The Washington Post

Decorating your dorm room on a student budget

A sample room decorated with items from the upscale Dormify line. (MATT MCCLAIN FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Despite the economy, students are spending more and more jazzing up their living spaces. The National Retail Federation expects the average student to spend more than $96 on dorm furnishings this year, up from about $80 last year.

But you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to make your room look awesome. (And, frankly, with the cost of college these days, you really should not blow a lot of cash on dorm stuff you don’t need.)

Some budget-minded ideas: When I was in college, I once “tiled” a wall of my room by taping up squares of patterned paper and photos cut from travel magazines. And my younger sister liked to hang cheap, colorful paper lanterns from the ceiling of her dorm room each year.

What have you done to class up your room without spending tons and tons of money? I want to see photos!

One of The Post’s web producers, Levi Chronister, has built an online gallery of dorm decor photos. Log in to submit your pics. (If you have trouble doing so, you can also e-mail them to

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