Boho bedroom with wall tapestry and hanging plants
Dormify Team

5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Space

Dorm room feeling a little blah? If your small space is starting to seem boring and bland, don’t sleep on a dorm room makeover moment. A handful of updated bedroom ideas are the simplest way to take your room to the next level—and you don’t have to drop that dough, either. Keep reading for cheap bedroom makeover ideas and easy bedroom updates to implement a small bedroom makeover to perfection. 

Add New Accents

And by that, we don’t mean “pretend you’re from Australia.” If you’re the type to think, how can I decorate my bedroom with simple things? Rest assured that you don’t have to go overboard. A few well-selected new decor items can seem like a major refresh when you’re in a small space. Your room can feel totally transformed just by making some small changes, like adding a trendy new candle, or bringing in some greenery with a plant in a cute pot or hanging planter

Boho bedroom with plants

One way to give your room a new look without spending your entire semester budget is to lean into minimalist style, which can often make a small space seem bigger just by reducing the visual clutter of crowded surfaces. Pick just a few decor items that will make a statement using interesting shapes, textures or colors, and make those the focal point. Here are a few ways to try it: Instead of doing a gallery wall, make a statement on your walls by hanging just one piece of art you love, but in a large size. A tapestry or decorative mirror works well for making a big impact in an easy way, too. Instead of putting many organizers atop your dresser, go with one really cool graphic tray that can corral your accessories while acting as decor. 

Cottagecore bedroom with decorative mirror

Refresh Your Wall

Speaking of art: Wall decor is a great way to get that new-new look, but without replacing bigger-ticket items like furniture. We have lots of budget-friendly art prints so you can find the look that speaks to you. If you want to feel like your room is totally new again without replacing everything in it, take a maximalist approach to your artwork. Choose a vibe, buy a selection of prints that coordinate (like the ones shown in this retro ‘90s room) in a variety of sizes, then cover an entire wall with prints to make a major design statement. Need a little help choosing? Try these collage packs of five to seven matching prints for an easy done-for-you approach.

Gallery wall with art prints and posters

Another easy wall makeover option with a lot of impact? DECALS! Easy to apply and easy to remove, wall stickers are a great way to say a lot in a small space, and they can completely transform the way your room looks in just a few hours. 

Retro inspired bedroom with daisy wall decal

Layer On A New Rug

Don’t underestimate the power of a great rug in a dorm room! Leave behind those cold, hard floors by adding a super soft layer. If you already have an area rug in your space, you can change things up by adding a faux fur accent rug in a fun pattern or shape to infuse your room with plenty of texture and a huge dose of coziness. 

Feminine bedroom decor with rugs

Update the Lighting

Listen: That overhead dorm lighting just isn’t gonna cut it. Replacing your lighting strategy with something that is both more flattering and acts as room decor is a simple way to make a major upgrade in your room. But here’s one way to upgrade your upgrade (and impress all your friends!): Design your own custom neon sign! Choose your size, color, font, and word and get a personalized neon that’ll add light and style to your room (life?). It’s a major statement, but if the personalized route isn’t for you, you can get the neon life with signs that light up everything from a juicy strawberry to sassy lips.

Dorm room decor with LED strip lights

Other lighting ideas for an updated bedroom: Try hanging string lights in a design, or add a strip of LED lights for a modern glow. Add a chic floor lamp, or combine more than one table or desk lamps for max impact. 

Rearrange Your Room

The most budget-friendly way to refresh your room? Shop your own stuff (and your friends’ stuff)! Sometimes, making your space feel refreshed and new only requires rearranging your furniture and decor so it feels totally new. Or try swapping with friends or hallmates to get a new vibe going in both your rooms.

trendy aesthetic dorm decor ideas from Dormify

If you need some ideas, take a peek through our curated collection of styled rooms for ideas, then head to our TikTok and Instagram for even more real-life inspo.