add the blueberries, honey, yogurt, and lemon juice into a food processor
2. Process the ingredients for 5 mins until smooth
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
4. Spread the flaked coconut in an even layer and toast for 10 mins or until browned
5. Serve the frozen yogurt immediately topped with toasted coconut

Blueberry Hand Pies (

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15 store-bought flaky mini tart crusts
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water

1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix blueberries with lemon juice until coated
3. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the blueberries and mix well until blueberries are coated
4. Combine egg yolk and water
5. Fill the centre of the tart crusts with 1 tbsp of blueberry mixture, and brush the edges with egg mixture. Fold crust in half and seal the edges by pressing down with the back of a fork
6. Chill hand pies for half an hour in the fridge
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
8. Remove hand pies from fridge and brush the top sides with remaining egg mixture
9. Sprinkle tops of hand pies with sugar, then cut a small slit on the top for the steam to escape
10. Bake for 20 mins then let cool for 5 mins before serving

Share with us your favorite recipes with blueberries!

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The Essentials For A Backyard Wedding

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Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Some like them huge and glamorous, others like them small and intimate. If you are someone who enjoys small get-togethers with close friends and family, then read on! Here are a few things you might need or want to create for your backyard wedding.

Having a multitude of lights throughout the ceremony and reception will make your wedding appear ethereal and whimsical. In essence, lights are a great wedding decoration. Mini lamp posts can form a beautiful aisle if you are having an evening ceremony. Strands of lights hanging from the tent or beams are an easy way to illuminate the space for your guests. Globe, lantern, LED, shapes, and grapevine are some other types of light strands that would be great for wedding decor.

Another great thing about backyard weddings is that you can keep it simple with food. Of course you can still have salmon or steak if you’d like, however, the beauty of having a backyard wedding is that you can get away with any food you want! Barbecue? Go for it. Finger foods? Absolutely. If you want to pay a friend of yours to man a crepes station, then try it. A wedding is the type of event where calories don’t count!

A dance floor is a must for any type of wedding! A wood stage will be the easiest and quickest to install for the night if you don’t have a large enough patio to accommodate your guests. Photo booths are expensive to rent so try making your own! All you need is a white or black sheet, a camera with a tripod, and some costumes/accessories. Your guests will love goofing off and taking silly pictures!

Can’t afford a bartender? Not a problem, pay your friends to do one hour shifts throughout the night. This gives them the opportunity to mingle with friends and family while making a few extra bucks. If you don’t feel like having a bunch of hard liquor at your reception, then opt for wine and beer. Set aside a couple glasses of wine and a couple beers per person and you should be set!

If you’ve had a backyard wedding, please share with us and others your great ideas!

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The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life

We’ve done the research, and based on top blogger lists these are the 5 DIYs you have got to try this summer! From practical to decorative, these fun projects are guaranteed to help make your home just a little bit happier.

Table Top Terrarium
This little guy will add decor to any table or bookshelf, as well as any room! Fill with your choice of succulents or other indoor-friendly plants, and enjoy.

Terrarium The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life

Young House Love

Painted Frame DIY
These frames will add life to any boring old wall. Pick colors that compliment the rest of your room and find some fabulous pictures to fill them with!

PaintedFrames1 The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life



The Fake Watercolor Wallpaper
Wallpaper can be a drag to cut, glue, and paste. So forget it and roll out your brushes! Paint brushes that is. This is the perfect way to spice up rooms that might need a little love.

WatercolorWallpaper The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life

The Design Confidential


Metal Grate for Your Memos
Organization is key to serenity at home, so create a memo board that is both beautiful and functional with this DIY tutorial! Stay on top of your tasks and hang fun mementos to enjoy throughout the week.

a beautiful mess The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life

A Beautiful Mess




Leather and Gold Pinwheel Pillow
If there’s only one addition you make to your living room this summer, it has to be this one. It’s modern, easy to make, and stylish!

brittany makes The Only DIYs You Need In Your Life

Brittany Makes





















Share your favorite summer DIYs below!

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Everything You Need To Know About Decorating With Pineapples

Aside from being delicious and nutritious, pineapples are also a symbol of hospitality in the South as well as throughout the Eastern Seaboard. The pineapple was originally used for display at lavish dinners and festive nights in Europe, because off the high cost of directly importing them from exotic islands. The lucky few who could afford pineapples typically wouldn’t eat them, but would instead use them as a decoration and then as a gift for their most important guests to eat and enjoy. The chic fruit finally became a symbol of hospitality and welcome when it was put at the top of food displays that were kept secret until the main event started. The brightness of the pineapple symbolized the night full of cheer and high spirits that was about to unfold.

Throughout the years, pineapples have become a summer fruit that makes you feel like you’re on an exotic beach at first bite. However, it can be difficult to keep a real pineapple constantly displayed in your home, so we’ve put together a list of decor ideas featuring this glamorous fruit to make others feel welcomed each time they walk through your front door.

