How to Turn your College Room into a Grown Up Room


First things first, my college bedroom was not cute, and extremely stereotypical, and I lived with it like that for 3 years because I could not afford any better. Here’s an example featuring my old roommate’s kitten:


Please note: $20 nightstand, literally no bed frame (just a box spring on the ground), a blanket I don’t remember ordering after going out one night, a surfboard that didn’t ride well that I decorated in sharpie because I was too lazy to paint it, a tapestry (another drunken purchase), and throw pillows I’m pretty sure my mom gave me as a Christmas gift in middle school.

Now here’s what my bedroom currently looks like – yes including an old wine glass:


Please note the following changes that took a long time to make:

  • Yes, I bought a bed frame. With SIX drawers for extra storage
  • Headboard
  • Actual nightstands
  • Actual lights
  • Decorations
  • More throw pillows
  • Matching theme in general

And now here are my top tips on how to get there:

1. Theme

Here is where everyone’s favorite hobby comes in, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. I literally built my entire room after seeing one rug I liked (a faux sheepskin), and then I literally based my entire room off of that.And yes I did find a cheaper version on amazon that I keep next to my vanity (that post to come). My theme is “I like mirrors and glam”.

2. Marshalls,, TJ Maxx, etc

All of my pillows, decor, lamps, etc came from these places. I love Marshall’s. You never know when you will luck out; and when you do, it’s significantly cheaper than, let’s say, Target.

Wayfair is where I bought my bed frame for significantly cheaper than the same frame on other sites and stores. It was a score that I am still very happy with, which brings me to my next point…

3. Investing in good furniture

I will probably have this bed frame ’til I die. It was a lot of money, despite being a good price. I decided to invest in it, as it’s something I will never give up- ever.  Same with my nightstands (also from Wayfair). I had to spend some money but they are something I will have for a very, very long time. And unlike my $20 purchase, will last.

(Also it hurts your wallet, but you need to invest in high-quality sheets; you will thank me later)


4. Second-hand furniture

If you are still in school, or have just left, many colleges now have “free and for sale” Facebook groups, where many people leaving for the summer or moving need to get rid of nice furniture, they just don’t have room for.You can haggle or get very cheap furniture, TVs, decor, textbooks, etc. I actually sold a lot of my “college furniture” aka my tapestry and blanket from my old room. This money can go into your “investments” aka bed frames as mine did.

My headboard came from a different old roommate for only $45 and I love it, as I am not one for DIY building or dropping $400 on a decoration.

5. Slow and steady

All of this furniture and decor came one at a time. Each month I budgeted for an upgrade. I literally budgeted for throw pillows that cost $22. It takes time, but once you fully fill up your space with your “room goals” via Pinterest, you will be so happy to come home from your cubicle to your beautiful space.

These are all my tips, for now. Leave a comment with your own!


24 thoughts on “How to Turn your College Room into a Grown Up Room

  1. Pretty impressive transformation (Although have to admit I’m usually more of a fan of the fun student-y look)! Just wondered what you would recommend regarding colour choices – my dorm room comes with rather bright green curtains (non-removable) and purple highlights, which is a little in-your-face when combined with the blue bedspread etc. I brought with me from my last dorm room. Was debating whether to fully embrace the lime green or perhaps go for more cream/ white colours (although they can get dirty easily)? Also, where did you get the original tapestry from, I love it!


    1. I got my tapestry from Etsy! They have a lot of good options there! And I would honestly go with cream/ white. They are a little annoying to keep clean but you can pair it with a lime green throw blanket at the foot of the bed to bring it all together! Hope that helps!


  2. Wow! Your grown up room looks amazing!!!! Haha Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are have recently become my favorite stores ever. I have a small car so I tend to avoid the furniture section because I always forget to take my mom’s SUV “just in case” and don’t want to be tempted. But I have found so many amazing things there for room and home office decor! (Sorry I accidentally published my previous post before I was done!)


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