Dorm Tours

Twinkle Lights and a Mini Accent Wall Brighten Up a Beige Dorm Room

published Oct 17, 2023
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Home Type
Dorm (suite)
Christopher Newport University
Newport News, Virginia
Square feet
Sq ft
raised bed with white bedding and string lights hanging down wall, round mirror above bed, leaf wallpaper on wall behind bed
Credit: Maryann Reese

Maryann Reese wanted to create a calm, cozy space for her sophomore year at Christopher Newport University — without breaking her budget. Here’s how she made it happen.

Credit: Maryann Reese
FENCHILIN Hollywood Mirror with Light, $42.99, at Amazon; TRVL Designs Gasparilla Traveler, $44, at Southern Sorelle; Woozoo 5 Speed Oscillating Air Circulator, $59.99, at Costco; rug, $50, at Costco

Maryann’s Space

How did you end up in this dorm room? I was placed in this dorm by my school, and I was slightly unhappy about the random assignment because I didn’t know what to expect. 

How do you feel about your space now? It’s ended up great so far! The room has lots of space for storage. Plus, it’s in a quiet building, so I can focus on studying and sleeping.

Credit: Maryann Reese

Maryann’s Style

Define your personal home style: Comfortable, calm, and cozy.

What’s your favorite element in this space? The wallpaper, because it adds so much to such a small space. Dorm walls can be boring and cold, so it helps warm up the room!

What’s your dorm room best known for? My space is best known for my bed area because it has this beautiful wallpaper behind it, as well as some fun throw pillows. I also added a mirror above to open the space up a bit. I think the overall effect is very inviting.

Credit: Maryann Reese
Palm Fronds wallpaper at Dizzy With Excitement; twinkle lights at Amazon; bedding at TJ Maxx, Target, and Amazon 

Maryann’s Budget

In an effort to remove the stigma associated with talking about money in college, we’re asking students to share how they plan and budget for their space.

How much does your housing cost per semester? $7,000.

Do you have anyone helping to fund your housing? Yes, my parents.

How much did it cost to decorate your space? $200. (I reused a lot of my decor from last year.)

What was your biggest splurge for this space and how much did it cost? My rug, but it was only $50 from Costco.

Best budget find? Honestly, also my rug! Although it was the most expensive thing I bought, I think it was a steal to get such a nice rug at this price point.

Credit: Maryann Reese
Reed diffuser, $24, at Farm + Sea

Maryann’s Advice

What was your biggest challenge in decorating your dorm room? Budget! College can be expensive, so it’s best to think smart about purchases for your dorm.

Do you have any other advice for students living in dorms? Make sure everything has a place! It’ll help you find things 10 times easier.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

Share your style: Dorm Tour Submission Form

Maryann Reese

Musical Theater

Maryann Reese is a sophomore at Christopher Newport University, studying musical theater as well as minoring in leadership studies and dance. Maryann has been a professional content creator for three years and she is thrilled to be a part of Dorm Therapy!

Follow Maryann
SchoolChristopher Newport University '26
MajorMusical Theater
FavesCats, musicals, coffee, time with family
Get to know Maryann Reese
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