Throw Pillows
You can find throw pillows anywhere and everywhere. The difficulty is finding one that you like and that will brighten up your decor. Many have patterns like the examples below, or you can find some that are more mellow, such as a dusted pineapple on a white throw pillow. If you have a toned down living room decor, maybe a crazy colored or patterned pillow is just what you need!

etsy Everything You Need To Know About Decorating With Pineapples

Esty: LilyandJude

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Pineapple Canvas

Canvases are easy to print and easy to paint. If you find a beautiful pineapple image and you just know you won’t be able to replicate it, then have it printed on a canvas and hang that baby proudly! For the more artistically inclined you will naturally gravitate towards painting your own. Peruse Pinterest to find the pineapple inspiration you need. Another option to consider is using materials other than canvas such as the DIY art below by the blogger Liz Marie.

society61 Everything You Need To Know About Decorating With Pineapples


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Summer Dish Set

It can seem a little excessive to have a set of dishes for each season, so instead just use a separate set specifically for warm weather or dining outside! You might have to do some recon work to find the perfect set of dishes for your ladies brunch or afternoon tea party, but we promise you: it will be worth it.

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Wallpaper Galore

Yes, we’re talking about that old-fashioned paper that goes on your wall that requires extreme patience and a lot of love. Wallpaper can add just the right amount of decoration without adding any objects to the room. There are plenty of patterned pineapple wallpaper options out there, so take some time to find the right print for you. You don’t have to get too flashy! This decor idea is especially great if you have a “blah” room that needs a jolt of inspiration, without having to overcrowd the area.  Everything You Need To Know About Decorating With Pineapples

The Wonder Forest

blogspot Everything You Need To Know About Decorating With Pineapples

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Share with us the marvelous decor ideas you’re using to brighten your space this summer!

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Using Your Summer Months To Effectively Organize

Summers are meant for two things: relaxing and getting your life back together after a hectic work or school year. We are sure you’ve got the relaxation part covered so we have put together these awesome ideas for organization! Organizing your home allows you to feel more productive and stress-free. Enjoy the remainder of your summer even more by trying out these DIY projects for a clutter-free house!

Wooden Bungee Organizer

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Office Drawer Organizer

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Workspace Organization

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IKEA Hack Organizer

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Tea Shelf Organizer

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Share with us your favorite organizing ideas!

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Brilliant New Ways For Displaying Plants

Whether it’s succulents, flowers, or vines that make you smile, plants can bring new life into your home. However, you might be tired of the typical ceramic pot-plant decor so switch it up with these new exciting display ideas!

Bird Cage

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Hanging Upside Down

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Important Notes:
No matter what kind of plant you buy, make sure you follow the instructions for proper planting and watering. You can also ask your local gardener for advice on which plants are best used in these kinds of planting situations or which ones will do better inside versus outside.

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4th Of July Food And Snack Ideas

atozbracelebrations 4th Of July Food And Snack Ideas


These recipe and snack ideas will be a hit with your family and friends! Try one or all of them for a fun, patriotic, and delicious 4th of July event.

Easy Snacks:
-Marshmallow, brownie, blueberry and strawberry kebabs
-Star shaped watermelon with blueberries
-Cheesecake stuffed strawberries, topped with blueberries
-Puppy chow with red and blue M&Ms
-Oreo pops dipped in frosting with red and blue sprinkles

Firecracker Dogs (from
1 can refrigerated bread stick dough
2 packages – 16 hot dogs
16 skewers
16 thick slices of Colby cheese

– Place a skewer through each hot dog, leaving about an inch and a half exposed.
– Take a piece of bread stick dough and wrap it around the hot dog until you get to the top. Place each hot dog on a pan and bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees.
– While the hot dogs are cooking, use a small star cookie cutter to cut out stars from the cheese.
– Let the hot dogs cool then stick the star through the skewer at the top.

Jalapeno Poppers (from
25 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 large tub cream cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced
2 packs bacon
2 cup BBQ sauce (whichever you prefer)

– Cut each pepper in half and clean out the seeds then place them side-by-side on a pan.
– Combine cream cheese, green onion, and shredded cheddar cheese then stuff the peppers with the mixture.
– Cut bacon strips in half then wrap the slices around poppers and secure with toothpicks.
– Brush BBQ sauce over each piece.
– Cook for 1 hour at 300 degrees or until bacon is sizzling.

BBQ Chicken Wings (from
1 bottle Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce
1 stick of butter
2 packets Italian seasoning
Dash of basil
14 chicken drumsticks

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat then whisk in the Italian seasoning, basil, and bottle of BBQ sauce. Bring to a boil.
– Dip drumsticks into sauce mixture and place on a pan.
– Bake for 30 mins and preheat grill on medium halfway through the baking process.
– Remove drumsticks from oven and give them another dunk in the sauce then place on the grill for 15-20 mins.

Hot 7 Layer Dip (from
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 large garlic clove
1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cumin
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 cup canned black beans
1/2 cup canned corn
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix
Chipotle chili pepper powder

– Heat up a over-safe skillet over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
– Add diced onion and saute until transparent. Then add the ground beef and cook.
– Add the grated garlic, salt, paprika, cumin, and Chipotle chili powder. Mix well and cook until done.
– Stir in sour cream and tomato paste then spread evenly throughout the skillet. Take off the heat.
– Turn off stove-top and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Layer jalapeno peppers, then beans, corn, and finally the diced tomato. Sprinkle some salt and cumin over the veggies and add cilantro on top.
– Spread cheese evenly then sprinkle Chipotle chili pepper powder over cheese.
– Place the skillet in the oven for 20 mins then serve with chips.

What will you be making for you 4th of July weekend? Share with us in the comments!

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