Elevate The Look: Create A Cozy & Super Cool College Pad Without Breaking The Rules

College dorm room decorating

Many college dorms and apartments are dull and institutional looking. However, with a little creativity students can make their home away from home not only feel cozy, but look super cool. For tips on how to achieve this, there is no one better qualified than our fabulous friend and interior designer, Vanessa Deleon.

“My personal mission for design is to turn clients dreams into reality while using my 3 D's: drive, discipline and dedication.”

The first thing college students must do before they elevate the look of their college pad is to make sure they go over the rule book of "can and can't do's". Then, take a look at Vanessa's five simple ideas to make a dingy space look and feel more like home:

1. Accent Walls
decor for college dorm rooms

If the rules say students can paint, go ahead and paint an accent wall. Accent walls are typically a few shades darker than surrounding walls. The Sherwin Williams 6496 Oceanside is a very popular color for an accent wall. Make sure that the accents around the room coordinate with your new color. If the rules don't allow you to paint, use Peel N Stick dorm wall art - inspirational quotes and/or images on the wall. The best part of Peel N Stick is how easy they can be removed without damaging the wall. Available online at DormCo

2. Not Your Grandmother's Throw Pillows
throw pillows for college dorm rooms

Fun throw pillows from Society6 are simply not your grandmother's pillows. These pillows are over the top fun! If a student's bed is up against a wall, use the wall as a canvas for the throw pillows. If a student likes a black and white themed bedroom, stack one large Brushstroke Pillow on each side and one smaller Corgi Pillow. Or, if your student is a cat lover, place one smaller Sneaky Cat Pillow in the middle. In the living room, students might prefer bold, bright colors, so stack two larger Wani Pillows with a solid one in the middle for the perfect balance. These pillows come in four different sizes and a couple of different shapes. And, did I mention that they are super comfy!

3. A Must Have, The Gallery Leaning Shelves
leaning shelves for college apartments

The Gallery Leaning Shelves from Room and Board is a sleek looking piece of furniture. These leaning shelves have plenty of room for a student's books and decorative pieces like a cool picture frame. The shelves come in several sizes and colors to complement any existing furniture pieces. 

4. Add A Butterfly Rug
rugs fro college rooms

Adding a playful rug in a college student's room is an excellent alternative to painting the walls. This cool Paule Marrot Tufted Butterfly Rug from Anthropologie is stunning in any dorm or apartment. Or, how about the Tufted Celine Viscose Rug, also at Anthropologie, to complement the Brushstroke Throw Pillow.

5. 'Lights' Up Your Space
lighting for college apartments

Accent lighting is an essential part of decor; therefore, students should light up their space with the 60 watt Eglo Rivato Lamp from Capitol Lighting. These white and chrome incandescent lamps portray a glass candle holder, but are much safer than real candles. They stand about 10 inches tall and look gorgeous on any shelf or side table.

Vanessa Deleon

Vanessa is a NY based interior designer, product designer, blogger, brand ambassador and lifestyle expert. Her innovative sensibility combined with a keen eye for detail helps her clients' inspirations and ideas come to life. Vanessa's designs attract and inspire an A-list clientele globally. Her accolades include being featured in several coffee table books & numerous other publications as well as television shows like NBC's Today Show and HGTV's Generation Renovation .

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