Designing my Dream Dorm Room + Tips for Maximizing Dorm Space

August 27, 2015

*Special thanks to Target for sponsoring today’s post! As always, all opinions are my own*
One of the things I miss most about being in college, besides my friends (I’m so HAPPY I got to reunite with my two best friends from college in DC last week), is dorm shopping! It was always so fun picking out bed sheets, cute decor and coming up with a color scheme/dorm theme for each new school year. This week I teamed up with Target Back to College to turn my bedroom into my ultimate dream dorm room! This couldn’t have come at a better time because my room was in dire need of a makeover. After graduating and moving back home in 2014, I decided to convert our basement into my  ‘studio apartment’ complete with a little home office area and a bedroom/living area. Essentially it’s like living in a dorm since my desk/office area, dresser, bookcases and bed are all in one open space/room. College dorms are basically broken up into three main ‘spaces’: your bed, your desk area and your dresser. Since I was designing my dream ‘dorm room,’ these are the three spaces in my bedroom I focused on.

One of my favorite things about shopping at Target (besides all the adorable stuff) is the SALES! Bed sheets (including the adorable blue reversible comforter I choose) are currently on sale for as low as $20 (you read correctly, $20!) On top of that, if you download the cartwheel app, you can get $10 off select Home purchases of $50 or more (including bath, bedding, furniture and home decor items.) I decided to stick with a plain solid color for my bed sheets so I could decorate with lots of fun colorful pillows (like the one below!)
To go along with my new blue comforter, I chose white jersey sheets (you can NEVER go wrong with jersey sheets), an adorable ‘like’ sign light box and a Texture Knot Circle Decorative Pillow!
I LOVE how my bed/sleep area turned out! I decorated the top of my bed with a ‘Dream Big’ (aka my catchphrase) cube from Target’s Dollar Spot, a ‘Go Your Own Way’ print (because you can ever go wrong with a little Fleetwood Mac), some cute flowers, a few books, a ‘like’ light and a Cheshire Cat Tsum Tsum (I’m so HAPPY Target sells Tsum Tsums now!)
For my desk/office area I picked up some more ‘Dream Big’ decor, a light up hashtag, more flowers and a mini Piñata (is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?) 
I spent about 80% of my time in college at my desk so I always made sure it was tidy and clutter free! Even now, my desk is my go-to area for blogging, working and even watching Netflix (everything looks better on an iMac!)
Just like when I was in college, I use the top of my dresser as a little shelf/extra storage space. Since my dresser is directly in the center of my room, I decided to keep my dry erase calendar there so I can easily access it and keep up with my deadlines/assignments (got to love being a freelance writer!) In college, I also used my dresser as my ‘record space.’ Although now I have a dedicated ‘vinyl area’ and have even upgraded to a new floral record player, my original blue Crosely, Little Darling (which was a present my sister picked up from Target for my 21st birthday two years ago), will always hold a special place in my heart!
During my four years of college I lived in a traditional dorm room, an off-campus apartment and on campus apartments. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that in college, space is usually limited. Here are a few tips to help maximize your dorm space:
  • Use Bed Risers. Bed risers add about 5″ to your underbed storage space making it the perfect place to store shoes, extra blankets or anything you need.
  • Bunk Your Bed. During my freshman year of college, my roommate and I decided to bunk our beds, creating enough space for two butterfly chairs and ottomans to fit in the room.
  • Use an Over-Bed Shelf. If you decide against bunk beds, using an over-bed shelf creates easy storage and leaves you with lots of space!
  • Use a Hanging Shelf. When I was in college I stored all of my shoes in a hanging shelf inside my closet. Not only did it make it easier to find the shoe I was looking for while I was getting ready, it also created a ton of space.
  • Take Advantage of The Refrigerator or Microwave. Most likely you’ll have a refrigerator or a microwave in your dorm (more likely than not, they will be stacked on top of each other.) Use the tops of these appliances to store things like food, snacks and kitchen supplies.
  • Get an Ottoman. Ottomans don’t take up that much space and they double as a seat and extra storage!
How would you decorate your dream dorm? Check out Target’s College Styler at to find you and your roommate’s ultimate college style.