Stomping the Yard

Dorm Room Design Ideas

Calling all college students!  Our weekly column, Stomping the Yard, aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives.’s team of experts will show you how to get it done from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. Submit questions and feedback for The Yard via

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for HGTV! That’s why I was absolutely thrilled to catch up with Season 8 HGTV Star winner and Chicago native, Tiffany Brooks. Her design firm, You and Your Décor, has been transforming lives and spaces since 2007. Brooks’ edgy-chic, and sophisticated style landed her a new hosting gig on the network, and a ton of new design opportunities. This week, I asked the desinger to offer up her advice to college students hoping to spruce up and maximize their small living spaces.

Tiffany Brooks, HGTV Star

Use Drapery – Drapes instantly warm up the space and can make a ho-hum dorm room feel more like home. Brooks recommends buying inexpensive, vertical panels, and hanging them from ceiling to floor.


Photo Credit: Pinterest


Use Every Square Inch of Vertical Storage – Brooks is a huge fan of maximizing vertical spaces. Because dorm rooms and college apartments can be cramped, she suggest installing wall units to free up real estate on the floor. Installing shelves can be an excellent way to organize and store books, toiletries, shoes, and other accessories.

Wall storage

Photo Credit Houzz



Photo Credit: Houzz

Hide Your Desk Junk – Sometimes students have no choice but to store items underneath their desks, which can make the room appear cluttered. Brooks recommends using a table skirt or fun, funky fabric, along with some Velcro strips to hide the clutter and give the room a style boost.

Photo Credit: Love Your Room Blog

Picture It:  Instead of paint, use family and friend collages. One of Brooks’ favorite companies for wall décor is We Montage, which allows you to upload pics from your camera phone or social media to create peel-and-stick wall collages that won’t ruin the walls. Can you say, “Selfie”?


Photo Credit: We Montage


Use Area Rugs: An area rug can be used to ground the space. Brooks says, “the fluffier, the better.” Fluffy area rugs create a “luxe” element to the room. For guys’ rooms, she suggests using darker colors. Dormify specializes in dorm room décor, including a wide selection of rugs tailor made for tiny living spaces.


Photo Credit: Dormify


Light it “UP”:  Desk lamps can take up much needed space on a tiny desk. Ditch the desk lamp in favor of lights that can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. Brooks is a fan of IKEA, which boasts a variety of inexpensive, mountable lighting options.

KVART Ikea Lamp

Photo Credit: KVART Ikea Lamp

Being away at college can certainly make you yearn for the comforts of home, but with these savvy style tips, you can create a swanky, student-friendly environment perfect for studying, sleeping in, or sitting around, chatting with your new friends.

About Dr. Shante Bishop


Getting TO college is one thing; Getting THROUGH college is quite another. That’s why Dr. Shante’ Bishop offers strategic advice on being successful both in and out of the classroom. From catalogs to cap and gown, Professor Bishop shares what it takes to ‘Stomp the Yard” with confidence and clarity! You can follow Dr. Bishop on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.