Make Over Your Boring Fridge with This Dorm-Friendly Wallpaper Hack

published Nov 23, 2023
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Head on view of a dorm room with a bed with a white quilt and a blue throw blanket on a light wood bed frame with storage underneath on a blue area rug. On the wall there are assorted orange/yellow/pink posters, and a small black shelf and mirror combination.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio

It’s a fact of college life that dorm appliances usually don’t look the prettiest. But if you think you can’t temporarily decorate them during the school year, think again! I have a fun hack for making over a mini fridge that’s way more creative than just hanging up photos and magnets. Hint: It involves removable wallpaper. 

As part of Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool NYC pop-up event last month, I designed a retro-inspired dorm space with a small fridge styled at the foot of the bed. I wanted this to be an extra storage spot that also fit in with the rest of the color palette, so I found a bright floral peel-and-stick wallpaper and applied it on top of the refrigerator door and adjacent sides. Thanks to this simple, damage-free DIY, the once-boring appliance transformed from an eyesore to dorm decor — and it’s so easy to recreate and personalize in your own room.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

First, pick out the best removable wallpaper print to match your dorm aesthetic, whether that’s boho, cottagecore, or the latest up-and-coming TikTok trend. I used the Avery Retro design from Spoonflower, one of Small/Cool’s sponsors. You can also browse companies like Tempaper & Co., Chasing Paper, and WallPops for even more options. Depending on the size of your refrigerator, you should only need to order a roll or two, but be sure to measure — I recommend measuring twice to be extra-sure you’re buying the right amount!

Next, gently apply the peel-and-stick wallpaper on any surface of the fridge’s exterior that you want to decorate, whether that’s just the door or multiple sides. I suggest asking a friend or roommate to help you lay the paper straight, as well as using something like a sturdy ruler to buff out any air bubbles. Don’t stress if it doesn’t look perfect, though — the wallpaper will come off at the end of the year anyway, and you can always cover up wrinkles or tears with cute magnetic accessories

This DIY hack isn’t just limited to mini fridges, either: Cover your pencil holder, shelves on a storage cart, or any other surface that could use a little pop of color. If you have leftover wallpaper panels, you can even cut out square or rectangular pieces (or any shape, really) to hang up with tape and incorporate into a gallery wall. However you choose to make this DIY your own, your room — and refrigerator — will be the talk of the dorm.

Blair Donovan


Blair is Apartment Therapy’s Style Shopping Editor, where she covers the latest brand launches, need-to-buys, and anything related to her two unofficial beats — cane and rattan. Whenever she’s not perusing for the latest home finds (a rarity), you’ll probably find her reading, watching a horror film, or on the hunt for the best tacos in New York (recs are encouraged).

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