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When I was a college freshman 10 years ago, my dorm decor consisted mostly of a neon pink comforter, some cheap-but-kind-of-cute storage bins from Target, and hundreds of pictures of me and my high school friends taped to the wall. A.k.a it looked like what you'd expect a dorm room to look like.
But times have clearly changed—at least according to this outrageous dorm room from two students at Michigan State University. With the help of one of their moms, Maliah and Zoe turned their new space from drab to decked-out. And they did it all using products from budget-friendly places like Target, T.J. Maxx, and Home Goods.
Below is everything you need to recreate the look for yourself along with a few design tips from Maliah's mom (and interior designer) Gigi Linn.
1. This comforter that's cozy and cute Credit: Simply Shabby Chic
Leave it to Target to have the best bedding.
When it comes to your comforter, style matters (which is why Maliah chose this shabby chic one from Target) but so does size. A lot of dorm beds require a Twin XL length so make sure you measure first.
Get the Simply Shabby Chic Comforter Set from Target for $55.99
2. This retro refrigerator Credit: Frigidaire
This old-fashioned fridge comes in four fun colors.
Yes, your room probably comes with a mini fridge but no, it's definitely not as cute as this adorable Frigidaire. Customers love that it's small enough to fit in any space (even one as cramped as a dorm room!) yet spacious enough to store all your groceries (like the college student's staples of Red Bull and leftover takeout).
Get the Frigidaire Mini Retro Fridge from Home Depot for $140.39
3. These lights to brighten up the space Credit: Wayfair
String paper lanterns around the room for a warm touch.
Goodbye ugly flourescent ceiling lights, hello glowy string lights. "Lighting is a great way to set a cool vibe for the room," says Gigi, who used table lamps, lighted signs, desk lamps, twinkle lights, and reading lights in the girls' room. Her top tip? "Put some of your lights (especially twinkle lights) on wireless timers with a remote control. It makes it so much easier than plugging them in every time you want to turn them on. "
Get the Aspen Hill Paper Lantern String Light from Wayfair for $26.99
4. This removable wallpaper Credit: NuBrewster
Peel and stick the exposed brick wall of your dreams.
Not only can plain white walls stress you out but they're also just boring. "Adding texture to the walls—like with this removable brick wall paper—gives the room a great backdrop to display the wall decor," explains Gigi, who adds that she also covered the sides of the girls' desks and dresser drawer fronts in a marble contact paper to update the standard dorm furniture.
Get the Brewster Brick White Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Amazon for $25.99
5. This headboard that doubles as storage space Credit: Wayfair
Bookcase, bed, or both?
In a dorm room, every inch of space counts, which is why Maliah opted for a bookcase headboard like this Wayfair one. "Using vertical shelving units are a great way to expand storage options and to also draw your eye upwards to make the room appear larger," her mom says.
Get the Grantville Twin Bookcase Headboard from Wayfair for $78.99
6. The only desk chair you'll ever want Credit: Wayfair
Doing homework just got a lot more comfortable.
When you spend hours hunched over your desk furiously cramming for tomorrow's chem exam, a comfy chair is a must. And just like our favorite desk chairs, this faux fur one has an ergonomic design and adjustable height so your whole body is properly supported while you work.
Get the Engler Faux Fur Task Chair from Wayfair for $129.99
7. This trendy macrame curtain Credit: AerWo
Make the best first impression with this doorway decor.
Everyone on Instagram seems to be obsessed with macrame and I don't blame them—it's gorgeous. You can put this woven tapestry in the doorway like Maliah and Zoe did or hang it on the wall as a statement piece.
Get the AerWo Macrame Wall Hanging from Amazon for $23.99
8. This ottoman for extra seating Credit: Target
Fashionable and functional.
If your dorm room is the go-to gathering spot for all of your friends, you'll likely need more places to sit than just your bed. An ottoman not only solves that problem but also acts as a step stool up to your bed if you loft your bed like Maliah did to allow for additional hidden storage underneath.
Get the Alonza Velvet Ottoman from Target for $84.99
9. This circle shelf to hang on the wall Credit: Wayfair
A shelf, but make it round.
Regular shelves are cool but have you seen round shelves? I personally have been eying one up for months and seeing it in Maliah's space has confirmed that I do in fact need it for my own apartment. It's pretty and practical at the same time and instantly updates any room.
Get the Beltran Round Wood Wall Shelf from Wayfair for $48.99
10. These Pinterest-worthy planters Credit: Target
You can never have too many plants.
For anyone who can't keep a houseplant alive to save their life (guilty!), succulents are your best friend. And you'll need a way to show them off, like with these geometric wall hangings. Maliah put them around her desk to freshen it up and add some much-needed greenery.
Get the Project 62 Succulent Wall Hanging from Target for $12.99
10 smart products for your dorm room that are actually worth it
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